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Graduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Geosciences (GEOSC)

GEOSC 204 Geobiology (4) An introduction to how biological processes and materials are used to solve geological problems.

GEOSC 204 GEOSC 204 Geobiology (4)

What caused the mass extinction 250 million years ago that nearly eliminated life in the oceans? How is the fossil record used to understand geological and evolutionary processes? What role do microbes play in cycling chemical elements today and over geologic time? Can we predict the response of modern ecosystems to future climate change? These questions form the basis for this course in geobiology, which considers how biological processes and materials are used to solve geological problems. This course has four main objectives: (1) to provide a broad overview of the role biological processes and materials play in understanding earth today and in the geological past; (2) to learn about the fossil record and how to extract information from it; (3) to learn field and computational skills used by geobiologists; (4) to develop critical-thinking and expository writing skills. Students will be evaluated based on their performance on essay exams (60%), laboratory exercises (20%), writing assignments (10%), and group discussions (10%). This course is designed to complement GEOSC 202 Physical Processes and GEOSC 203 Chemical Processes. GEOSC 204 will become part of our core curriculum in geosciences. Students taking the B. A. degree in geosciences will be required to take one of the following three courses: GEOSC 202 Physical Processes, GEOSC 203 Chemical Processes, GEOSC 204 Geobiology. In the future, we may require this course as part of the core curriculum for the B. S. degree. We will offer the course every year in the spring semester.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2001
Prerequisite: BIOL 110;GEOSC 001 orGEOSC 020

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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