Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Stanley A. Mertzman

Franklin & Marshall College

Department of Earth and Environment

Geology 221, History of the Earth

Spring Semester, 2010

 

TEACHER:  Dr. Stan Mertzman

Office:  Hackman Physical Sciences Building – Room 121A

Office hours: M, Th., and F: 1:00-3:00 PM; Th: 10:00 – Noon, or by appointment.

Telephone:  At School: 291-3818; At Home: 295-1290

E-mail: (the easiest and most reliable method to contact me!)

 

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My goal in this course is to help you arrive at an understanding of how the Earth has changed as a function of time. Never lose sight of the fact that the Earth is an ever-evolving planet. Historical geology deals with all aspects of Earth's history and the history of life. 

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Course Text: Evolution of the Earth, 8th Edition by D. R. Prothero and R. H. Dott (2010)

 

Lab Text: Interpreting Earth History, 6th Edition by Petersen and Rigby (2007)

 

Class convenes in Hackman Room -111 @ 10 AM; Lab convenes in Hackman Room -115 at 1:30 PM beginning Tuesday January 19, 20010. If PowerPoint presentations are used they will be placed on e-disk the same day they are used in either class or lab. You will have access to them for the entire semester.

 

Attendance Policy: Class participation is an important aspect of this class. You need to be in class to           participate so naturally I expect to see you in class virtually everyday.

 

Grading: 17.5% for each of two lecture exams

                 25% for the final exam

                 20% for the lab that includes several lab quizzes and the weekly material itself

                 20% is for a 12-page term paper on a topic of your choice that is intimately related to earth history. Details will be handed out separately. A digital copy of the paper will be submitted to Turnitin.com The paper is due on or before May 3, 2010 @ 4:30 PM, the last of this semester’s reading days. You will also hand in a paper copy of the term paper to me as well.

 

Examination Schedule: Monday, February 22, 2010                         

                                         Monday, March 29, 2010                             

                                         

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3/4 day Field Trip:          Sunday: March 28, 2010 beginning @ 9:00 AM.

                                          Second Choice: Sunday April 11, 2010.


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The following syllabus lists the assigned lecture readings for each class meeting together with the appropriate pages in the textbook.  This material should be read prior to coming to the class meeting.

 

LECTURE SYLLABUS

 

Date                                          Topic                                                      Chapter and Pages

 

Jan. 20                               Time and Terrestrial Change                           Preface, xxi-xxiii; Ch. 1, pp. 3-14

Jan. 22                               Floods, fossils, and heresies                            Ch. 2, pp. 17-38

                                                        

Jan. 25                               Evolution                                                        Ch. 3, pp. 41-67

Jan. 27                               Evolution                                                        Ch. 3, pp. 41-67

Jan. 29                               Evolution reading                                           .pdf document


Feb. 1                                Relative geologic time                                    Ch. 4, pp. 69-86

Feb. 3                                and a modern view of Stratigraphy                Ch. 4, pp. 69-86

Feb. 5                                Numerical dating of the Earth                        Ch. 5, pp. 89-101


Feb. 8                                Numerical dating of the Earth (Reading)       .pdf document           

Feb. 10                              Origin and early evolution of the Earth          Ch. 6, pp. 103-122

Feb. 12                              Origin and early evolution of the Earth          Ch. 6, pp. 103-122

 

Feb. 15                              Mountain building and drifting continents     Ch. 7, pp. 125-147

Feb. 17                              Evolution and the fossil record                       Ch. 7, pp. 125-147

Feb. 19                              Extinction rates; evolutionary trends              Ch. 7, pp. 165-174

 

Feb. 22                              Examination #1                                                                                                        

Feb. 24                              Precambrian history                                        Ch. 8, pp. 149-176

Feb. 26                              Precambrian history                                        Ch. 8, pp. 149-176

 

Mar. 1                                Precambrian history                                        .pdf document

Mar. 3                                Early Life and its patterns                              Ch.9, pp. 179-203

Mar. 5                                Early Life and its patterns                              Ch.9, pp. 179-203

 

March 8                             Early Life and its patterns                              .pdf document

March 10                           Earliest Paleozoic history                                Ch. 10, pp. 205-227

March 12                           Earliest Paleozoic history                                Ch. 10, pp. 205-227

 

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SPRING BREAK (Friday March 12 @ 4:20 PM to 8:00 AM, Monday March 22, 2010.)

