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Our overall objective is to create an environment in which students:
1. gain a deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness of the biological and the physical environments of the Earth;
2. learn to solve complex multidisciplinary problems by interacting with investigators from different fields within geosciences while developing the expertise needed to contribute to team solutions and
3. communicate effectively both with scientific peers in diverse fields within geosciences and with the public in order to improve the level of public awareness and understanding needed to intelligently shape public policy toward a sustainable future.
Our mission is to offer transdisciplinary programs of instruction and research that advance understanding of the interaction of biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes, including feedback mechanisms, at all spatial and temporal scales. It centers around the processes that have shaped the Earth through geologic time, continue to shape the environment today, and which provide the basis for understanding the present and future impact of human activity on the planet.
Since the program is research oriented, most Masters students are in the Plan A-program.
1. Integrative Earth System Science (GSCI I & II) - a newly-developed, two-semester core course required of first-year students (see brief description below)
2. Three foundation-building courses selected by the student (with input from faculty) from a suite of existing courses in a variety of departments, with emphasis on interdisciplinarity
3. One course or semester-long project focusing on modeling and/or advanced analytical techniques, either selected from a list of courses offered by UConn faculty or developed through independent study with faculty.
We further expect that students admitted into the program will maintain their interdisciplinary interactions throughout their tenure as graduate students.
GSCI I and GSCI II - Integrative Earth System Science:
The objective of the two-semester core course is to introduce students to the common body of knowledge needed for productive interdisciplinary work and to foster an environment of shared learning and team building.
Integrative Geosciences Foundation-building Courses:
Integrative Geosciences students are expected to take three advanced courses (i.e., graduate level) selected with guidance of the Integrative Geosciences Steering Committee. Co-listing of upper level undergraduate and graduate courses (the latter with additional requirements) will be used to bring graduate students with diverse backgrounds together. For the advanced courses, a choice can be made from the wide variety of existing graduate courses offered in several participating departments. Students should seek interdisciplinary exposure through these courses.
Mathematical models, ranging in complexity from algebraic "back of the envelope" calculations of biogeochemical residence time, to numerical solutions of arrays of partial differential equations describing the temporal evolution of complex interacting systems, are common to all the disciplines in the Integrative Geosciences program. Education of students in the development and use of models, their critical, objective evaluation, and how predictions can be combined with observations is an essential component of the Integrative Geosciences education program. Education in modeling will be initiated in the GSCI II course, and each student will be expected to further study modeling or advanced analytical approaches either through a formal course, independent study, or as part of the dissertation as the student's research program develops. Because the Integrative Geosciences program will attract students with a wide range of backgrounds, and a number of appropriate classes are available for Integrative Geosciences students, students will work with the Integrative Geosciences Admissions Committee and/or the student's Advisory Committee to select the most appropriate modeling/analytical component for the student's interests.
Integrative Geosciences Faculty/Student Seminar - 1 Credit, 1 hour per week
All Integrative Geosciences members will meet weekly for presentations by Integrative Geosciences faculty and senior graduate students on Integrative Geosciences research. Presentations will be more formal than those in individual research meetings and will be a focal point for maintaining a dialogue among the disciplines and various research groups.
While program integrity requires that Integrative Geosciences students complete GSCI I and II in their first year, students have a good deal of flexibility in completing the remaining Core and Modeling courses so that they can take advantage of opportunities to participate in off campus activities , including research cruises, extensive field work, visits to participating/other academic institutions and national labs.
For more information on graduate courses and requirements please visit the University of Connecticut's Graduate Catalog .
To view current and past funding sources for our grad students: click here!