Earth and Planetary Science 24, Section 1

"An Ocean of Air": Exploring how we know what we know about the atmosphere (1 unit, P/NP)

Professor Kristie Boering
Thursday 11:00-12:00, 401 McCone Hall, Class number: 23976

In this seminar course, we will use the beautifully written and well-researched book by Gabrielle Walker titled “An Ocean of Air” as a vehicle for discussing how we have come to know what we know about the atmosphere. With lively and informative chapters–from how early scientists solved the mystery of what air is made of to how more recent scientific detective work solved the mystery of what causes the Antarctic Ozone Hole—this book is an interesting and lively launch point for further discussions on how human activities affect the atmosphere, from smog to climate change, and, from a scientist’s perspective, what we have done and can do in the future to lessen these impacts.
Attendance is required.

Instructor Bio

Professor Boering studies atmospheric chemistry and climate through measurements on high altitude aircraft and scientific balloons, complemented by laboratory experiments and computer modeling, and was excited to learn as an undergraduate at UC San Diego that interesting chemistry problems can be studied outside, free of white lab coats and fluorescent lighting. After graduating from UCSD in 1985 with a BA in Chemistry with a Specialization in Earth Science, she received her PhD in physical chemistry from Stanford (1992) and did research at Harvard before joining the UC Berkeley faculty in 1998.

Faculty web site:

This seminar is part of the following programs

Food for Thought