2020-2021 Catalog 
    Oct 20, 2021  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GEOL 320 - Paleontology

Paleontology studies life’s history and elucidates our understanding of the role of life through time. It offers a unique historical perspective of humankind in nature, provides tools for the discovery and development of resources on which industry and agriculture depend, presents a framework for understanding the sensitivity of the global system to past perturbations, and helps us identify possible consequences of recent ecosystem change. Although Paleontology (GEOL 320) covers the systematics and taxonomy of the major fossil producing invertebrate phyla, the course focuses on the paleobiology of fossils. Such topics as preservation (taphonomy), growth (ontogeny, heterochrony, and functional morphology), evolution (phylogeny, evolutionary theory, evolutionary patterns, and extinction), and fossil distribution (paleoecology and paleobiogeography) are the primary concepts addressed. The class also contains seminars in which students read and discuss the primary literature. The laboratory portion of the course is dedicated to examining fossils and addressing paleontologic questions. Several field trips allowing students to have the opportunity to collect and work on the excellent fossilized material preserved in the sediments of central and southern Ohio are included. Prerequisite: GEOL 112  or advanced standing in botany or zoology. Fall (Alternate years) (Group II)