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Earth History and the Fossil Record


James R. Ebert, State University of New York (SUNY) College at Oneonta.
This page is a supplement to the original course description found here

Short description of the course:

This is an historical geology course in which the history of the Earth is explored in the lecture portion of the class and the techniques of how we know this history are explored in laboratory and field investigations.This is an historical geology course in which the history of the Earth is explored in the lecture portion of the class and the techniques of how we know this history are explored in laboratory and field investigations.

Design Philosophy: How is teaching the methods of geoscience integrated into the course?

The methods of geoscience are the focus on the laboratory and field activities included in this course.

Key Activities: How do these activities address teaching the methods of geoscience?

Key activities include labs that build skills in observation at various scales (hand specimen, outcrop, regional) and practice with interpretation, including processes by which rocks form, processes that produce sedimentary structures, depositional environments and paleoecology. Larger scale interpretations include building paleogeographic maps and interpeting the sequence of events represented in a complex outcrop.

Assessment: How are the methods of geoscience assessed?

Student understanding is assessed largely through laboratory and field trip reports. In general, two thirds of the grade a student earns is based upon observation and one third is based on interpretation and how well observations support the interpretation.



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