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GS 4 (also EARTHSYS 4) - Co-evolution of Earth and Life

Earth is the only planet in the universe currently known to harbor life. When and how did Earth become inhabited? How have biological activities altered the planet? How have environmental changes affected the evolution of life? Are we living in a sixth mass extinction? In this course, we will develop and use the tools of geology, paleontology, geochemistry, and modeling that allow us to reconstruct Earth's 4.5 billion year history and to reconstruct the interactions between life and its host planet over the past 4 billion years. We will also ask what this long history can tell us about life's likely future on Earth. One half-day field trip. Next offered Fall 2017.

GS 123/223B (EARTHSYS 122) - Paleobiology

An introduction to the fossil record with emphasis on marine invertebrates. Lectures will address major debates in paleontological research and also survey the history of animal life in the oceans. Topics will include the nature of the fossil record, evolutionary radiations, mass extinctions, and the relationship between biological evolution and environmental change. Labs will survey important fossil taxa through time and will include exercises in phylogenetics, paleoecology, biostratigraphy, and basic statistical methods.  Next offered Winter 2019.

GS 205 (ESS 205) - Fundamentals of Geobiology

Lecture and discussion covering key topics in the history of life on Earth, as well as basic principles that apply to life in the universe. Co-evolution of Earth and life; critical intervals of environmental and biological change; geomicrobiology; paleobiology; global biogeochemical cycles; scaling of geobiological processes in space and time. Next offered Fall 2017.

GS 208 (ESS 208) - Topics in Geobiology

Reading and discussion of classic and recent papers in the field of Geobiology. Co-evolution of Earth and life; critical intervals of environmental and biological change; geomicrobiology; paleobiology; global biogeochemical cycles; scaling of geobiological processes in space and time.  May be repeated for credit.  Next offered Winter 2018.

GES 254 - Carbonate Sedimentology

Processes of precipitation and sedimentation of carbonate minerals with strong emphasis on marine systems. Topics will include: the geographic and bathymetric distribution of carbonates in modern and ancient oceans; the genesis and environmental significance of carbonate grains and sedimentary textures; carbonate rocks and sediments as sources of geochemical proxy data; carbonate diagenesis; changes in styles of carbonate deposition through Earth History; carbonate depositional patterns and the global carbon cycle. Laboratory exercises will emphasize the petrographic and geochemical analysis of carbonate rocks from map and outcrop scale, to hand samples, polished slabs, and thin sections. Next offered Winter 2018.

GES 325 (also BIO 325) - The Evolution of Body Size (co-taught with Liz Hadly)

A discussion seminar for upper division undergraduates and graduate students. An investigation of evolutionary patterns and processes viewed through observations of organism size. Focus will be on integration of theoretical principles, observations of living organisms, and data from the fossil record. What are the physiological and ecological correlates of body size? Is there an optimum size? Do organisms tend to evolve to larger size? Does productivity control the size distribution of consumers? Does size affect the likelihood of extinction or speciation? Term paper required.  Offered occasionally.