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Geology 137 Invertebrate Paleontology

Author Profile
J Bret Bennington
,
geojbb@hofstra.edu

Hofstra University
a
Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate
.

Summary

Course is an introductory survey of Paleontology for undergraduate geology majors. Although the title is Invertebrate Paleontology, I tend to expand the coverage of the course to include some material on vertebrates, plants, and microfossils.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Paleontology
Resource Type: Course Information
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This course is 2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab per week. It is not a requirement for geology majors, rather it is an elective. It does not count as a general education distribution course, so very few students outside of geology have a compelling reason to enroll in it. There are not formal prerequisites, although physical and historical geology are recommended.

Course Goals:

1. Students will demonstrate the ability to accurately report on and draw conclusions from close readings of works of scientific journalism and research literature.

2. Students will demonstrate the ability to identify common types of invertebrate macrofossils and microfossils.

3. Students will apply their knowledge of invertebrate fossils to make estimates of the age of fossil assemblages using the principles of relative dating and biostratigraphy.

4. Students will use fossil data to make biostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic correlations.

5. Students will collect and quantitatively analyze data from fossils or subfossils to make environmental inferences.

6. Students will produce and present to the class a poster explaining a published research paper of their choosing.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Goals are addressed and assessed through a series of graded writing assignments (based on assigned readings), graded lab exercises, and a final poster and oral presentation to the class.

Skills Goals

1. Use of spreadsheets for data analysis.
2. Technical writing
3. Oral communication
4. Critical reading


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Goals are addressed and assessed through a series of graded writing assignments (based on assigned readings), graded lab exercises, and a final poster and oral presentation to the class.

Attitudinal Goals

Students taking the course are already predisposed to high levels of motivation and interest.

Assessment

Student learning is assessed through a series of graded writing assignments (based on assigned readings), graded lab exercises, and a final poster and oral presentation to the class. Exams are also used, but exam results constitute only 40% of the final grade.

Syllabus:

Geology 137 Invertebrate Paleontology Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 106kB Jun4 09)

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