GEOS 311 Fall 2014 Geobiology

Geobiology-- the study of interactions between earth and life over geologic timescales--is a new and interdisciplinary field that has grown out of exciting advances in earth and life sciences. During this course we will explore the way in which life has shaped our planet over geological timescales. Topics include the origin of life, the rise of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere, the evolution of biomineralization, the environmental context for animal evolution, the role of microbial communities in the earth system, the emergence of land plants, and the potential for planet-life interactions elsewhere in our solar system, among others. Geobiology incorporates tools and ideas from geochemistry, paleontology, microbiology, and sedimentology. Labs will be varied and involve everything from growing our own microbial ecosystems and cyanobacterial mat communities to querying online databases and analyzing geological, geochemical, genetic, and paleontological data. Our field trip will take us to Harvard and MIT where we will tour labs doing cutting-edge geobiology research. The final project will involve literature-based research on a sub-topic of interest to the student within the field of Geobiology. The student will be responsible for an oral presentation at the end of the semester as well as mock grant proposal to study the area further.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: labs, mid-term and final exam, and a final project involving an oral presentation and a mock grant proposal
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: GEOS 212 / BIOL 211; or GEOS 101 + any 200-level GEOS course; or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: junior and senior GEOS majors
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division III
Other Attributes: GEOS Earth Surface Processes + Life Courses
Enrollment Limit: 12
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 1259
GEOS 311 - 01 (F) SEM Geobiology Division 3: Science and Mathematics Phoebe A. Cohen
TR 09:55 AM-11:10 AM Clark Hall 204 1259
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