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Course Details

Fall 2013-2014
GEO 365 (STN)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Evolution and Catastrophes

Gerta Keller


This course introduces students to the evolution of life and mass extinction's based on a broad survey of major events in Earth history as revealed by the fossil record. Concepts and techniques of paleontology are applied to all aspects, including colonization of the oceans, invasion of land, mass extinction's and evolutionary radiations. The roles of major catastrophes in the history of life are evaluated, including meteorite impacts, volcanism, climate change, and oceanic anoxia.

Sample reading list:
Hallam and Wignall, Oxford Univ. Press, Mass Extinctions and Their Aftermath
Vince Courtillot, Cambridge Univ. Press, Evolution and Catastrophes
McKinney, Prentice Hall, Evolution of Life, Processes, Patterns and Prospects

Reading/Writing assignments:
Problem sets, oral presentation

Mid Term Exam - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 20%
Other Exam - 15%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Term Paper(s) - 25%

Other Requirements:
International Travel Required
Not Open to Freshmen.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
One 200-level GEO course or Geosciences Freshman Seminar..

Other information:
Mandatory field trip provides hands-on learning experience during midterm break. This fall 2013 fieldtrip will be to Southern Morocco, Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20185 L01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Guyot Hall   154   Enrolled:14 Limit:15