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Invertebrate Paleobiology

Course Details

Course Number
GEOS3524
Section Number
GEOS3524
Semester
Fall 2014
Location
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
125
Days & Times

Lecture: MWF, 9am – 9:50pm, BO 125

 

Professor
Dr. Jesse Carlucci (view Profile)
Course Objectives

Labs:  Deal with the “Fundamentals of Invertebrate Paleontology” in that they cover the classification, morphology and ecology of the major invertebrate fossil groups: sponges; corals; molluscs; arthropods; brachiopods; echinoderms, bryozoans and graptolites. Modes of fossil preservation, paleoecology, sampling, and methods of biological classification will also be covered.

 

Lectures: Deal with the theoretical framework of paleontology. They will examine the various principles used to interpret fossils as living things, rather than just pieces of rock. They will also focus on the broader ecological and evolutionary significance of fossils.

 

Course Expectations

Quizzes 15%

Lecture Mid-term 15%

Lecture Final 20%

Poster Project 15%

Labs 35%

Grading Standards

A = 100-90% | B = 89-80% | C = 79-70% | D = 69-60% | F = 59-0%

Submission Format Policy

Poster Project Format (DUE Dec 5)

The poster should have an abstract, introduction and discussion sections. All sources of information must be cited in the body of the text and listed in a reference list somewhere on the poster. Citation consists of the author's name plus the publication date. e.g. Jones (2001) or (Jones, 2001). You should use several references in writing the essay (at least half-a-dozen) and most of these must be from scientific journals.

 

Web sites are not usually appropriate sources for college level projects. Do not use web sites as sources of information (only for images) for your poster. However, you are encouraged to use the Midwestern Library on-line resources to research your poster. A poster that makes extensive use of web sites as primary sources is not acceptable. Limited use of .edu or .gov websites is acceptable.

 

The following journals are good sources and many of them can be accessed on-line:

 

Semipopular journals: Scientific American; American Scientist.

 

Research journals: Paleobiology; Journal of Paleontology, Lethaia; Science; Nature; Palaeoecology, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology; Historical Biology; Palaios.

 

Illustrations should be included where appropriate and may be photocopied or scanned directly from a scientific journal or text book. However, the source of the information should be indicated in the figure caption (e.g. from Jones, 2001). You may also use images from the web, but include the site information.

 

Format. The poster can be in any format that you wish, but it will need to be constructed in Power Point (available in Bolin) or with illustration software (Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw etc.). Grading is based on: content (10 pts), style and organization (8 pts) and references/citation (7 pts).

 

Poster topics. The poster can be on any topic under the umbrella of paleobiology. In order to assist you in choosing a subject, a list of potential topics is included below. However, you are free to come up with your own topic if none of these are appealing. It is a good idea to clear your poster topic with me prior to writing.

 

1. Mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

2. Mass extinctions at the end of the Ordovician Period.

3. Mass extinctions at the end of the Devonian Period.

4. Mass extinctions at the end of the Permian Period.

5. Ecology and physiology of a particular animal group.

6. Fossil record of life in the Precambrian.

7. Composition and significance of the Ediacaran fauna.

8. Geological history of reef-building organisms.

9. Composition and significance of the Cambrian Burgess Shale and/or Chengjiang faunas.

10. Changes in the composition of marine communities during the Phanerozoic Era.

11. Trace fossils as environmental indicators.

12. The “Cambrian Explosion” of life in the oceans.

13. Taphonomy of invertebrate fossil assemblages.

14. Extinction and environmental change in the modern world.

15. Discussion of some aspect of paleontology methodology.

16. Predation in the fossil record.

17.) Historical biogeography of one fossil group.

18.) Diversity in the fossil record.


Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

 For lab assignments and the essay, the late penalty is 5% per working day (25% per week). No assignments or essays will be accepted after Wednesday of finals week.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

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As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

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We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

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Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

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Attendance Requirements

Attendance is required for both lecture and lab. Absences can only be excused by contacting me in advance, prior to lecture or laboratory assignments. Absences presented after the class is over will not be accommodated except in rare circumstances. I reserve the right to drop any student from the class who has more than 3 unexcused absences. Attendance will be used to make decisions on the final grade score of students who are on the border between two letter grades.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

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