Dynamcis of the Earth System
Prof. Bill Menke, Instructor

Required Text: Harte, John, Consider a Spherical Cow, A Course in Environmental Problem Solving, Univeristy Science Books, 1988, ISBN 0-935702-58-X. (available at Labrynth Books).

Syllabus: Follows text, with some additions by the instructor


  1. Due 1/25: Read "Warm-up Exercises" chapter of the textbook (pages 1-20) and be prepared to discuss them in class.
  2. Due 2/1: Exercises following Warm Up Exercises 1 (Cobblers) and 7 (Sulfur) in text, done in style of class handouts.
  3. Due 2/7: Read first half of "Steady-state box model and residence times" chapter of the textbook (p.23-44); Exercises following "3: Carbon in the biosphere" and "4: Natural SO2".
  4. Due 2/15: Exercises following "7: The flow of atmospheric pollutants between hemispheres" and "9: Where would all the water go?"
  5. Due 2/22: Handout with A) Flux problem; B) Exponential function exercises.
  6. Due 3/01: Handout with Stella model of population and follsil fuel.
  7. Due 3/08: Handout with Stella model of cooling of earth.
  8. Due 3/15: Handout with Stella model of Trade Winds (stella model).

Some Definitions and Concepts

  1. Substance: Something we're interested in.
  2. Reservoir: Place that holds or stores a substance
  3. Transport: moving a substance between reservoirs (abbreviated T)
  4. Flux: rate of trasporting a substance (abbreviated F)
  5. Flux per unit area: rate of trasporting a substance across a surface (abbreviated f)
  6. Stock per unit volume: amount of a stock in a unit volume (abbreviated s)
  7. Time-dependent reservoir models: dS/St = Fin - Fout = Fnet
  8. Solution of time-dependent problems
  9. What STELLA can and cannot do