Distribution, morphology, paleoecology, evolution, and stratigraphic significance of organisms in the geologic record. Field trips.
 Hours3.0 Credit, 3.0 Lecture, 2.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesGEOL 112
 ProgramsContaining GEOL 480
Course Outcomes


Demonstrate understanding of the nature of fossils and types of fossilization that turn organic remains into fossils.

Nature of the Fossil Record-Taphonomy

Be able to explain the incompleteness of the fossil record and the taphonomic processes that affect fossils between death and burial and burial and discovery.

Taxonomy and Morphology

Be able to recognize the major groups of invertebrate fossils on the basis of their morphology and be able to identify key index fossils to the species level.

Uses of Fossils

Demonstrate understanding of the uses of fossils in solving geological problems: paleoenvironments, relative age, paleocology.


Understand the role of fossils in demonstrating the patterns of evolution through time.