Courses I Teach
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This 100-level laboratory course for both majors and non-majors is designed as a gateway course to the discipline. Students develop their understanding of geologic processes and materials through examination of hand samples in the classroom and geologic features in the field. An integrated mapping component will allow students to think broadly about the surficial expression of the processes they learn about as well as develop their field observational and recording skills.
This 100-level course is designed for a non-science audience and focuses on using critical thinking framework discuss the functioning, importance, and threats facing marine environments. Emphasis is placed on the physical, chemical, and biological components of ocean systems, rather than on the ecology of the organisms that inhabit it.
Historical Geology: Integrated Earth Systems*
A 100-level laboratory for both majors non-majors, this course will emphasize the connections between the lithosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. As I guide the students chronologically through the history of the Earth, I will emphasize important processes that contribute to shaping the planet and its inhabitants. The laboratory component will allow students to develop skills in identifying and interpreting features of sedimentary rocks.
Origin, Evolution, and Extinction of Life
This course is a 100-level for both majors and non-majors. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with the processes that have controlled life’s major transitions through geologic time. Students will be asked to participate in a series of small-group “debate-style” discussions to compare major opposing theories regarding the origin, evolution, and extinction of life on Earth. We will also investigate modern biodiversity crisis by comparing and contrasting how these processes operated in Earth’s past versus today.
This mid-level course for geology majors utilizes a series of hands-on laboratory activities to introduce students to the morphology, ecology and preservation of the well-represented fossil groups. Students also begin to explore the evolutionary relationships and trends in biodiversity and extinction among these groups through both group and individual activities.
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
This is a mid-level lab course for majors that focuses on characterizing sedimentary processes and their relationships to environmental factors. Through identification of sedimentary features, both in hand sample and thin section,
Modern and Ancient Carbonate Systems*
This is a 2-week field course taught in San Salvador, Bahamas, that builds upon the semester-long sedimentology course that students are required to take first. This course is designed to introduce students to carbonate processes by examining modern settings and comparing them to nearby ancient analogues. Students strengthen their field and observational skills through activities like outcrop analysis, fossil identification, sedimentary characterization, and construction of stratigraphic profiles.
This is an upper-level, majors only course designed for paleontology and ecology students. Through independent, local field research projects, students learn the fundamental principles of paleoecology, including limiting ecological factors, taphonomy, functional morphology, and paleoenvironmental reconstruction (among others).
Statistical Methods and Computer Programming in Paleoecology
This is an upper-level, majors only and graduate course designed for paleontology and biology students. Using a dataset that they acquire from an online paleontological database, students will select and perform the appropriate statistical analyses using the R programming language. Upon completion of the course students will be able to plot data and interpret the results.
This is a seminar course designed for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. Students will develop their ability to read and synthesize peer-reviewed literature as they are asked to discuss articles. Topics covered will include: principles of sedimentation, types of bias, time-averaging, bioturbation, exceptional preservation, conservational paleobiology, and biostratinomic and diagenetic processes affecting major groups.
An upper-level, majors-only course focused on using recent fossil and death-assemblage records from a wide variety of settings to establish baseline community information and quantify changes in the run-up to the present. Written communication and evaluation of scientific papers will be stressed as students select a select a topic in the field and complete a comprehensive literature review.
* Indicate courses I have taught