|GEOLOGY 307--PALEOBIOLOGY I
TENTATIVE COURSE SYLLABUS--FALL, 2008
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THE MAIN PREREQUISITE FOR THIS COURSE IS A COMMITMENT TO LEARNING. Students with no geology background have “aced” this course, no sweat. One of the main things I gauge in a student’s performance is their work ethic.
By the end of the course you should understand that:
1) Geology is fundamentally a historical science which may draw upon other sciences but that is philosophically and methodologically distinct from other sciences.
2) The rates of processes vary with the choice of time scale, i.e., the processes (“laws”) of chemistry and physics may hold through time but the results of these processes are contingent upon historical circumstances.
3) Basic processes of evolution as revealed by the fossil record.
You should also be able to:
3) Recognize major fossil taxa in hand specimens and outcrops.
4) Use fossil taxa to infer ancient environments.
5) Use fossil taxa in biostratigraphic zonation and correlation.
WK DAY TOPIC
I. W 9/3 Geologic Time and the Geologic Time Scale
LAB: FAUNAL SUCCESSION & THE EVOLUTION OF THE GEOLOGIC TIME SCALE
NOTE: FINAL LAB GRADE IS 30% OF FINAL COURSE GRADE;
QUIZZES ARE 20% OF FINAL COURSE GRADE.
F 9/5 Is There Such a Thing as the Uniformity of Nature?
II. M 9/8 Taphonomy: The Formation of Fossil Assemblages
W 9/10 Processes of Fossilization
LAB QUIZ I: GEOLOGIC TIME SCALE/LAB: PROCESSES OF
FOSSILIZATION & MODES OF PRESERVATION
F 9/12 Bioturbation: Geochemistry and Temporal Resolution
III. M 9/15 Principles of Taxonomy/Mollusca I: Amphineura (Chitons), Scaphopoda (Tusk
shells), Bivalvia (Clams)
W 9/17 Mollusca II: Gastropoda (Snails), Cephalopoda (Octopus, squids, ammonoids,
F 9/19 Hard-Bottom Environments: Modern Reefs
FIELD TRIP TO CALVERT CLIFFS, MD--ALL DAY SATURDAY, 9/20
IV. M 9/22 Reef-Building Taxa I: Archaeocyathids, Receptaculitids, and Porifera (Sponges)
W 9/24 Reef-Building Taxa II: Modern and Ancient Corals
LAB: ARCHAEOCYATHA, PORIFERA, AND CNIDARIA
F 9/26 Reefs Through Time
V. M 9/29 Arthropoda I: Taxonomy and the Cambrian Explosion
W 10/1 Arthropoda II: Trilobitomorpha
F 10/3 No class—Lecture Exam I on Monday
Martin is overseas October 4-16
VI. M 10/6 LECTURE EXAM I
W 10/8 LAB MIDTERM
F 10/10 No class
VII. M 10/13 Ichnofossils I
W 10/15 Ichnofossils II
F 10/17 No class
VIII. M 10/20 Lophophorates I: Phyla Brachiopoda & Bryozoa
W 10/22 Lophophorates II
F 10/24 ???
IX. M 10/27 Phylum Echinodermata I (Starfish, Crinoids, and relatives)
W 10/29 Phylum Echinodermata II
F 10/31 ???
X. M 11/3 LECTURE EXAM II
W 11/5 Microfossils I: The Evolution of Plankton
LAB: FOSSIL PLANKTON
F 11/7 LECTURE EXAM II REVIEW
XI. M 11/10 Microfossils II: Plankton Distribution and the CCD
W 11/12 Microfossils III: Benthic Foraminifera
LAB: BENTHIC FORAMINIFERA
F 11/14 Biostratigraphy I: Time, Rock, and Facies
XII. M 11/17 Biostratigraphy II: Principles of Biostratigraphy
W 11/19 Biostratigraphy III: Climate, Ocean Circulation, andBiogeography
LAB: BIOSTRATIGRAPHIC ZONATION AND CORRELATION
F 11/21 Environmental Paleontology: Holocene Sea-Level and Climate Change
XIII. M 11/24 Evolution I: Microevolution:Variation, Heredity, and Population Genetics
W 11/26 Evolution II: Micro-/Macroevolution: Speciation
F 11/28 THANKSGIVING
XIV. M 12/1 Evolution III: Macroevolution and the Origins of Higher Taxa
W 12/3 Evolution of Land Plants and Vertebrates
F 12/5 Tectonics, Land Plants, and Plankton Evolution
XV. M 12/8 Mass Extinction I
W 12/10 Mass Extinction II
1. LECTURE AND LAB ARE NOT SEPARATE:
a) You are subject to examination on integration of lecture and laboratory material throughout the course;
b) Lecture exam questions will include questions on outside reading from the text or separate articles, even if it is not specifically covered in class.
c) IF YOU MUST MISS AN EXAMINATION IN EITHER LECTURE OR LAB, TELL THE INSTRUCTORS AHEAD OF TIME; OTHERWISE, YOU MUST HAVE A WRITTEN EXCUSE. NO EXCEPTIONS.
d) The lab instructor is under no obligation to allow you to make labs up if you do not have a written excuse.
e) Late assignments will be docked points at the instructors' discretion.
(If you find this harsh, please remember that peopel get fired for being late to work.)
f) Examinations or assignments in other courses are not acceptable excuses for turning in late assignments, missing quizzes, or rescheduling examinations.
g) If you must miss a laboratory, notify the teaching assistant ahead of time.
2. STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO DO THEIR OWN WORK on examinations and lecture and laboratory assignments, including outside reading, unless instructed otherwise. Academic dishonesty is defined as using external information on examinations in lecture and laboratory, copying from another student's paper at any time or on any assignment, or presenting another student's work as one's own in any form. The following statement is excerpted from a letter from the Assistant Dean of Students. Please bear it in mind as you matriculate through this and other courses:
"Creating shortcuts while completing academic work may raise questions about your intent to master assignments. I recommend that you never compromise on fully completing assignments, and that you consult with individual faculty members whenever you are uncertain of the appropriateness of your considered actions."
LECTURE EXAM I 10%
LECTURE EXAM II 15%
FINAL EXAM: 15%
FINAL LAB GRADE 30%
Instructor: Ron Martin, 202 Penny Hall. Office Hours: Pretty much any time; the door is kept open when I'm around.
E-mail: Daddy@Strauss.Udel.Edu; Office Phone: 302-831-6755 (message machine); Home Phone: 610-274-0138 (message machine)
*Reading: Textbook: Prothero, Donald R. Bringing Fossils to Life as assigned in class + Outside Readings as assigned