Ge 11 b

Introduction to Earth and Planetary Sciences: Earth and the Biosphere

9 units (3-3-3)  |  second term
Prerequisites: Ch 1 a.
Systematic introduction to the origin and evolution of life and its impact on the oceans, atmosphere, and climate of Earth. Topics covered include ancient Earth surface environments and the rise of atmospheric oxygen. Microbial and molecular evolution, photosynthesis, genes as fossils. Banded iron stones, microbial mats, stromatolites, and global glaciation. Biological fractionation of stable isotopes. Numerical calibration of the geological timescale, the Cambrian explosion, mass extinctions, and human evolution. The course usually includes one major field trip and laboratory studies of rocks, fossils, and geological processes. Although Ge 11 abcd is designed as a sequence, any one term may be taken as a standalone course. Biologists are particularly welcome.
Instructors: Fischer, Kirschvink

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