Stratigraphy and Sedimentation 870:136

Earth History 870:035
Spring 2007
4 Semester Hours
John Groves
124 Latham
Phone / e-mail:
273-3072 (office)
273-2759 (Dept. office)
Office hours:
M, W, F
Lab assistant:
Stacey Reisdorph
Stanley, S. M. 2004. Earth System History, 2nd Edition. W. H. Freeman &
Company, New York.
Laboratory manual:
Groves, J. R. 2002. Laboratory exercises in Earth History. Individual chapters
can be downloaded at:
Objectives: The objectives of this course are: (1) to establish basic principles
for interpreting ancient physical and biologic events; (2) to review evidence for
the main physical and biologic events in Earth’s history; and (3) gain an
appreciation for the interdependence among Earth’s physical and biologic
systems over the past 4.6 billion years.
Tests and Grading:
Four 100-point lecture exams…………..………………………...
Laboratory exercises and exams..……………………………….
Term paper………………………………………………………….
400 points
200 points
100 points
700 points
Grades will be determined roughly as follows: 100–90% = A; 89-80% = B; 79–70% = C; 69–60%
= D; 59% and lower = F. Favorable consideration will be made for students who attend class
regularly, who demonstrate a positive attitude and who clearly possess a better understanding of
the subject matter than might be reflected by their point total.
Other info:
Please, no food or drinks in classrooms or labs.
Lecture and lab attendance is required. A full letter grade will be deducted for 5 or more
unexcused absences.
No make-up exams, unless student receives instructor’s prior consent.
Students with disabilities may arrange for special accommodations by contacting Jane
Slykhuis, Coordinator of Disability Services, UNI Counseling Center, in Rm 213 of the
Student Services Center (273-2676).
Course includes an optional Saturday field trip to Devonian Fossil Gorge or Rockford
Fossil and Prairie Preserve. Participants will receive 10 bonus points.
Participants on the Geological Society of Iowa field trip will also receive 10 bonus points!
Course outline:
Lecture topic:
Lab Topic:
Week 1
Jan 8-12
Chapter 1: Earth as a system
Exercise 1: Rock review (10 pts)
Week 2
Jan 15-19
Chapters 3 and 7: The diversity of life,
evolution, and fossils
Exercise 2: Relative and absolute
dating (10 pts)
Week 3
Jan 22-26
Chapter 5: Sedimentary environments
Exercise 3: Siliciclastic sediments
(10 pts)
Week 4
Jan 29-Feb 2
Chapter 6: Correlation and dating
Exam I (100 pts)
Exercise 4: Facies relationships
(10 pts)
Week 5
Feb 5-9
Chapter 10: Major chemical cycles
Exercise 5: Biostratigraphy (10 pts)
Week 6
Feb 12-16
Chapter 11: The Archean Eon
Exercise 6: Fossil preservation; trace
fossils; stromatolites
Week 7
Feb 19-23
Chapter 12: The Proterozoic Eon
Exam II (100 pts)
Exercise 7: Trilobites, graptolites
archaeocyathids, nautiloids
Week 8
Feb 26-Mar 2
Chapter 13: The early Paleozoic world
Exercise 8: Sponges, bryozoans,
Week 9
Mar 5-9
Chapter 14: The middle Paleozoic
Fossil Identification Exam I
(70 pts)
Week 10
Mar 12-16
Spring Break
Spring Break
Week 11
Mar 19-23
Chapter 15: The late Paleozoic world
Exam III (100 pts)
Exercise 9: Rugose and tabulate
corals; ammonoids; belemnites
Week 12
Mar 26-30
Chapter 16: The early Mesozoic Era
Exercise 10: Crinoids, blastoids,
fusulinids, plants
Week 13
Apr 2-6
Chapter 17: The Cretaceous world
Exercise 11: Gastropods, bivalves,
scleractinian corals
Week 14
Apr 9-13
Chapter 18: The Paleogene world
Fossil Identification Exam II
(70 pts)
Week 15
Apr 16-20
No class
No class
Week 16
Apr 23-27
Chapter 19: The Neogene world
Exercise 12: Hominid evolution
Week 17
Apr 30-May 4
Finals Week: Exam IV (100 pts)
Wednesday, May 2, 10:00-11:50am
Term papers: The deadline for turning in term papers is Monday, April 9 at
5:00pm. Students may turn in a draft on or before March 26. Drafts will be
edited, graded and returned to authors, who may then revise their papers and
resubmit them for a higher grade.
