Fall 2003

GEOLOGY 205: EVOLUTION & EARTH SYSTEMS

R. Hays Cummins | Western Program | Miami University

Melissa and friends walk the streets of Bocas, Panama.

It is 5:22:01 PM on Saturday, May 27, 2017. This page has served 8463 visitors and was last updated on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

Google
Search WWW WITHIN SITE Keyord Search!


Course Requirements and Expectations

EVOLUTION & EARTH SYSTEMS

Professor: Dr. Hays Cummins
  • Lecture: 12:30-1:45, T/R
  • Office: Boyd Hall Rm 222
    • Hours: Wed 3-5
  • E-Mail: HaysC@miamioh.edu

A few fossil hounds on a recent collecting trip!

In this course we will examine a variety of topics including evolution, extinction and tropical lanscape ecology. From the outset, you will notice that much of the responsibility for the success of the course is on your shoulders. This includes student-led discussions and a semester long research project. Exams will be take-home and discussion based.

How did life first evolve?

In addition to a course reader, two texts form the basis of student-led discussions: 1) The Song of the DoDo by David Quammen; and (2) Tropical Nature by Adrian Forsyth and Ken Miyata. These are provocative writings which should ignite our imaginations and fuel our discussions.

Students collecting fossils at a local Favorite Outcrop


Evolution & Earth Systems Research Projects

Visit Our Earth Systems Reading Assignments and Discussion Site!

Avoid Cheesy Science!

A major portion of the course will be devoted to group research projects. You will be responsible for generating specific hypotheses and bringing the project to completion. The research projects will be on landscape ecology/biogeography. We will celebrate your projects in a Evolution and Earth Systems Symposium at the end of the semester.

To better build a community of researchers, there will be an extensive web based feedback system that will involve the entire class. Everyone will have a stake in the success of everyone else's projects primarily by providing feedback and criticisms to one another. Details are illustrated below.

Evolution & Earth Systems Research Feedback & Database

DOWNLOAD the Paper Posting HTML Formating HELP SHEET!

We also have a GUIDE for depositing articles, images, data, etc in your research folders.

Evolution & Earth Systems Project Entry Forms.......

Evolution & Earth Systems Project Submissions...

Evolution & Earth Systems Progress Reports

 

View Progress Reports & new progress postings.....

Search for Specific Ecosystem Research Articles

The Great Fossil Hunt, November13, 1999 (Quicktime Movies)

The Final Report Format

Each "Final Report" should be a minimum of 15 pages long, plus references, research time-line, data sheets, appendices, etc. This is it folks!!

Title (with all authors)

1. Introduction

  1. Purpose/Problem. What is (are) your hypothesis(es)?
  2. How did you decide on this project? How did you decide upon your specific questions?
  3. What do you plan to accomplish?
  4. Relevance, if any. Why is this research interesting?

2. Relevance of your research question

  1. Literature Review--What have others done?
  2. How does your research relate to a larger question(s)? What contribution will your project hopefully be able to make to the broader base of human knowledge?

3. Materials and Methods

  1. What is your experimental design? Is it statistically sound? What are the reasons behind the different parts of your experimental design? Why are or aren't you doing certain things?
  2. Is your experimental design statistically sound? How do you know? Did you ask for advice?
    1. How will you ensure unbiased results?
    2. How will you ensure that the data collected by the class can be trusted? Will you show adequately demonstrate your data collection methods and the importance of consistency?
  3. Describe important materials and how they will be used.
  4. Describe other methods. How will you involve the class in your study? Be specific! Will the class be asked to process data? How?
  5. Have you included a Data Sheet?
  6. Include a specific timeline (your own and the class!) of research execution.

4. Results

  1. Observations.
  2. Think about how best to convey your findings. What types of statistics will be of use to you? Why?
    1. How will you best display your results? Graphs, tables? Think long and hard about this!
  3. Include statistical tests, tables (numerical data) and figures (graphs, drawings, etc.) when appropriate.

