GEOL 102 Historical Geology
The History of Earth and Life

Spring Semester 2015

Jan. 26 Ruins of an Older World: The Discovery of Earth History
Reading: Chap. 1

Jan. 28 Every Rock is a Record of History: Historical Approaches to Lithology
Reading: Chap. 2
LAB: Policies; Description and Classification of Sedimentary Rocks(DEH Lab 1)

Jan. 30 Terrestrial Sedimentary Environments
Reading: Chap. 5

Feb. 2 Fluvial & Deltaic Environments; Walther's Law
Reading: Chap. 5

Feb. 4 Coastal and Marine Environments; Transgressions and Regressions
Reading: Chap. 5
LAB: Interpretation of Sedimentary Rocks (DEH Lab 2)

Feb. 6 Geologic Time I
Reading: Chap. 6

Feb. 9 Geologic Time II
Reading: Chap. 6

Feb. 11 Lithostratigraphy
Reading: Chap. 6
LAB: Relative Dating and Sequence of Events (DEH Lab 3)

Feb. 13 Biostratigraphy and the Geologic Timescale
Reading: Chap. 6

Feb. 16 Another Geography: Plate Tectonics
Reading: Chap. 8

Feb. 18 Every Valley Shall Be Exalted...: Orogenesis I
Reading: Chap. 9
LAB: Lithotratigraphy (DEH Lab 4)

Feb. 20 ...And Every Mountain and Hill Made Low: Orogenesis II and Geochemical Cycles
Reading: Chaps. 9-10

Feb. 23 Fossils & Fossilization
Reading: Chaps. 3-4

Feb. 25 Evolution I: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
Reading: Chap. 7
LAB: Biostratigraphy & Radiometric Dating (read DEH Lab 5 & 6; actual lab will be a handout)

Feb. 27 Evolution II: Patterns, Process & Phylogeny
Reading: Chap. 7


Mar. 4 Introduction to the Precambrian and The Hadean Eon: Strange Aeons
Reading: Chap. 11
LAB: Fossil Preservation and Taphonomy (DEH Lab 8)

Mar. 6 The Archean Eon I: Black Earth, Blue Earth, Grey Earth
Reading: Chap. 11

Mar. 9 The Archean Eon II: Biogenesis
Reading: Chap. 11

Mar. 11 The Proterozoic Eon I: Birth of Modern Geology
Reading: Chap. 12
LAB: Lab Exam 1 (Covers material from 1/29 to 2/26)

Mar. 13 ONLINE The Proterozoic Eon II: Rodinia and Pannotia [Do not meet for class]
Reading: Chap. 12

Mar. 16-20 SPRING BREAK!

Mar. 23 The Proterozoic Eon III: Snowball Earth and the Garden of Ediacara
Reading: Chap. 12

Mar. 25 The Early Paleozoic Era I: Cambrian and Ordovician Tectonics
Reading: Chaps. 13
LAB: Paleontology I Common Invertebrate Fossils (Lab will be a handout)

Mar. 27 The Early Paleozoic Era II: When Trilobites Ruled the Earth
Reading: Chaps. 13

Mar. 28 (Saturday): western Maryland Field Trip: details TBA

Mar. 30 The Middle Paleozoic Era I: Siluro-Devonian Geology
Reading: Chap. 14

Apr. 1 The Middle Paleozoic Era II: Reef Madness and the Devonian Nekton Revolution
Reading: Chap. 14
LAB: Paleontology II Micropaleontology, Paleobotany, Vertebrate Paleontology (Lab will be a handout)

Apr. 3 The Middle Paleozoic Era III: The Conquest of Land
Reading: Chap. 14

Apr. 6 The Late Paleozoic Era I: Carboniferous Geology
Reading: Chap. 15

Apr. 8 The Late Paleozoic Era II: Permian Geology
Reading: Chap. 15
LAB: Paleontology III Paleoenvironments & Paleoecology (Lab will be a handout)

Apr. 10 The Late Paleozoic Era III: Life in the Coal Swamps
Reading: Chap. 15

Apr. 13 The Late Paleozoic Era IV: Permian Life and the Permo-Triassic Extinction
Reading: Chap. 15

Reading: Chap. 16
LAB: Interpretation of Geological Maps (Read DEH Lab 15; this Lab is a handout, this Lab is a handout, but we will do Lab 15 during the next two weeks)

Apr. 17 The Mesozoic Era I: Triassic-Jurassic Geology
Reading: Chap. 16

Apr. 20 The Mesozoic Era II: Cretaceous Geology
Reading: Chap. 17

Apr. 22 The Mesozoic Era III: Black Shales and Chalk Seas, Flowers and Mammals
Reading: Chap. 16-17
LAB: Geologic Maps and Interpretation of Earth History in Selected Regions pt. 1 (DEH Lab 15)

Apr. 24 The Mesozoic Era IV: The Age of Dinosaurs
Reading: Chap. 16-17

Apr. 27 The Mesozoic Era V: The K/Pg Extinction
Reading: Chap. 17

Apr. 29 The Cenozoic Era I: Paleogene Geology
Reading: Chap. 18
LAB: Geologic Maps and Interpretation of Earth History in Selected Regions pt. 2 (DEH Lab 15)

May 1 The Cenozoic Era II: Neogene Geology
Reading: Chap. 19

May 4 The Cenozoic Era III: The Age of Mammals
Reading: Chaps. 18-19

May 6 The Cenozoic Era IV: The Scatterlings of Africa
Reading: Chap. 19
LAB: Lab Exam 2 (Concentrates on labs from March 5 onward)

May 8 The Cenozoic Era V: Quaternary Geology
Reading: Chap. 19-20

May 11 The Cenozoic Era VI: To the Anthropocene and Beyond!
Reading: Chap. 20

May 18 (MONDAY!) FINAL EXAM, PLS 1113, 8:00-10:00 am

For a formatted printable copy of the complete syllabus, click here.

Last modified: 15 January 2015