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Evolution of the Earth

GLG 112

Evolution of the Earth

GLG 112

Course Description

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: READING LEVEL 2 and WRITING LEVEL 2 and MATH LEVEL 2; and GLG 111 or GEO 111.

Studies the history of the Earth as recorded in the rock record. Investigates the development and evolution of continents, oceans, and life over geologic time, using North America as a principal example. Laboratory includes study of sediments and sedimentary rocks, invertebrate fossils, and geologic data interpretation. Field trips optional. (45-30)

Outcomes and Objectives

Demonstrate understanding of the foundations of historical geology.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the scientific method.
  • Distinguish between science and non-science.
  • Explain what is usually included in the science of geology.
  • Contrast physical and historical geology.
  • Explain the relevance of geology in understanding Earth’s past and future.
  • Explain the principle of uniformitarianism.
  • Demonstrate understanding of methods used to interpret the relative order of geologic events.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the historical development of geologic reasoning.
  • Solve relative ordering problems.
  • Demonstrate understanding of radiometric dating methods.
  • Solve radiometric dating problems.
  • Interpret the order of events in a geological cross-section and constrain their ages using both relative and absolute dating methods.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the geologic time scale.
  • Demonstrate understanding of common geologic representations using maps and cross-section diagrams.

Demonstrate understanding of Earth materials.

Objectives:

  • Contrast minerals with rocks, elements, and other non-minerals.
  • Identify minerals and observe/measure their physical properties from hand samples, descriptions, and/or specimen photographs.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the formation of major rock types.
  • Diagram major rocks and rock-forming processes in the rock cycle.
  • Explain characteristics used to categorize and identify rocks.
  • Demonstrate understanding of compositional and textural characteristics of major types of rocks.
  • Identify rocks and interpret major properties from hand samples, descriptions, and/or specimen photographs.
  • Interpret the conditions of rock formation from hand samples, descriptions, and/or specimen photographs.

Demonstrate understanding of sedimentary archives.

Objectives:

  • Demonstrate understanding of sedimentary rock formation.
  • Analyze sediment and sedimentary rock texture.
  • Interpret environmental and transport conditions from sand texture.
  • Demonstrate understanding of major types of sedimentary structures.
  • Demonstrate understanding of major sedimentary environments.
  • Interpret major sedimentary environment from sediment characteristics and sedimentary structures.
  • Explain where sequences of sedimentary rocks are preserved.
  • Demonstrate understanding of stratigraphic concepts.
  • Describe the effects of sea level conditions on sediment deposition.
  • Demonstrate understanding of Walther’s Law.
  • Solve lithologic correlation problems.
  • Interpret relative sea level conditions from geologic sections of sediments or sedimentary rocks.

Demonstrate understanding of the fossil record.

Objectives:

  • Demonstrate understanding of modes of fossil preservation.
  • Contrast body and trace fossils.
  • Explain conditions that promote the preservation of body fossils.
  • Demonstrate understanding of biological evolution.
  • Distinguish analogous and homologous characteristics.
  • Demonstrate understanding of cladistic analysis.
  • Solve evolutionary questions/problems using cladograms.
  • Construct cladograms from morphological character data.
  • Describe characteristics that make a fossil organism useful for biostratigraphy and correlation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of paleoecologic concepts.
  • Interpret environmental conditions from fossil evidence.
  • Interpret ecological conditions from fossil evidence.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the biological origin of siliceous and calcareous sediments.
  • Demonstrate understanding of characteristics of index fossils.
  • Use index fossils to correlate geologic sections.

Demonstrate understanding of Earth history.

Objectives:

  • Demonstrate understanding of major divisions of the geologic time scale.
  • Demonstrate understanding of Earth’s climate over geologic time.
  • Demonstrate understanding of past continent and ocean configurations.
  • Explain how ocean conditions determine marine sediment deposition.
  • Demonstrate understanding of major mountain-building events over geologic time.
  • Describe characteristic fossils for the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic Eras.
  • Demonstrate understanding of sedimentary archives over geologic time.
  • Demonstrate understanding of major evolutionary radiations and innovations exhibited by living things over geologic time.
  • Demonstrate understanding of mass extinction events.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the evolution of North America over geologic time.
  • Demonstrate understanding of Michigan geology.
  • Demonstrate understanding of mineral and energy resource development over geologic time.
  • Demonstrate understanding of Earth’s present climate in the context of Earth’s past climates.
  • Demonstrate understanding of evidence for climate changes.
  • Demonstrate understanding of evidence for reconstructing continent and ocean configurations.
  • Demonstrate understanding of evidence for reconstructing mountain-building events.