Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
Professor Roof's teaching and research focus on environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, and land conservation. He and his students travel frequently to Death Valley and the southwest for climate change field research. Professor Roof also coordinates a climate change research program in the High Arctic for undergraduate students called the "Svalbard REU." He consciously integrates the scientific, political, and social aspects of environmental problems in his classes and projects. He teaches and supervises projects in geology, climate change, resource conservation, land use planning, geographic information systems, environmental chemistry, and the evolution of scientific thought.
Humans are recent tenants on an ancient Earth. Understanding Earth's remarkable history is enlightening yet humbling. Earth's history provides a critical lens for evaluating the environmental processes occurring in our modern world. In this course, we will travel through time to study the evolution of Earth from its fiery beginning over 4.5 billion years ago to the present day. We will explore the physical and biological evolution of Earth and gain an appreciation for Earth as a series of complex systems that interact dynamically and holistically. We will also learn how geologists reconstruct Earth history as well as predict the future. This course will be valuable for anyone who is curious about geology, life, and evolution and is concerned about the future of Earth and its tenants. Keywords: geology, earth, environment, evolution, sustainability
Modern civilization was built on fossil fuels, but will global warming and other consequences of fossil fuel use bring the end of civilization? In this class we will explore how humans make and use energy, its benefits, and its consequences. We will examine all forms of energy but focus on renewable electrical energy. On the global scale, we will explore the history, current practices, and future potential of renewable energy from all angles, including technological, political, equitable, and environmental. On a local scale, we will examine renewable energy projects including Hampshire's PV arrays, New England wind turbines, and farmers producing electricity from cow poop. Students will be evaluated on enthusiasm, a series of short research papers, a final project, and group participation. Key Words: photovoltaic, sustainability, electricity, green