Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
"It's Alive!" Fossil Activity part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This activity is the first lab exercise students do. Each student selects a fossil, describes and sketches it, and then must write out a "proof" that this object represents a once-living animal, rather than a mere rock or mineral formation. In addition to getting students comfortable handling fossils and encouraging them to observe closely, the activity leads students towards an understanding of uniformitarianism.
Niche Partitioning in Silurian Tabulate Corals part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
In this group lab activity, students read a journal article, and then duplicate the article's measurements on a Silurian tabulate coral head. Students must evaluate their data in light of the journal article's data and critically evaluate the author's interpretations. In addition to introducing the concepts of morphospace and niche partitioning, this activity shows students that scholarly papers often leave room for further research.
Evolution in Your "Pet" Group part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This writing exercise asks students to use library resources to locate a peer-reviewed journal article that describes research on the evolution of their individual "pet" taxonomic group. After reading the article, students must write a 2-3 page summary and critique of it, applying concepts they have learned in the course to evaluate the scientific merits of the paper. In addition to learning about evidence for evolution and specific evolutionary events, this activity shows students how to find and evaluate research articles, skills that can be applied to their independent research projects due later in the semester.
Paleontology part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Courses
Covers general principles of paleontology; selected key events in the history of life on Earth; major groups of fossil invertebrate animals. A weekly two-hour lab, two Saturday field trips, and an independent research project are required components of the course.