GEOS 312
Mass Extinctions: Patterns and Processes Spring 2018
Division III Writing Skills
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Over the last 542 million years of Earth history, five major mass extinctions have occurred, each dramatically changing the makeup and course of life on our planet. During some of these events, over 75% of all marine animal species went extinct and groups like the dinosaurs vanished from the planet after over 100 million years of ecological dominance. This tutorial course will explore the idea of extinction from the evolution of the concept in human thought to current research on the mechanisms and patterns of extinctions through time. We will examine what makes an extinction “mass”, delve into the causes and consequences of the major mass extinction events of the phanerozoic, and discuss the potential human-induced “6th extinction” event occurring in the present day.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3507
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on four 4-5-page papers, one revision, tutorial presentations, the student's effectiveness as a critic, and 1 problem set
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: GEOS 101 or GEOS 212; or permission of instructor + any 200 level GEOS course
Enrollment Preferences: GEOS majors
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills

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