Papers should be 6–7 pages in length (1” margins on all sides; double-spaced;
12 point font). Illustrations are highly encouraged, but they will not count
toward the minimum page limit. A well organized and concise 6-page paper will
receive a better grade than a poorly written 7-page paper. No fluff please.
Papers must be organized as follows. Deviation from these guidelines will
result in an automatic 30 point deduction.
Title (16 point bold font; left-justified; upper and lower case)
Author (12 point bold font; left-justified; upper and lower case)
ABSTRACT (12 point bold font; left-justified; upper case)
The abstract is a very short summary of the main conclusions of the paper. It is not an outline of paper.
INTRODUCTION (12 point bold font; left-justified; upper case)
The purpose of the introduction is to introduce the topic, establish the significance of the topic, and briefly
review previous literature on the topic. Cite references as necessary: for example (Smith 1997). Internet
sources are unacceptable.
MAIN HEADING(S) (12 point bold font; left-justified; upper case)
This is where you actually discuss your topic, including any illustrations that may be appropriate. Cite
references as necessary: for example (Wilson 1975). Internet sources are unacceptable.
Sub-heading(s) (12 point bold font; left-justified; upper and lower case)
Although not required, you may use sub-headings to help organize information within a given major
REFERENCES CITED (12 point bold font; left-justified; upper case)
You must list the references you cited within the introduction and main body of text. List references
alphabetically according to authors’ last names. Use the following format:
Smith, J. S., 1997. What I did on my summer vacation. Journal of Meaningless Stuff, 16:39-47. [an
example of a journal article]
Wilson, A. B., 1975. Volcanoes I have known and loved. Freeman Publishing Company, Chicago, 285 p.
[an example of a book]
Other stuff:
 Do not use the MLA format (this will result in point deductions).
 If you have questions about how to organize your paper, how to cite references, how to list
references cited, or anything else, please contact the instructor.
 You are strongly encouraged to visit Rod Library and consult a recent issue of the journal Geology
to see how your paper should be organized and formatted.
Term papers must be written on some aspect of Earth History. Papers whose main focus
is meteorology, astronomy, anthropology, or any non-geologic field are not acceptable.
You may not turn in a paper written for another class. Plagarism will result in 0 points for
the paper and disciplinary action from the University Administration.
The following are some ideas, but students may choose another topic with the
instructor’s approval.
Ice ages / continental glaciations
Endosymbiont hypothesis
Mineral resources
Development of geologic time scale
Radiometric dating
Continental drift and biogeography
Origin of life
Precambrian fossils
end-Cretaceous mass extinction
end-Permian mass extinction
Burgess Shale fauna
Global warming / environmental change
Origin and/or extinction of dinosaurs
Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism
Cladistics and phylogeny reconstruction
Origin of coal
Assembly and break-up of Pangaea
Forensic geology
Geophysics / seismic geology
Evolution of atmospheric composition
Asteroid impacts
Recent geologic catastrophies
Origin and extinction of mammals
History of plate tectonics
Geologic hoaxes, fakes, and pseudo-science
Biography of a famous geologist
Environmental geology of a selected area
Geology and public policy
Isotopes in geology
Plant evolution
Convergent evolution and iterative evolution
Fossil preservation
Depositional environments
Snowball Earth
Banded iron formations
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