Syllabus

Welcome to the webpage for the History of Life course (ESCI 100) at The College of Wooster! You will find below our syllabus (a living syllabus which is added to every week). 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 students in the course to visit this site at least once a week for the course readings, and at least once before each class session for the Preparation Questions. 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, please 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.

January 14-18 —

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

January 23 & 25 —

Mechanisms of Organic Change: Evolution
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events: Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. There will be no classes. Instead, how about attending a Justice Dialogue session or three? See you there.
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

January 28 – February 1  —

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)

February 4-8 —

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

February 11-15 —

Developing Marine Ecosystems
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: First Lecture Exam (Friday, February 15) (Preparation questions)

February 18-22 —

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

February 25 – March 1 —

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

March 4-8 —

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

Spring Break!

March 25-29 —

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

April 1-5 —

Part II of The Evolution of Reptiles; Early Mammals
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: Second Lecture Exam (Friday, April 5) (Preparation questions)

April 8-12 —

The Greening of the Earth: Evolution of Plants
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events:
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

April 15-19 —

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

April 22 & 24 —

Our Cenozoic Mammalian Cousins
Reading: See linked resources on home page for this week.
Special events: Friday is the I.S. Symposium
Assignments: (Preparation questions)

April 29 – May 3

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

May 6 (Monday) — Final Exam (Noon – 2:00 p.m.)


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