Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session

Seminar Topic: The Early Earth

In this year's seminar, we will embark on a scientific journey through some of the most controversial topics about the origin and formation of our home planet. This journey will take us to other planetary bodies-even to other solar systems-as we immerse ourselves in observations and theories from the microscopic to the universe scale.

The seminar will be organized around three broad questions: How was the Earth formed? What did early Earth look like? When did living organisms first appear on Earth?

Experts in meteorites, geology of other planets, thermodynamics and tracers of living organisms, and theories of formation and evolution of planets, including early atmosphere and oceans, will come to WHOI and help us address these questions.


Joint Program students enrolled in the Geodynamics seminar are required to complete a project for the class. This includes research, an oral presentation during the last two or three seminar meetings, and a written paper due at the end of the semester. For first and second year students, the project must be on a topic related to the theme of the seminar and must be different from their main research interest. For more advanced students, the topic may be closely related to their dissertation research.