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Geology (Ge) Courses (2019-20)

Bi/Ge/ESE 105. Evolution. 12 units (3-4-5): second term. The theory of evolution is arguably biology's greatest idea and serves as the overarching framework for thinking about the diversity and relationships between organisms. This course will present a broad picture of evolution starting with discussions of the insights of the great naturalists, the study of the genetic basis of variation, and an introduction to the key driving forces of evolution. Following these foundations, we will then focus on a number of case studies including the following: evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, origin of eukaryotes, multicellularity, influence of symbiosis, the emergence of life from the water (i.e. fins to limbs), the return of life to the water (i.e. limbs to fins), diversity following major extinction events, the discovery of Archaea, insights into evolution that have emerged from sequence analysis, and finally human evolution and the impact of humans on evolution (including examples such as antibiotic resistance). A specific focus for considering these issues will be the island biogeography of the Galapagos. Given in alternate years; offered 2019-20. Instructors: Phillips, Orphan.
Ge/ESE/Bi 178. Microbial Ecology. 9 units (3-2-4): third term. Structural, phylogenetic, and metabolic diversity of microorganisms in nature. The course explores microbial interactions, relationships between diversity and physiology in modern and ancient environments, and influence of microbial community structure on biogeochemical cycles. Introduction to ecological principles and molecular approaches used in microbial ecology and geobiological investigations. Offered in alternate years; not offered 2019-20. Instructor: Orphan.
Ge/Bi 244. Paleobiology Seminar. 6 units (3-0-3): third term. Critical reviews and discussion of classic investigations and current research in paleoecology, evolution, and biogeochemistry. Instructor: Kirschvink.
Ge/Bi/ESE 246. Molecular Geobiology Seminar. 6 units (2-0-4): second term. Critical reviews and discussion of classic papers and current research in microbiology and geomicrobiology. As the topics will vary from year to year, it may be taken multiple times. Instructor: Orphan.
Bi/BE/Ch/ChE/Ge 269. Integrative Projects in Microbial Science and Engineering. 6 units (3-0-3): second term. A project-based course designed to train students to integrate biological, chemical, physical and engineering tools into innovative microbiology research. Students and faculty will brainstorm to identify several "grand challenges" in microbiology. Small teams, comprised of students from different graduate programs and disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. a chemical engineer, a computer scientist and a biologist) and a faculty member, will work to compose a project proposal addressing one of the grand challenges, integrating tools and concepts from across disciplines. Student groups will present draft proposals and receive questions and critiques from other members of the class at check-in points during the academic term. While there will not be an experimental laboratory component, project teams may tour facilities or take field trips to help define the aims and approaches of their projects. At the end of the course, teams will deliver written proposals and presentations that will be critiqued by students and faculty. Instructor: CEMI Faculty.