12.007 Geobiology

Spring 2007

Computer-generated image of Earth with continents aggregated together.
This is a paleographic reconstruction of the Earth 260 million years ago - a computer simulation showing where the continents were likely located at this point in history. (Image courtesy of Ron Blakey. Used with permission.)

Course Description

The interactive Earth system: Biology in geologic, environmental and climate change throughout Earth history. Since life began it has continually shaped and re-shaped the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and the solid earth. Introduces the concept of "life as a geological agent" and examines the interaction between biology and the earth system during the roughly 4 billion years since life first appeared. Topics include the origin of the solar system and the early Earth atmosphere; the origin and evolution of life and its influence on climate up through and including the modern age and the problem of global warming; the global carbon cycle; and astrobiology.
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Staff

Instructor:
Prof. Roger Summons

Course Meeting Times

Lectures:
2 sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

Level

Undergraduate