EAS E114: Dinosaurs and their Relatives (14235)

INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. P. David Polly, GY 524A; 855-7994; pdpolly@indiana.edu office hours MW 12:30–1:00 pm and by appointment

AIs:  Alex Zimmerman, GY515, alexzimm@indiana.edu, office hours M 2-3 pm or appt.
Charles Salcido, GY 524, csalcido@iu.edu, office hours T 2-3 pm or appt.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  The objectives of the lecture and laboratory sessions are to increase your understanding of three major themes:  (1) the origin and evolution of vertebrates, including dinosaurs and their distant relatives the fish, amphibians and amniotes, and their recent relatives the birds; (2) geography and climate of the Earth during the evolution of these groups but especially during the time of the dinosaurs and birds; and (3) dinosaur morphology, phylogeny, evolution, paleobiology, paleoecology, and extinction.  Through the lecture and lab exercises you will gain an increased awareness of the dynamic history of our planet and how we know it from the geological and fossil records.  You will also gain practical knowledge about the vertebrate skeleton applicable to our own anatomy and develop transferrable skills in logic and inference.  The scientific method, including quantitative and qualitative approaches, will be explored.

E114 carries IUB GenEd N&M credit – Natural Science, COLL (CASE) N&M Breadth of Inquiry credit.

STUDENT PREPARATION: Lectures and labs are the most important part of the course.  Attend each lecture, take notes, engage fully in each lab, and ask questions – do these and you will be on the right track.  This course has a lotof new terminology (names of bones, names of dinosaur groups, names of geological ages), but the concepts are fairly easy.  Consequently, memorizing and reviewing the termswill get you a long way.  You are only responsible for terms used in the lectures and labs, not the additional ones in the textbook.  The textbook should be viewed as a supplement to the lectures and labs – doing the reading is important because it reinforces material and helps provide depth and breadth, but exams will be based on material covered in lectures and labs.

TEXT:  Assigned readings are from the following required textbook

Fastovsky, D. E. and D. B. Weishampel.  2016.  Dinosaurs, A Concise Natural History, Third Edition. Cambridge University Press.

CLASS MEETING TIMES: Lectures are Tuesday and Thursday, 11:15 am-12:05 pm in GY 126.  Labs are Wednesday 12:20-2:15 and 2:30-4:25pm and Thursday 9:05-11:00am, 12:20-2:15pm, and 2:30-4:25pm.  You are required to attend both lectures and the lab for which you are registered.

GRADES (as percent of final grade):

Exams                                    50%
            Midterm     = 100 pts
            Final Exam = 150 pts
Quizzes (x4)                          10%
Weekly Lab Assignments   25%
Final Presentation                15%

 Your final grade for the course will be based on scores from 2 exams, in-lecture quizzes, and laboratory assignments. The final is comprehensive and will include material presented from the beginning of the semester.  Laboratory sessions have weekly assignments that must be submitted by the specified deadline, normally the end of each lab session. A large part of the lab grade comes from simply engaging with the material and participating. Assignments will be usually be graded before your next lab session.  A missed lecture exam can be made-up only at the discretion of the professor.

GRADE SCHEME:  A+=100-97; A=96-93; A-=92-90; B+=89-87; B=86-83; B-=82-80; C+=79-77; C=76-73; C-=72-70; D+=69-67; D=66-63; D-=62-60; F=59 & lower.  Class grades are not curved.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due