Professor Claudia C. Johnson
Phone: 812-855-0646 | Email
Textbook: Required lecture text: Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record, 2nd Edition, 2020,by David A.T. Harper and Michael J. Benton. Publisher: Wiley and Sons ISBN13: 9781119272854
Additional materials may be distributed or available on Canvas.
1:15 - 2:30P Tuesdays and Thursdays, Rm GY 5051
Saturday, October 7. Falls of the Ohio State Park. Departure from the Geology building, time TBA.
After class and by appointment
GRADE DISTRIBUTION, LEARNING OUTCOMES, ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
Course grade distribution - Undergraduate Students
A). This part is an evaluation of your ability to work with fossils - 70% of total grade:
- weekly exercises with fossils - 25%
- field trip exercise at Falls of the Ohio State Park - 20%
- semester fossil project - 25%
B). This part is an evaluation of your ability to apply theory and concepts to fossils – 30% of total grade:
- Exam – Part 1, Thursday, Nov. 30, is focused on student learning outcomes 'a, b, c, d'
- Exam – Part 2, Thursday, Dec. 7, is focused on student learning outcome 'e'
Course grade distribution – Graduate Students
Weekly exercises with fossils, field trip, assist undergrads with their semester fossil projects: evaluated at 33%
Develop and present a lecture to the class - 33%
Research paper - 34%
Final Grade Scale: A = 90-100%; B = 80-89%; C = 70-79%; D = 60-69%; F = 59% or lower. Grades of + and – will be assigned. Semester grades are not curved.
Lecture Development and Presentation Requirement for Graduate Students
The essence of the lecture requirement is for you to present a theme of your choosing that is appropriate for 400-level students with geology, biology, and/or environmental science backgrounds. It is likely students will be hearing the topic for the first time, so basic, fundamental information will need to be presented prior to explaining the complexity.
I’d like your presentation to contain in-lecture questions and a post-lecture exercise with fossils. The in-lecture questions should be designed as thought-based (not specimen-based) and require students to relate the information you present to concepts learned during the semester from my previous lectures. The specimen-based exercise at the end of your lecture should be designed so students apply knowledge of the topic you presented to the specimens in front of them. You will instruct the students and guide them through your exercise and evaluate their work. You will develop a written assignment for students, but through your guidance and oversight of the work there will be no grading after your lecture.
Here’s a schedule I propose to you.
- Discuss an outline of your presentation with me by September 19 or 21.
- Three weeks prior to your presentation, discuss with me a first draft of your presentation slides.
- Two weeks prior to your presentation, discuss with me updates on your presentation, and have written for discussion with me the in-class questions and fossil-based exercise.
- One week prior to your presentation, give a practice talk to me with your slides, in-class exercise, and fossil-based exercise.
I can work with you on the in-class questions, the fossil-based exercise, and the fossil specimens that may be good for you to use.
Research Paper for Graduate Students
Investigate a topic that enhances your graduate research project. Develop a hypothesis and discuss with me by October 3 the value of the topic to your graduate research. 20 text pages plus figures & references
Student learning outcomes
Students who pass the course will be able to:
- summarize the life history of a fossil from death to discovery
- analyze the role of taphonomy in the evolutionary history of a taxonomic group
- classify fossils using quantitative measures of characters
- design a research project using fossils and the scientific method
As a student at IU, you are expected to adhere to the standards and policies detailed in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (Code). When you submit a paper with your name on it in this course, you are signifying that the work contained therein is all yours, unless otherwise cited or referenced. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged.
If you are unsure about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or exam, be sure to seek clarification beforehand. All suspected violations of the Code will be handled according to University policies. Sanctions for academic misconduct may include a failing grade on the assignment, reduction in your final grade, a failing grade in the course, among other possibilities, and must include a report to the Dean of Students.