Earth History and Life

Description

This module focuses on how planet Earth has changed physically and biologically through geological time and introduces the principles of stratigraphy and palaeontology.

The concepts of deep-time and the geological timescale are developed and provide a fundamental framework for studies in Geological and Earth Sciences. Through lectures, case studies are presented from the geological timescale that address key events in Earth history including the plate tectonic and palaeogeographic history of the planet, the development of global biogeochemical cycles, profound episodes of evolutionary diversification and extinction, as well as global patterns of climate and environment change through time. Integrating lecture and practical content the module will introduce invertebrate macrofossils and trace fossils, and their modes of preservation, and palaeontological topics dealt with include the classification, morphology and modes of life and geological importance of trilobites, brachiopods, molluscs, graptolites, echinoderms and corals. Trace fossils are dealt with in terms of their classification and evidence for organism:sediment interactions. 

Delivery

  • 25 hours lectures
  • 20 hours practical classes (10 x 2 hour sessions)
  • 1 hour introduction to peerwise in a computer cluster
  • 1 hour revision seminar

Assessment

  • 2 hour written exam (1 seen question, 5 short answer questions) (40%)
  • 1 hour online multiple choice exam (30%) covering all aspects of the course
  • 6 Practical assessments (30%)