Tom Marchitto


Current Courses

  • GEOL 3070: Introduction to Oceanography (every Spring)


    Explores Earth's dynamic oceans. The course is roughly divided amongst the four main disciplines of oceanography: marine geology, marine chemistry, physical oceanography (i.e., circulation), and marine biology. Students will learn that there is much overlap and interdependence between these disciplines. Specific topics include seafloor spreading, marine sediments, salinity, biogeochemical cycles, ocean structure, currents, waves, tides, primary production, marine ecology, climate change, and much more.
  • GEOL 5705: Seminar in Paleoclimate (every Spring)


    Investigates major problems in the study and understanding of past climate variations as preserved in the geologic record. Course format is a seminar-style critical reading and discussion of journal articles in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. Topical focus varies from year to year.

Past Courses

  • GEOL 4270/5270: Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (alternate Falls) Examines the chemical, biological, geological, and physical processes affecting (and affected by) the chemistry of the oceans. Topics include: chemical speciation in seawater; the marine carbon cycle and its long-term control on atmospheric CO2; the large-scale interdependence of nutrient distributions and biological productivity; chemical tracers of ocean circulation; and the chemistry of marine sediments, including early diagenesis. Prereq., introductory geology and/or oceanography; CHEM 1111 General Chemistry or equivalent; comfort with algebra and calculus (differentials).
  • GEOL 5420: Quaternary Dating Methods (Spring 2011) In-depth survey of standard and experimental dating methods that provide absolute ages for events of the last two million years of Earth history. Includes theory and application of radiocarbon, uranium series, amino acid, thermo-luminescence, fission track, potassium/argon, hydration, light stable isotopes, and other radioactive techniques. Prerequisites: Restricted to graduate students only.
  • GEOL 5430: Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology (alternate Falls) Examines scientific tools, data, and theories related to the dramatically varied past climate of the Earth. Focus will be on marine records of climate change and ocean circulation, but ice core and other continental archives will also be discussed. Course will cover the Cretaceous Period to the present, with particular emphasis on the past 150,000 years (the last ice age cycle). Prereq., intro geology or equivalent. Recommended prereq., intro oceanography or atmospheric science.
  • GEOL 5701: Super-Problems in Quaternary Climate (Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2014) Investigates major problems in the study and understanding of Quaternary climate variation, in seminar format. Each year one major topic will be addressed, such as: the physics and chemistry of the ice age ocean circulation; the theory and mechanics of glacial/interglacial atmospheric CO2 change; or the origins of the 20, 40, and 100 kyr orbital (Milankovitch) climate cycles.

Postdocs & Students