Field Project: Fossil Collection, Identification, and Report Writing

Steve Leslie
James Madison University
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The primary purposes of this exercise are to assemble a collection of fossils in the field, to gain experience in fossil identification, to interpret the mode of life and environment in which the organisms lived, and to present this in a written format . This exercise is designed to sharpen the observational skills that are steadily developed during lab and integrate them with lecture concepts.

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Undergraduate elective

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

I do this early in the class. There is really no great preparation needed.

How the activity is situated in the course

The collection is made early in the course and project that is due near end of the term.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Observation and accurate description of taxa, interpretation of mode of live and environment, report wrtting.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Use of primary and web-based literature. Knowledge and comprehension of systematics. Evaluation of depositional environment and mode of life.

Other skills goals for this activity

Writing, computer and organizational skills.

Description of the activity/assignment

Determining whether students have met the goals

Grading of the reports will be based on accuracy of the identifications, readability of the illustrations, report language, and adherence to guidelines.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

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