Antarctica: An Earth Scientist’s Guide

Learn about the innovative research scientists are performing in Antarctica’s extreme conditions, shedding light on the history and future of our planet and solar system.

Antarctica is a continent of extremes. A desert covered almost entirely by ice, it is the highest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on the planet. While Antarctica is inhospitable to human life, it offers an unparalleled environment for scientific research. Each year, nearly 4,000 scientists from 28 nations conduct experiments in Antarctica, including this course’s lead instructor, geologist Julia Smith Wellner, Ph.D. Learn how researchers perform experiments in such harsh conditions and gain insights on the geology, tectonics and ecology of Antarctica and the past, present and future of our planet and solar system. 

Image: Rothera point, Adelaide Island, Antarctica (British Antarctic Survey/Pete Bucktrout)


Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
GHUM1435.F18.1 Julia Smith Wellner On-campus 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 26, 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Julia Smith Wellner
FORMAT: On-campus
SCHEDULE: 7-8:30 p.m.
START DATE: Sept. 26, 2018

Instructor: Julia Smith Wellner

Julia Smith Wellner, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of stratigraphy, sedimentology, glacial processes at the University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. A geologist who works primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Antarctica studying sea-level change and glacial history, Dr. Wellner has completed more than a dozen ocean-going expeditions collecting seismic data and sediment cores, including eight seasons in Antarctica. Dr. Wellner earned her doctorate from Rice University, where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship.

Term: Fall 2018

Start Date: Sept. 26, 2018

End Date: Oct. 24, 2018

Schedule: 7-8:30 p.m.

Length: Five Wednesdays

Location: Rice campus

Fee: $185

Early Registration: $175 if registering by Sept. 12

Rice Alumni: $167

CEUs: 0.75

Sept. 26. “Highest, Driest, Windiest, Coldest.” Julia Smith Wellner, Ph.D. See lead instructor biography below.

Oct. 3. “Geology and Tectonics of the Seventh Continent.” Dr. Wellner

Oct. 10. “Antarctic Meteorites: Exploring the Solar System.” Minako Righter, Ph.D., University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Oct. 17. “Polar Wildlife and the People Who Study It.” Dr. Wellner

Oct. 24. “Glaciology and Oceanography: A Changing Planet.” Dr. Wellner

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