Syllabus

Welcome to the webpage for the History of Life course (ESCI 100) at The College of Wooster! You will find here our syllabus (a living syllabus which is added to every week) and the details of the course itself. For each week’s topics I post links, images and other items to provide additional information (and alternative views) as we explore the wonders of life’s history through the semester. This is a required blog for the course, as well as a set of resources we will use in class. To keep our material as up-to-date as possible, I post supplementary information only a week in advance. I thus expect registered students in the course to visit this site at least once a week. Please see the course notes page for details on course administration and requirements. If you have ideas about items you would like to see in our discussion blog, please post a comment. For questions intended just for me, send me e-mail (mwilson@wooster.edu) or talk to me in class. You may also want to visit our Invertebrate Paleontology course page and our Wooster Geologists blog. I hope you enjoy the course!

Schedule of Lectures

Scovel Hall Room 205 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00 – 8:50 a.m.

August 22 & 24 —

Antiquity of the Earth (Geologic Time and the Fossil Record)
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events: Our first class meeting will be on Wednesday.
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

August 27-31 —

Mechanisms of Organic Change: Evolution
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

September 3-7  —

The Very Beginning: Origin of the Universe, the Early Earth & Life
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

September 10-14 —

The First Record: The Oldest Fossils
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

September 17 & 21 —

Developing Marine Ecosystems
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events: No class on Wednesday, September 19. (It’s Yom Kippur.)
Assignments: First Lecture Exam (Friday, September 21) (Preparation questions)

September 24-28 —

From Fins to Feet: Early Vertebrate Evolution
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

October 1-5 —

The Amniotic Egg: Amphibians to Reptiles
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

October 15-19 —

Plate Tectonics
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

October 22-26 —

Jurassic Park, etc.: The Evolution of Reptiles
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

October 29 – November 2 —

Part II of The Evolution of Reptiles
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: Second Lecture Exam (Friday, November 2) (Preparation questions)

November 9 —

Our Furry Kin and The Greening of the Earth: Evolution of Mammals and Plants
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events: NO classes on Monday and Wednesday. The geology staff and many students are at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

November 12-16 —

Catastrophe: The Cretaceous Mass Extinctions
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

November 19 —

Our Cenozoic Mammalian Cousins
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

November 26-30

Our Cenozoic Mammalian Cousins (continued)
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

December 3-7 —

Eyes, brains and thumbs: the wonders of primate evolution
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

December 13 (Thursday) — Final Exam (9:00 a.m. – noon)


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