5. Discussion & Conclusions --Hint: This is supposed to be fun!

  1. Based on your background research, your own project, and analysis of the data, explain why you got the results you did.
  2. Think beyond the project. How does your work fit in with what others have done? What additional questions do you have?
  3. What suggestions do you have for further investigation?

6. Literature Cited

  1. Be sure to include an impressive suite of literature citations that directly relate to your study. This literature must include citations from the peer reviewed journals. World Wide Web citations are of secondary importance!

Take a look at the final projects from the 2002 Evolution and Earth Systems Class:

  • Final 2, Effects of Temperature & Human Disturbance on Consumption of Food by Wild Birds (12/20/02 )
  • Effects of Temperature & Human Disturbance on Consumption of Food by Wild Birds (12/14/02 )
  • Insect Diversity Final Draft (12/13/02 )
  • Species Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance in the Liberty Formation (12/11/02 )
  • The Ohio Island: Trends in Faunal Diversity (12/10/02 )
  • Shaker Trace Wetland Recovery Project (12/10/02 )
  • A Study of Freshwater Fish Diversity in Oxford Streams (12/10/02 )
  • Ecological Succession and Invertebrate Diversity at Harker's Run (12/8/02 )


    Here's a little boost in your search for a suitable research topic!!

    Books, Articles, Journals, Library Resources

    The world's largest bookstore!

    The Library of Congress

    The Current Issue of Scientific American

    Science Magazine

    Other Library Resources

    Download the Cross-platform ADOBE Acrobat Reader

    Miami Link

    Ohio Link Electronic Journals--Amazing Online Resource

    Search the Ohio Link Journal Index

    Earth & Planetary Sciences
    Environmental Sciences
    Physics & Astronomy
    Life Sciences

    Other Cool Library Stuff!

    FIRST SEARCH   Biology Science Citation Index Applied Science & Technology    Environment and Ecology
    AGRICCOLA   Geology    GEOBASE Life Sciences   General Periodicals  


    Search Engines-Search Worldwide

     

    Searching with WebCrawler(TM)

    Infoseek


    Lightning One August Evening in Oxford, Ohio

    The Try it, You'll Like It Web Database--Ecology, Global Change and Much More

    Got Mac OS X 10.2 or Higher?   Download Hays' Sherlock Channel

    There are two main sources of research information on this website: (1) The first is a password protected science article database while (2) the second is a non-password protected Within-Site Search of all of the web pages on this site.
    Search the PDF Science Article Database--Password Protected

    The science article library contains thousands of PDF articles. It is an amazing resource. The database is password protected.

    Search This Website--Open Resource

    There are over 15,000 web pages on this website, so many pages that it can be difficult to even know what is here. Many of these web pages are student research articles, complete with literature sources. Use the Within-Site Search Engine to look for past student research work that may aid you in your research! It is not password protected.

    Google
    Search WWW Search this Website


    Schedule of Lectures, Readings, Assignments and Exams

    Module 1- The Song of the Dodo

    Why are Islands Important? Who was George Wallace?

    Visit Our Earth Systems Assignments and Discussion Site!

    Date Topics & Other Assignments Readings/Discussion
    Week 1

    8/26-8/28

    • Lecture: Introduction to the Course
    • Discussion: Readings
    Week 2

    9/2-9/4

    • Discussion: Dodo, Ch 2
    Week 3

    9/9-9/11

    • No Lecture: (Mon/Tues. switch week)
    • Discussion:Readings

    From Scientifc American

    Komodo Dragons, PDF 1 & PDF 2

    • Dodo, Ch 3, So Huge a Bignes (first half--115-190) Please post a question and response to this article on our Discussion Web Site

     

    Week 4

    9/16-9/18

    • Class Discussion The Song of the Dodo, Chps. 3/4 (second half and first half Ch 4)
    • Discussion of Expectations of Class Research Projects
    • Geologic Time Scale Projects
  • Dodo,Ch 3, So Huge a Bigness, pgs 190-259
  • Dodo, Ch 4, Rarity unto Death- pgs 259-300 Please post a question and response to this article on our Discussion Web Site

