University of Nevada, Las Vegas  



GEOL 102: EARTH AND LIFE THROUGH TIME
  


Course Section: 001 Classroom Location: LFG 102 Check Location
Instructor: Dr. Ganqing Jiang Office Location: SEB 3241 Check Location
Email: Ganqing.Jiang@unlv.edu Lectures: T-Th: 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Class Website: http://faculty.unlv.edu/ganqing/GEOL102 Office hours: T-Th 10:00 - 11:15 AM or by appointment



Course Description:
Basic concepts and major techniques used by geologist to understand the evolution of Earth and life through time. Topics include the stratigraphic principles, rock cycles, dating methods, plate tectonics, the fossil record, evolutionary theory, mass extinctions, tectonic evolution and paleogeographic interpretation. Laboratory work includes identification of minerals, rocks and major groups of fossils, interpretation of depositional environments, stratigraphic sequence analysis, and geological maps and cross sections.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the class, every student should be able to:
• Use relative and absolute dating principles to interpret the geological history of rock units.
• Identify the major types of sedimentary rocks and their depositional environments.
• Explain the tectonic theory and apply it to the tectonic cycles in Earth history
• Understand the sequence of major events in the history of the Earth and life and their interrelationships
• Identify and classify the major groups of fossils and apply them for stratigraphic correlation
• Correctly interpret geological maps and geological cross sections

Textbook: Harold L. Levin, 2009, The Earth Through Time, 9th Edition, Wiley & Sons, 624 pp. ISBN: 9780470387740 (or any 7th to 10th Edition)

Grading: Final grades will be assigned according to the following schedule. Final grades may be curved in the students' favor.
• Attendance, participation, and quizzes......20% ..........(a)
• Midterm Exam............................................20%...........(b)
• Final Exam..................................................30%...........(c)
• Lab/Field work...........................................30%...........(d)

Final exam will be cumulative. No make-ups for exams except stated by the university rules (see below). Your final score will be calculated as follows:

Final score = (a) * 20% + (b) * 20% + (c) * 30% + (d) * 30%

Your final grade will be assigned on the following scale:

A: 90-100; B: 80-89; C: 70-79; D: 60-69; F: < 60

A plus/minus system may be employed at the instructor's discretion.

Notes: No make-up exams, make-up quizzes, or make-up exercises will be given unless you provide a written medical, military, or university excuse. So plan to attend class.

Class Schedule

Lecture Syllabus             Lab Syllabus

Week
Day
Date
Lecture topic
Lecture Notes
1
T
Jan-21
No Class
No Class
1
Th
Jan-23
Introduction: WHYs and HOWs
Lecture 1
2
T
Jan-28
How did our earlier generations think about the Earth?: Historical Review
Lecture 2
2
Th
Jan-30
How Do We Know the Age of the Earth: Relative and Absolute Ages
Lecture 3
3
T
Feb-4
Materials for studying the Earth history: Rocks and Minerals
Lecture 4
3
Th
Feb-6
Sedimentary Environments
Lecture 5
4
T
Feb-11
Sedimentary Environments
[Quiz 1: lecture 1-4]  [Answers]
Lecture 5
4
Th
Feb-13
Sedimentary Record: Interpreting the Earth History
Lecture 6
5
T
Feb-18
Fossils in Sedimentary Record: A Major Tool for Telling Time
Lecture 7
5
Th
Feb-20
Fossils in Sedimentary Record: Information on Earth System Changes
Lecture 8
6
T
Feb-25
Fossils in Sedimentary Record: Information on Earth System Changes
No New Slide
6
Th
Feb-27
Plate Tectonics and Rock Cycles
[Quiz 2: lecture 5-8]  [Answers]
Lecture 9-10
7
T
Mar-4
Major Chemical Cycles
Lecture 11
7
Th
Mar-6
Midterm Review
[Quiz 3: lecture 9-11]  [Answers]
Lecture 12
8
T
Mar-11
Midterm Exam  [Midterm Exam Answers]
Midterm Exam
8
Th
Mar-13
Earth & Life through Time: The Early Days  [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 13
10
T
Mar-25
Earth & Life through Time: The Rise of Oxygen and Evolution of Eukaryotes  [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 14  [Field trip logistics]
10
Th
Mar-27
Earth & Life through Time: The Proterozoic Eon  [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 15
11
T
Apr-1
Earth & Life through Time: The Proterozoic Eon  [No new Questions]
Lecture 15 [no new slides]
11
Th
Apr-3
Earth & Life through Time: The "snowball" Earth   [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 16
11
F-S
Apr-4-6
Field trip to Death Valley    [Itinerary]  [reference must read]
Assignments for home-staying students  Reference
12
T
Apr-8
No class: Your assignment due Thursday
No class
12
Th
Apr-10
Earth & Life through Time: The Paleozoic Biosphere   [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
[Quiz 4: Lecture 13-16]   [Answers]
Lecture 17
13
T
Apr-15
Earth & Life through Time: The Paleozoic Tectonic History and Stratigraphic Sequences of North America   [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 18
13
T
Apr-17
Earth & Life through Time: Mass Extinction at the End of Permian  [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 19
14
T
Apr-22
Earth & Life through Time: What’s New in the Mesozoic?   [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
[Quiz 5: Lecture 17-19]  [Answers]
Lecture 20
14
Th
Apr-24
Earth & Life through Time: The Mesozoic Biosphere and the Dinosaur World   [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 21
15
T
Apr-29
Earth & Life through Time: The Cenozoic Tectonics and Climate   [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
[Quiz 6: Lecture 20-21]  [Answers]
Lecture 22
15
Th
May-1
Earth & Life through Time: Cenozoic—The Age of Mammals   [Quiz Questions]  [Answers]
Lecture 23
16
T
May-6
Final Exam Review   
[Quiz 7: Lecture 22-23]  [Answers]
Final Exam Review
16
T
May-8
No Class
No Class
17
Th
May-15
Final Exam: May 15, 8:00-10:00 am
Final Exam: May 15, 8:00-10:00 am