EV 211
Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Cycles

Steven Janke
Block 6, 2011



EV211: An introduction to the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earth's chemical components in time and space. Course includes a significant emphasis on mathematical modeling of radiative transfer, fossil fuel consumption, the global carbon cycle, and implications of these processes on environmental policy.
Prerequisite: Environmental Science 128 and Mathematics 126. 1 unit

Course Objectives:
  • Understand the basics of biogeochemical cycles including dynamic behaviors and human impacts. In particular, understand the dynamics of the hydrologic, carbon, and nitrogen cycles.

  • Understand the basics of human population growth and the resulting perturbation of key biogeochemical cycles.

  • Learn to think in terms of complex systems: causal loops, feedbacks, dynamics.

  • Learn to model basic cycles with Stella software; understand the advantages and limitations of modeling.

  • Understand enough chemistry for further environmental science study and for informed environmental policy judgments.

  • Extend your knowledge of particular environmental problems like ozone depletion, acid rain, climate change, and water management.

  • Gain further understanding of your own environmental footprint.

Hydrologic Cycle


Carbon Cycle

(NASA/NASA Earth Science Enterprise)

Nitrogen Cycle

Updated February, 2011