Topics in Earth and Planetary Sciences Capstone

December 9, 2022
credit: Junyi Sun

If you wandered through the Earth Sciences Building this week you may have noticed the walls of the lobby featured a dozen new posters covering a diverse range of topics. The recent poster session was the culmination of weeks of work by EOSC 212 students. 

EOSC 212: Topics in Earth and Planetary Sciences has been taught by Prof. Mark Jellinek since 2006. Since its origin, EOSC 212 has been about pushing students to break down their preconditioned approaches to learning to make space for questioning and open discussion of presented information. The course is designed to build critical reading, thinking, writing, and communication skills. Students are evaluated on their ability to effectively communicate complex concepts through writing and mind maps, rather than their test taking abilities. Mind maps allow students to visualize the connections between topics so the big picture becomes easier to convey. This visualization skill translates across disciplines, but is especially useful in Earth Sciences where subjects are more often than not deeply interconnected. 

Finally, students are asked to produce a research poster where they chase down a question of their own relating to a dataset of their choice. The resulting posters are a collection of diverse and creative ideas with topical titles such as:

  • How and to what extent did COVID-19 affect greenhouse gas emissions?

  • What drives tropical cyclones and what is the sensitivity of drivers to global warming?

  • Does “fracking” affect groundwater resources significantly?

  • How does ozone depletion affect Earth’s ecosystems?

  • Can atmospheric rivers affect the stability the Larsen Ice shelf

  • How has glacial retreat in central Asia affected slope stability?

  • How is the history of seafloor spreading and subduction expressed in the age distributions and chemistry of rocks?

  • How is the accelerating instability of Greenland ice affecting human settlements?

  • What is the spatial character of recent extreme melting events on Greenland?

  • How will sea level rise affect Vancouver?

  • Is climate change going to shred tourism in Vancouver?"

Click here to see posters from previous years.