Field Lab - Stromatolites
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: May 28, 2009
- Undergraduate (300-level) required course in paleontology for environmental science majors and elective for biology majors. The course is oriented towards 'environmental and ecosystem change'.
- Students will have already had 200-level ecology (which has 100-level biology as a prereq). 100-level geology is recommended but not required (the environmental science majors are likely to have taken geology already; biology majors will not).
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Students will apply the principle of superposition, and identify lithologies, sedimentary structures and fossils, in order to reconstruct the physical environments represented in this succession.
- Students will analyze the succession to determine how environments were changing through time
- Students will apply the principle of initial horizontality, and identify the Quaternary (glacial) processes that acted upon these strata, in order to describe the post-depositional history of the rocks represented in this outcrop.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
- Students will work collaboratively throughout the field trip.
- Students who have not had an introductory geology class may observe features but be unable to identify or interpret them; students who have had introductory geology will act as teachers to the other students in the class.
- Students will organize their field observations and site interpretations into a formal written report
- Students will gain practice making detailed field observations, and using prior knowledge and first principles to interpret their observations.
Description of the activity/assignment
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment:Stromatolite / Depositional Environment field lab ( 275kB Aug19 09)
- Instructors Notes:
- Solution Set:
- Published description of outcrop (Acrobat (PDF) 2.2MB May28 09)