Syllabus

This web syllabus and course blog is designed as a supplement for the Paleoecology course (ESCI 215) at The College of Wooster. For course specifics, please see the course notes page. Each week I will add links, images and other items to illustrate the material and provide additional information (and alternative views). This is a living document, so it will change weekly, sometimes daily, during the semester. I will be only a week ahead in the addition of links and other items to our home page. The schedule of assignments, of course, will remain constant. The order and duration of topics as an estimate, given that this is the first offering of this course. If you have ideas for this site, please send me a message.  Note that you can also add comments to the entries. You may also want to refer to our History of Life and Invertebrate Paleontology course webpage. We are particularly proud of our Wooster Geologists blog.

Welcome to Paleoecology!

Schedule of Lectures

Lectures in Scovel Hall Room 205, Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00 – 9:20 a.m.
Lab Sessions in Scovel Hall Room 219, Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00 – 2:20 p.m.

August 20 —

Introduction to Paleoecology
Reading: See links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Introduction to fossils
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

August 25 & 27 —

Geological time and ecological principles
Reading: Bottjer, chapters 2 and 3. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Ordovician rugose coral project
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

September 1 & 3 —

Ecological principles & taphonomy
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 4. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Ordovician rugose coral project; fossil preservation
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

September 8 & 10 —

Taphonomy & trace fossils
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 5. Also see links on our home page for this week..
Lab: Taphonomy & trace fossils
Special events: Dr. Patricia Kelley visits class on Thursday, September 12; also gives a Geology Club talk at 11:00 a.m. in Scovel 205 (required).
Assignments: Lab report #1 due in Dropbox by noon, Tuesday (Preparation questions)

September 15 & 17 —

Microbial communities
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 6. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Trace fossils & stromatolites
Special events:
Assignments: Lecture Exam #1 on Thursday, September 17 (Preparation questions)

September 22 & 24  —

Phanerozoic marine communities: Ediacaran and Cambrian
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 8. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Introduction to Paleozoic invertebrates
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

September 29 & October 1 —

Phanerozoic marine communities: Ordovician – Permian
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 8. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Ordovician brachiopod project.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

October 13 & 15 —

Phanerozoic marine communities: Mesozoic Marine Revolution, KPg extinction
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 8. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Ordovician brachiopod project; introduction to Mesozoic invertebrates.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

October 20 & 22 —

Reef communities
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 9. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Oligocene Foraminifera project; introduction to Cenozoic invertebrates. Here is the Foram Identification website you need for lab this week.
Special events:
Assignments: The Brachiopod Lab Report is due on October 20 by 5:00 pm in your Dropbox folder; Research Project Title and References due on October 20 by 1:00 pm on paper. (Preparation questions)

October 27 & 29 —

Terrestrial ecosystems: Vascular land plants
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 11. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Foraminifera project (Tuesday); Browns Lake Bog field trip (Thursday)
Special events:
Assignments: Lecture Exam #2 on Thursday, October 29 (Preparation questions)

November 3 & 5 —

Terrestrial ecosystems: Paleozoic plant and animal communities
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 11. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Foram lab report due by 5:00 pm Thursday; Bog core project; Cenozoic marine invertebrates
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

November 10 & 112 —

Terrestrial ecosystems: Mesozoic plant and animal communities
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 12. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: NOVA “Rise of the Mammals” documentary; Dinosaur project
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

November 17 & 19

Conservation Paleoecology: The PETM and GABI
Reading: Bottjer, chapter 14. Also see links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Cretaceous shark teeth; fish fossil taphonomy (Lab Report 4 instructions)
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

November 24 —

PowerPoint Workshop (optional)
Reading:
Lab: No lab today (Lab Report 4 instructions)
Special events: No class or lab. I will be in the classrom 8-9 am for those who want advice on their PowerPoint presentations.
Assignments:

December 1 & 3 —

Project presentations
Reading: See links on our home page for this week.
Lab: Project presentations
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

December xx (Xxxday)Final Exam (x:00-x:00 x.m.)

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