Minor In Paleobiology

This minor will provide students with a broad understanding of the application of the methods of biology and geology to the study of the history of life, and develop students's appreciation of how issues in the study of paleobiology connect with larger trends in those sciences. It is intended for all students with an interest in the study of the history of life, be it professional or avocational. In addition to Biology, Entomology, and Geology majors, we expect it to dovetail with the professional goals of Environmental Science and Policy, Animal Sciences, and Secondary Education majors.

Administered jointly with the Department of Entomology.

Minor Requirements (21-24 credits):

Required:

  • BSCI160/161 - Principles of Ecology and Evolution/ Principles of Ecology and Evolution lab (4)
  • One of the following:
    • GEOL 100/110 Physical Geology/Physical Geology Lab (4)
    • GEOL 120/110 Environmental Geology/Physical Geology Lab (4)
  • One of the following:
    • GEOL102 - Historical Geology (GEOL100 or GEOL120) (4)
    • GEOL104 - Dinosaurs: A Natural History (3)
    • GEOL204 - Dinosaurs, Early Humans, Ancestors, and Evolution; The Fossil Record of Vanished Worlds of the Prehistoric Past (3)
    • BSCI207 - Organismal Biology (3) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161 and BSCI170/171; CoReq: CHEM131/132)
    • BSCI222 - Principles of Genetics (4) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161, BSCI170/171, and CHEM131/132)
  • One of the following:
    • BSCI333 or GEOL331 (cross-listed) - Principles of Paleontology (4)
    • BSCI392/393 - Biology of Extinct Organisms (4)

    Plus two electives from the following. One choice must be from Geology and one from Biology:

    • BSCI333 or GEOL331 (cross-listed) - Principles of Paleontology ((4) if not taken to satisfy above requirement)
    • BSCI334 - Mammalogy (3)
    • BSCI361 - Principles of Ecology (3)
    • BSCI363 - The Biology of Conservation and Extinction (3)
    • BSCI392/393 - Biology of Extinct Organisms (4 if not taken to satisfy above requirement)
    • BSCI370 - Principles of Evolution (3)
    • BSCI399/399L - Biology Departmental Research (1-3) (Paleobiology minor requires 3 cumulative credits to count as elective. Research topic must be approved by GEOL or ENTM advisor.)
    • GEOL342 - Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (4)
    • GEOL431 - Vertebrate Paleobiology (4)
    • GEOL436 - Biogeochemistry (3)
    • GEOL437 - Global Climate Change, Past and Present (3)
    • GEOL 499 Special Problems in Geology (3)
    • Or another appropriate biology or geology course approved in advance by the Entomology or Geology advisor (3-4)

No course with an earned grade below "C-" may count toward a minor. A student may use a maximum of six credits (two courses) to satisfy the requirements of both a major and minor. No more than two of the requirements may be taken at an institution other than the University of Maryland, College Park. At least six upper division credits applied to the minor must be taken at this university.

Procedure for Earning the Paleobiology Minor:

  • Make an appointment with either the Entomology or Geology Minor Advisor in order to fill out the required paperwork for the minor BEFORE YOUR FINAL 30 CREDITS ARE ATTEMPTED (i.e. before your senior year).
  • Complete all course work with a grade of C or better.
  • Any revisions to your program must be approved by the Entomology or Geology Minor Advisor.
  • Receive recognition on your transcript after graduation.

Entomology and Geology Minor Advisors

Bretton Kent (Entomology)

John Merck (Geology)

Prerequisites for Courses

A student could complete the minor without having to take any prerequisite course not on the list of required courses. Depending on the choice of optional courses, a student may have to take additional courses as prerequisites. The courses with prerequisites are listed below:

  • BSCI207 - Organismal Biology (3) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161 and BSCI170/171; CoReq: CHEM131/132)
  • BSCI222 - Principles of Genetics (4) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161, BSCI170/171, and CHEM131/132)
  • GEOL102 - Historical Geology (GEOL100 or GEOL120) (4)
  • BSCI333 or GEOL331 (cross-listed) - Principles of Paleontology (4) (Prereq: GEOL102)
  • BSCI392/393 - Biology of Extinct Organisms (4) (Prereq: BSCI160/161)
Of these, only BSCI207 and BSCI222 have supporting prerequisites not already required for the minor, and for each, less technical alternatives are offered. The goal of including them as alternatives is to insure that more technically sophisticated students are not discouraged from pursuing the minor. Prerequisites for optional courses are:
  • BSCI333 or GEOL331 (cross-listed) - Principles of Paleontology (4) (Prereq: GEOL102)
  • BSCI334 - Mammalogy (3) (Prereqs: BSCI160, BSCI161, and BSCI207)
  • BSCI361 - Principles of Ecology (3) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161, and MATH130 or MATH140)
  • BSCI363 - The Biology of Conservation and Extinction (3) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161)
  • BSCI392/393 - Biology of Extinct Organisms (4) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161)
  • BSCI370 - Principles of Evolution (3) (Prereqs: BSCI160/161)
  • GEOL342 - Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (4) (Prereqs: GEOL322, CHEM131/132)
  • GEOL431 - Vertebrate Paleobiology (4) (Prereqs: BSCI207, BSCI392, GEOL104, GEOL204, or GEOL331)
  • GEOL436 - Biogeochemistry (3) (Prereqs: MATH140 or MATH220; and (GEOL100/100 or GEOL120/110), GEOL322, CHEM131/132))
  • GEOL437 - Global Climate Change, Past and Present (3) (Prereqs: MATH115 or MATH140, (GEOL100 or GEOL120), (CHEM131/132))
  • GEOL 499 Special Problems in Geology (3)
  • Or another appropriate biology or geology course approved in advance by the Entomology or Geology advisor (3-4)

BSCI399/399L and GEOL 499 require permission by the department offering the course. In general you will need to have a member of the faculty willing to supervise a research project.