The Planetary Science Course Cluster

Planetary science is an emerging interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand the origin and evolution the solar system in which we live and the other solar systems that we have identified in our galaxy. The science questions include the most important of our times: How do planets (including the Earth) form?  How common are they in the Universe?  What is their range of properties and how do they evolve?  Is there or was there ever life on other planets?  This field has grown significantly over the last decade with major advances in our understanding of Mars and the outer solar system, and the discovery of hundreds of exoplanetary systems.  Planetary research is a primary focus of NASA’s current and future missions. 

The Planetary Science Course Cluster identifies the range of courses in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, E&ES and Physics that contribute to the discipline. The courses are divided into several subdisciplines that emphasize particular aspects of planetary science.

The advising expert for the Planetary Science Course Cluster in the 19-20 academic year are Prof. Gilmore, E&ES and Prof. Redfield, Astronomy.

1. Introductory Courses

AST 103/E&ES 151 The Planets 

BIOL 111/E&ES 111 Life on Planet Earth: Diversity, Evolution and Extinction

E&ES 115 Introduction to Planetary Geology 

E&ES 120 Mars, the Moon, and Earth: So Similar, Yet so Different

E&ES 143/SISP 143/HIST 143 Interpreting Life on Mars: Scientific Data and Popular Knowledge

2. Planetary Geochemistry

CHEM 337 Physical Chemistry 1 (Fall 2015)

CHEM 338 Physical Chemistry 2 (Spring 2016)

CHEM 361 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 

E&ES 213 Mineralogy with E&ES 215 Laboratory Study of Minerals 

E&ES 250 Earth Materials with E&ES 252 Earth Materials Laboratory 

E&ES 314/514 Petrology with E&ES 316 Laboratory Study of Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

E&ES 380/580 Volcanology with E&ES 381 Volcanology Laboratory

E&ES 386/586 Meteorites and Cosmochemistry

3. Planetary Geology and Geophysics

E&ES 220 Geomorphology and E&ES 222 Geomorphology Laboratory 

E&ES 223 Structural Geology with E&ES 225 Field Geology

E&ES 322/522 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 

E&ES 326/526 Remote Sensing and E&ES 328 Remote Sensing Laboratory 

E&ES 344/544 Advanced GIS and Spatial Analyses 

E&ES 365/565 Modelling the Earth and Environment

E&ES 385/585 Geodynamics

E&ES 371/571 Planetary Evolution 

4. Exosolar Planets

AST 109 Worlds Beyond: The Search for Life in the Universe

AST 231/531 Stellar Structure and Evolution

AST 224/524 Exoplanets: Formation, Detection, and Characterization 

5. Astrobiology

BIO 214 Evolution 

BIO 231 Microbiology

CHEM 383/MB&B 381 Biochemistry

E&ES/BIO 229 and 233 Geobiology and Laboratory

E&ES 302/512 Astrobiology

GLSP Courses

SCI 634 Strange New Worlds: Planets , Exoplanets and Stars that Host Them

SCI 642 Rocks in Space: An Introduction to Planetary Geology