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IB 106/Geol 106/ESES 126

Extinction: From Dinosaurs to Dodos

Fall 2015

 

Course Description

This class will examine the role of extinction in shaping the history of life on Earth. We will explore the "big five" extinction events - including the two mass extinctions that mark the rise and fall of the dinosaurs - and other periods of rapid ecological change. We will examine the causes of these mass extinctions of the past, and study how animal and plant life recovered from them. A major theme of the course will be the ongoing modern extinction crisis, and the lessons we can learn from the past when addressing modern biodiversity loss, from the loss of the dodo bird in the 17th century to the threat of extinction faced by endangered plants and animals today.

 

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Life Sciences course. We will cover all the fundamental concepts of the life sciences, including genetics, speciation, evolution, growth and differentiation, metabolism and bio-energetics, ecology, and behavior. We will also review scientific methodology, and you will be involved in classroom exercises that involve making observations, evaluating data, and problem solving.

 

Instructor Information

Dr. Surangi Punyasena
Assistant Professor, Plant Biology; Affiliate: Geology; Geography;
Illinois Informatics Institute
Email: ib106@life.illinois.edu
Office and hours: 139B Morrill Hall; Mondays 3.00 - 5.00 pm

 

Credit: 3 hours
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for a Life Sciences course.