2023-24 Catalogs

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Minor in Paleobiology

The Minor in Paleobiology is focused on introducing students to the geological record and evolution of life on Earth, from humble single-celled beginnings to early hominid evolution. The fossil record offers a unique window through which to observe the evolutionary relationships of plants and animals and their response to the timing of key events such as mass extinctions, biotic turnover, shifting continental configuration, and climatic perturbations through “deep time”. Students earning this minor will gain a unique perspective of the various environmental and ecological challenges that the world has encountered, both in the past and present. Coverage includes biological aspects such as the evolutionary trajectories of major vertebrate and invertebrate fossil groups, their origins, morphology, paleoecology, and biodiversity trends through time, as well as geological topics in sedimentology, taphonomy, and stratigraphy. The minor is intended to prepare students with discipline-specific knowledge and career-specific skills in critical, analytical, and integrative thinking grounded in the scientific method. Such a degree is applicable to a variety of employment opportunities including (but not limited to) National Park Service officer, Environmental scientist or consultant, Research or consultant paleontologist, Exploration geologist, Museum curators, College/University academic, High School science teacher, Education officer or scientific reporter/writer, Geotourism guide/officer.


Students admitted to the Minor in Paleobiology must have successfully completed either GEOL 1100 Introduction to the Earth with Laboratory or GEOL 1200 Environmental Geology with Laboratory with a minimum of a C- grade. Must complete at least 15 credit hours, including the core course requirements in GEOL and ANTHRO, and must complete one lab course.

Core Course Requirements6-9
Must select one course from both GEOL and ANTHRO
GEOL 2350Earth and Life Through Time3
GEOL 2360Earth and Life Through Time Laboratory1
ANTHRO 2050Introduction to Biological Anthropology with Laboratory5
ANTHRO 2051Introduction to Biological Anthropology3
ANTHRO 2052Biological Anthropology Laboratory2
ANTHRO 2500Primate Anatomy and Evolution3
ANTHRO 4500Human Origins5
GEOL 2150The Age of the Dinosaurs3
GEOL 3550Introduction to Paleontology with Laboratory4
GEOL 3800Sedimentology and Stratigraphy with Lab4
GEOL 4350Taphonomy3
GEOL 4370Conservation Paleobiology3
BIO_SC 3650General Ecology5
BIO_SC 3400Evolution and Ecology3
BIO_SC 4600Evolution3