May 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOL 371 - Paleobiology

Using fossils in the geologic record to explore evolution and extinction, ancient ecology and environments, and the geographical distribution of plants and animals. BIOL 371 and GEOL 371 are cross-listed courses; students may not receive credit for both. Course will be offered on on odd numbered years (Winter).

Prerequisite: BIOL 181 or GEOL 101 or GEOL 103 or GEOL 107 or GEOL 108 or SCED 102.

Credits: (4)

Learner Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify, measure and describe common fossils and their morphology from examples.
  • Identify and differentiate methods of preservation of organisms in the rock record and distinguish biases of preservation.
  • Demonstrate how evolutionary processes, adaptation, and extinction relate to the history of life, diversity, and changing environments on Earth over geologic time.
  • Identify fossil content and rock type to interpret depositional environments and ecosystems.
  • Interpret and construct paleogeographic maps and use them to hypothesize and assess the distribution of fossil and modern organisms.
  • Relate paleobiological data to (1) major events and trends in the evolutionary history of plants and animals and (2) major global events and trends (tectonic, paleogeographic, paleoclimate).
  • Evaluate the adequacy of the fossil record for tackling a particular question, and assess the quality of hypotheses based on (limited) fossil data.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between processes and the timescales over which they operate.
  • Accurately apply and differentiate concepts of correlation and causality when interpreting data.
  • Use mathematical concepts and tools to analyze, evaluate, and present numerical data.
  • Practice effective oral, written, and graphic communication techniques.

Learner Outcomes Approval Date:

Anticipated Course Offering Terms and Locations:

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