Classes Taught by Julian Sachs

School of Oceanography & The Program on Climate Change

University of Washington

Seattle, Washington, USA

Courses taught in 2006-2009

Paleoclimate Proxies Greenhouse Gases & Climate From the Big Bang to the Blue Planet
Paleoclimate Proxies Greenhouse Gases & Climate From the Big Bang to the Blue Planet
Coral, Climate & culture in the Marshall Islands Planning an Expedition to the Marshall Islands The Holocene Express
Coral, Climate & culture in the Marshall Islands Planning an Expedition to the Marshall Islands The Holocene Express

OCEAN 588:  Greenhouse Gases & Climate

A graduate course focusing on factors controlling the global cycle of carbon, greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, O3 and halocarbons) and aerosols.  Goals are to develop an appreciation for:
•    The abundance and distribution of carbon & greenhouse gases
•    Physical, chemical and biological mechanisms that control ocean-atmosphere and terrestrial-atmosphere exchange of carbon and greenhouse gases.
•    The geologic evidence for climate change linked to greenhouse gases
•    The fate of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, their impact on climate and strategies for sequestration of anthropogenic gases and other geoengineering strategies

Winter Qtr. 2009

OCEAN 355:  From the Big Bang to the Blue Planet

300-level undergraduate class covering the origin and evolution of the Earth, ocean, atmosphere & life, with an emphasis on climate as the integrator of changes in the biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, & lithosphere. Spring Quarter 2007, 2008.  Fall Qtr. 2008.

OCEAN 554:  Paleoclimate Proxies

Graduate Course: Climate proxies are sources of climate information from natural archives such as sediment cores, ice cores, corals, and tree rings. Because the instrumental record of climate is short, spanning the last few decades in most places, the geologic record is the only source of climate data for evaluating natural variability on decadal-to-centennial (and longer) time scales. An enormous variety of paleoclimate indicators are in use, with new ones being developed constantly. Some provide quantitative information on a specific climate variable, such as sea surface temperature. Many others provide qualitative information on one or more variables. The goal of this course is to critically evaluate the robustness and limitations of the most commonly applied climate proxies from the ocean, land and ice sheets. Co-taught with Prof. Becky Alexander (ATMS) Fall Quarter 2007, 2008. Spring Qtr. 2010.

Coral, Climate & Culture: An Exploration Seminar in the Marshall Islands

This 6-unit, 400-level undergraduate seminar takes place in the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the Summer of 2009.  It is an intensive study of this low-lying atoll nation's coral reefs, the likely impact of global warming, and the rich culture of the Marshallese people.  June 22-July 13, 2009.

Planning an Expedition to the Marshall Islands

Graduate Seminar: We will plan an expedition to core lakes, bogs & lagoons in the Marshall Islands for the purpose of reconstructing hydrologic changes during the last 2,000 years, including ENSO & ITCZ. Winter Quarter 2008.

Questions & Objectives:

-What are the best locations to core so that we sample the full range of climate?
-Identify suitable lakes, bogs &/or lagoons to core
-Make local contacts to help facilitate the fieldwork
-Identify & solve logistical hurdles getting our crew & gear around the islands
-What permits are required? How to obtain?

The Holocene Express

Graduate Seminar: Over the Holocene orbital wobbles resulted in variations in solar radiation that greatly exceeded radiation changes due to future emissions of CO2 (albeit as a function of season and latitude). And yet the Holocene is widely regarded as a remarkably quiescent interval in Earth's history. Why? As a group we will undertake a worldwide survey of proxy climate records, and ask where is this conventional picture wrong, and where is our understanding of climate dynamics truly challenged by what the records reveal? Co-taught with Prof. Gerard Roe (ESS), Winter Quarter 2007.