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Earth and Life Through Time

Stuart Sutherland and Francis Jones
Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia
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Summary


Students' abilities to use both geological and biological reasoning are developed, to learn about how the rock and fossil records together characterize the history of interaction between biological and geological processes. 150 students attend three 50-min. lectures per week that use clickers and worksheets to enable active learning, peer instruction, and discussions.

Course URL: http://www.eos.ubc.ca/courses/eosc326/eosc326.htm
Course Size:
71-150

Course Format:
Two thirds lecture, one third in-class activities, plus two lab exercises.

Institution Type:
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs

Course Context:

This is an elective course for science undergraduates who are NOT majoring in a geoscience degree. We assume no geology in their backgrounds, but 3rd or 4th year standing in a science degree is required. The course is not required for any degree program - it is an "off-discipline science elective" for science students. There are three 50 minute lectures per week for 13 weeks, and some of these time slots are used for hands-on "lab" activities.

Course Content:

The broad objectives stated above are met using the following topic outline:
MODULE 1: GEOLOGICAL AND PALEONTOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES
MODULE 2: EARTH ORIGINS AND EARLY LIFE
MODULE 3: MASS EXTINCTIONS
MODULE 4: THE VERTEBRATES

Course Goals:

Overarching learning goals for the course are:
  1. Express how the concept of geological time is an important factor in our understanding of the evolution of the Earth System.
  2. Apply basic geological principles and geoscience knowledge in the interpretation of Earth's geological and biological history.
  3. Describe how the biosphere has adapted to exploit various environments in the Earth's oceans over time
Each module does have specific, action oriented learning goals which students are expected to use as study guides, and which inform all class work and assessments. The complete list has been attached as a file to this course description.

Course Features:

Key features of EOSC326 and UBC, as of January 2012 are:

Course Philosophy:

Teaching goals are as follows.

Assessment:

Syllabus:

Teaching Materials:

Earth and Life Through Time: complete learning goals (Acrobat (PDF) 133kB Feb7 12)

References and Notes:

The Earth Through Time, Levin, Wiley.
Instructor's lecture material is made available, with some restrictions owing to evolving copyright laws in Canada. A few short articles from science literature or websites are included.


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