This course focuses on the geological and evolutionary processes that have shaped our planet and life on it over the last 550 million years, the long, fossil-rich period known as the Phanerozoic. Using Indiana as the focus, you will learn about the evolutionary history of major groups of animals and plants, the origins of life on land, the growth of the North American continent, changes to the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, and the interactions among life, climate, sediments, and geological structures.

 

Information about the crinoid Elegantocrinus hemisphericus, the Elegant Sea-lily

Elegantocrinus hemisphaericus

Most Recent Lecture

Back to the Present, and the Future

Friday, April 26th, 13:25 - 02:15 PM, GY 447

The pattern of glacial-interglacial cycles; Oxygen isotope proxies for climate; Regional differences in paleoenvironmental change; Late Quaternary extinction and the role of humans; Current changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature; Comparison with past; Certainties and uncertainties from a geological and paleontological perspective.

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Indiana Fossils

Camarotoechia indianense

The brachiopod Camarotoechia indianense from the Waldron Shale (Silurian) of Indiana.

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Technical terms

sclerites

individual pieces of the exoskeleton of a trilobite, often associated with moulting.

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Hoosier paleontologists

August Frederic Foerste

Foerste was born in Dayton, Ohio where he spent most of his life as a high school teacher. He was educated at Denison University (BA, 1887) and Harvard (MA, 1888; PhD, 1890). Before returning to Ohio in 1893 he worked for the USGS studying stratigraphy in New England and studied briefly at Heidelberg University in Germany. Foerste participated in early geological surveys of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Canada. He is known for his work on Ordovician fossils from the Cincinnati Arch, as well as other North American Paleozoic faunas.

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Syllabus 2013

 

Lectures
Labs
Handouts
Hoosier Paleontologists

Technical Terms

Instructor

Dr. P. David Polly

Department of Geological Sciences
Indiana University
1001 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
pdpolly@indiana.edu
Website