    Indian Ocean Tortise, a relative of the Galapogos tortises

  • Post Team-Research Ideas
  • Week 5

    9/23-9/25

    • More Song of the Dodo
    Week 6

    9/30-10/2

    • Dodo, Ch.6, The Coming Thing, pgs 407-449
    • Dodo, Ch. 7, The Hedgehog of the Amazon, pgs 449-499 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • Provide Feedback
    Week 7

    10/7-10/9

    An Indri Indri Chorus! From Lemur Sights and Sounds

    • Dodo, Ch.8, The Song of the Indri, pgs 499-546
    • Dodo, Ch.9, World in Pieces, pgs 547-602
    • Dodo, Ch.10, Message from Aru, pgs 603-625 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • **Geologic Time Scale Due
    • Post Progress Reports

    Seth and Lauren show off their fine tabulate coral

    Search for Specific Ecosystem Research Articles

    Module 2- Tropical Nature

    Visit Our Earth Systems Assignments and Discussion Site!

    Date Topics & Other Assignments Readings/Discussion
    Week 8

    10/14-10/16

    • Tropical Nature, In the Realm of the Tropics, pgs 7-16
    • Tropical Nature, Fertility, pgs 17-30
    • Tropical Nature, Canyons of Light, pgs 31-40 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • Post Progress Reports
    Week 9

    10/28-10/30

    • Tropical Nature
    • Discussion: Readings
    • Tropical Nature, Hangers-On, pgs 41-52
    • Tropical Nature, Matapalo, pgs 53-64
    • Tropical Nature, Listen to the Flowers, pgs 65-76 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • Post Progress Reports
    Week 10

    10/28-10/30

    • Tropical Nature
    • Discussion:Readings
    • Tropical Nature, Eat Me, pgs 77-88
    • Tropical Nature, Bugs and Drugs, pgs 89-102
    • Tropical Nature, Creeping Socialists, pgs 103-114 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • Post Progress Reports
    Week 11

    11/4-11/6

    • Tropical Nature
    • Discussion: Readings
    • Tropical Nature, Army Ants, pgs 115-124
    • Tropical Nature, Artful Guises, pgs 125-138
    • Tropical Nature, Southbound, pgs 139-152 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • Post Progress Reports
    Week 12

    11/11-11/13

    • Tropical Nature
    • Discussion: Readings
    • Tropical Nature, Jerry's Maggot, pgs 153-168
    • Tropical Nature, Singing in the Rain, pgs 169-184
    • Tropical Nature, Night Walk, pgs 185-196 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • Post Progress Reports
    Week 13

    11/18-11/20

    • Tropical Nature
    • Discussion: Readings
    • Tropical Nature, Jerry's Maggot, pgs 153-168
    • Tropical Nature, Singing in the Rain, pgs 169-184
    • Tropical Nature, Night Walk, pgs 185-196 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    Week 14

    11/25

    • Tropical Nature
    • Discussion: Readings
    • Thansgiving Holidays
    • Tropical Nature, The Eternal Tropics, pgs 197-206
    • Tropical Nature, Paradise Lost, pgs 207-218
    • Tropical Nature, Tropical Travel-A Beginner's Guide, pgs 219-234 Please post a question and response to one of these articles on our Discussion Web Site
    • Post Progress Reports

    Week 15

    12/2-12/4

    Research Project Work-up
    I'm here to help!

    Week 16

    12/9-12/11

    Research Project Presentations
    Week 17

     

    • Final Exam
    • Good luck next semester

    There have been five mass extinction events over the last 600 million years. Is it Bad Genes or Bad Luck?

    Today's continental realities were very different long ago!