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Mar. 22                              The Late Ordovician                                       Ch. 11, pp. 229-255

Mar. 24                              The Late Ordovician                                       Ch. 11, pp. 229-255

Mar, 26                              The Middle Paleozoic                                     Ch. 12, pp. 257-295


Date                                          Topic                                                      Chapter and Pages

 

Mar. 29                              Examination #2                                                                                                   Mar. 31      The Middle Paleozoic                                          Ch. 12, pp. 257-295

April 2                               Late Paleozoic history                                     Ch. 13, pp. 297-346

 

Apr. 5                                Late Paleozoic history                                     Ch. 13, pp. 297-346

Apr. 7                                Late Paleozoic history                                     .pdf document

Apr. 9                                The Mesozoic Era                                           Ch. 14, pp. 349-409


Apr. 12                              The Mesozoic Era                                           Ch. 14, pp. 349-409

Apr. 14                              The Mesozoic Era                                           Ch. 14, pp. 349-409

Apr. 16                              Cenozoic history                                             Ch. 15, pp. 411-459

 

Apr. 19                              Cenozoic history                                             Ch. 15, pp. 411-459

Apr. 21                              Cenozoic history                                             Ch. 15, pp. 411-459

Apr. 23                              Pleistocene glaciation and                               Ch. 16, pp. 461-495


Apr. 26                              The advent of humanity                                  Ch. 16, pp. 461-495

Apr. 28                              The best of all possible worlds?                      Ch. 17, pp. 497-518

 

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The final examination in this course is scheduled by the Registrar's Office, not by your instructor.  Please check the time and place of the exam on the "final exam schedule" which usually becomes available just before Spring Break.

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The following syllabus lists the schedule of laboratory exercises together with the appropriate pages in the

 Lab Manual.  Read over the material prior to coming to lab; do not workout the exercises unless they are specifically assigned.  Do lab work in pencil, not pen. If a nice Thursday afternoon presents itself, we’ll take a field trip south to the Conowingo Dam area sometime before Spring Break.


LABORATORY SYLLABUS

 

Date                                  Type Of Exercise We'll Be Doing                Reading Assignment

 

January 19                       Scaling geologic time (outdoors?)                  Handout

 

January 26                       Review of minerals                                         Handout


February 2                       Igneous and metamorphic rocks                     Handout

                                          See figures 1.4 (p.4) and 1.9 (p.10)

 

February 9                       Sedimentary rocks                                          Chapters 1, pp. 1-12

                                          See figure 1.8 (p.8)


Date                                  Type Of Exercise We'll Be Doing                Reading Assignment

 

February 16                     Sedimentary environments of deposition       Chapters 2, pp. 13 - 19

 

February 23                     QUIZ.  DVD: “How the Earth was made” episode

                                                                                

March 2                            Age relations and unconformities                   Chapters 6 & 7, pp. 58 - 72

 

March 9                            Paleontology – An Introduction                     Chapters 10 - 12, pp. 89 - 129

 

                                          Protists, sponges, corals, bryozoans, and brachiopods.

 

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SPRING BREAK (Friday March 12 @ 4:20 PM to 8:00 AM, Monday March 22, 2010)

 

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March 23                          Additional Fossil Phyla                                  Chapters 10 - 12, pp. 89 - 129

 

                                          Mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, graptolites, chordates and plants.


March 30                          QUIZ. DVD: “How the Earth was made” episode

 


April 6                              Geologic maps and Earth history 1                 Chapter 15, pp. 148 - 153

                                                                                                                  Chapters 16 – 32, pp. 154 - 225

 

April 13                            Geologic maps and Earth history 2                 Chapter 16 - 32, pp. 154 - 225

 

                                         

April 20                            Plate tectonics                                                 Chapter 8, pp. 73 – 83.

                                         

 

April 27                            QUIZ.