Ramapo College of New Jersey
Field Lab - Ecosystem and Paleoenvironment analysis part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students collect from two Devonian field sites. The goal is to determine the depositional environment and whether these are life or death assemblages.
Field Lab - Stromatolites part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
The lab requires students to make detailed observations on an outcrop, both about the fossils (stromatolites) and the lithology. It addresses the two 'content goals' of the course: assessing mode of life of an organism and determining the paleoenvironmental context.
Paleontology, Paleoecology and Paleoenvironments part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Courses
This is an interdisciplinary course in which students will use paleontology and sedimentology to interpret ancient environments and the ecosystems they supported. Students will begin with a review of aspects of geology required for paleontological studies: geologic time, plate tectonics, and sedimentary rocks and their depositional environments. There will also be a review of evolutionary theory and ecological and paleoecological principles. The bulk of the course is split into two sections. First, an overview of the major depositional environments, the typical fossil organisms that are found preserved in them, the processes of fossilization, and how the ecosystems of particular environments have changed through time. This will be followed by a survey of the history of life, with case studies in which we will examine several important fossiliferous units in both marine and terrestrial settings, and use paleontological (biological) and sedimentological (geological) data to reconstruct the paleoecology and ancient physical environment. Lab sessions will include fossil identification and analysis and several field visits to sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.