Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci. 16G - Field Paleontology and Ancient Environments: Course Detail

(1 unit - approx. 30 hrs. min.)

Catalog Description: Investigations into the ecology of environments in the geologic past through field work at fossil sites. Comparisons/contrasts will be made between ancient (fossil) communities and the current (living) communities of selected study sites. Differences and similarities between the plants and animals will be used as evidence to reconstruct ancient, ecological communities.

(typical class outline might include:)

Specific Topics:

Fossilization processes and references; Geological past - record, time spans, fossil correlations; Fossil investigations - previous work, methods, importance; Reconstruction techniques of ancient communities; The biological processes of long-term change in life zones.

General Concepts and Topics to be emphasized:

Classification & Taxonomy ; Kingdom Animalia - Review of specific phyla; Nature of Science and Scientific Thought; Animal Functional Anatomy; Biotic environmental factors; Diet - Carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, etc.; Food chains and webs (trophic levels); Climate patterns, regional; Geological time frames; Geomorphology - land forms; Weathering, (chemical, biomechanical); Rain shadow effect (causes of deserts); Community as a Functional Unit; Distribution of Organisms - large and small scales; Variation with a population; Theory of Evolution; Extinction and species Diversity; Origination and extinction - balance; Speciation - processes

•Photos from this trip [09/27/02]

•Back to listing of courses

(For official course listings, please consult the Sierra College online course catalog.)

W3C Logo: Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional W3C Logo: Valid CSS