    Geologic Time Scale

    EON        | ERA      | PERIOD              | EPOCH      | DATES  | AGE of       | Interesting Biological Events:
    Phanerozoic| Cenozoic | Quaternary          | Holocene   | 0-2    | Mammals      | Humans
                |           |                      |Pleistocene|         |               |
    -
                |           |Tertiary| Neogene  | Pliocene   | 2-5    |               |
    -
                |           |          |           |Miocene    | 5-24   |               |
    -
                |           |          |Paleogene| Oligocene  | 24-37  |               |
    -
                |           |          |           |Eocene     | 37-58  |               |
    -
                |           |          |           |Paleocene  | 58-66  |               | Extinction of dinosaurs
                |Mesozoic  |Cretaceous                        | 66-144 | Reptiles     | Flowering plants
                |           |Jurassic                          | 144-208|               | 1st birds/mammals
                |           |Triassic                          | 208-245|               | First Dinosaurs
                |Paleozoic |Permian                           | 245-286| Amphibians   | End of trilobites
                |           |Carboniferous| Pennsylvanian     | 286-320|               | First reptiles
                |           |               |Mississippian     | 320-360|               | Large primitive trees
                |           |Devonian                          | 360-408| Fishes       | First amphibians
                |           |Silurian                          | 408-438|               | First land plant fossils
                |           |Ordovician                        | 438-505| Invertebrates| First Fish
                |           |Cambrian                          | 505-570|               | 1st shells, trilobites dominant
    Proterozoic | Also known as Precambrian                     | 570-2,500              | 1st Multicelled organisms
    Archean    |                                                | 2,500-3,800            | 1st one-celled organisms
    Hadean     |                                                | 3,800-4,600            | Approx age of oldest rocks 3,800
    Note: Dates are in millions of years

    Taken from: MODERN PHYSICAL GEOLOGY, Graham R. Thompson Ph.D., Jonathan Turk Ph.D., Saunders College Publishing and the University of Alaska, Department of Geology.

    Check out this beautiful Ordovician Cephalopod


    Required Texts:

    1) Tropical Nature by Adrian Forsyth and Ken Miyata

    2) The Song of the DoDo by David Quammen

     

    Evaluation: Participation is expected at all levels within the course. Attendance is mandatory during each student discussion period and scheduled lab: each unexcused absence will result in a 3% reduction (30 pts/absence) of your final grade. Grades will be based upon the point distribution shown below:

    Academic Honesty

    Please read part V, Sections 501-507 of The Miami Student Handbook on Academic Dishonesty since the policy articulated pertains to all work done in this course.

    Assignments & Points
    Instructor-Generated Labs (1 reports@100 pts each) 100 pts
    Class Participation (300 pts)
    Exam 2 (150 pts)
    Exam I (150 pts)
    Final research project (400 pts)
    Total Pts. 1000 pts

    Site NAVIGATION--Table of Contents

    Listen to a "Voice Navigation" Intro! (Quicktime or MP3)

    Google
    Search WWW WITHIN-SITE Keyword Search!!

    WEATHER & EARTH SCIENCE RESOURCES

    TROPICAL ECOSYSTEM FIELD COURSES

    Hays' Marine Ecology Images and Movies Ohio Bird Photo Collection | Tropical Bird Collection | Costa Rica Image Collection | Edge of the Farm Conservation Area | Hays' Tarantula Page | Local Watershed Fish Studies| Wildflowers, Arthropods, ETC in SW Ohio | Earth Science Resources | Astronomy Links | Global Change | Marine Ecology "Creature Study Guide" |

    OTHER ACADEMIC COURSES, STUDENT RESEARCH, OTHER STUFF

    | Educational Philosophy | Discovery Labs: Moon, Geologic Time, Sun, Taxonomy, Frisbee | Project Dragonfly | Vita |Field Course Postings | Student Research Postings | Nature/Science Autobiography | Environmental Programs at Miami University

    TEACHING TOOLS & OTHER STUFF

    Daily Necessities: Macintosh Resources |Search Engines | Library Resources|Server Stats| Family Album | View My Schedule | View Guestbook | Western College "Multimedia Potpourri"

    Any mail, comments or suggestions? You can Add to my Guestbook ,View the Guestbook or e-mail me privately at HaysC@miamioh.edu .

    Thanks for stopping by!