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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
Prelude to the Dinosaurs


 
Dinosaurs and the History of Life
E-Seminar 2, The Triassic and the Origin of Dinosaurs

Taught by: Paul E. Olsen

Description
E-Seminar Description
Dinosaurs dominated Earth for 160 million years, beginning 245 million years ago. They are fierce and fascinating animals, celebrities of our natural-history museums, and have much to teach us about our own world. Paul E. Olsen, professor of geological sciences at Columbia University, takes us on a journey through time and evolution to explore the dinosaurs and ancient Earth. With Olsen's guidance, we learn what dinosaurs can teach us about earth sciences, time, the history of life, and our own place in history. The world of the dinosaurs is a natural experiment for predicting our future, and their descendants are still with us.

In this second e-seminar in a series of nine, we will explore the beginning of the age of the dinosaurs, the Triassic Period. We will discover the kinds of animals that eventually gave rise to the dinosaurs, the earliest dinosaurs, and the organisms that shared the Earth with them—including fierce rivals that dominated the land until a mass extinction cleared the way for dinosaur domination.

E-Seminar Length:3–5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

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e-seminar?
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Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.



Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements | Additional Information

Objectives
  • Identify and compare the shared derived characters of dinosaurs and the other major groups of Triassic animals.
  • Trace the relationships among groups of archosaurs and their physical specializations.
  • Understand the differences between the major groups of dinosaurs and identify members of each.


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    Outline
    1. Arrival of the Dinosaurs
    2. The Triassic World
    3. Early and Middle Triassic
    4. Late Triassic
    5. Archosauria
    6. Dinosaurs
    7. Saurischia
    8. The Second Mass Extinction

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    Instructor's Background
    Instructor's Background
    Paul E. Olsen was born in New York City and received his B.A. in geology and his Ph.D. in biology from Yale University. Olsen is Storke Memorial Professor of Geological Sciences at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where he has taught since 1984. Olsen serves as an advisor and a research associate for several geological and paleontological associations, has published dozens of peer-reviewed papers, and is regularly interviewed on television and radio shows and for popular magazines.

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    Recommended Reading
    Dingus, Lowell, and Timothy Rowe. The Mistaken Extinction: Dinosaur Evolution and the Origin of Birds. New York: W.H. Freeman, 1998.

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    Technical Requirements
    You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

    IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
    Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
    64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
    Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
    Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
    Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
    Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
    Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
    (all plug-ins are free)

    MACINTOSH
    MAC OS 8.6 or higher
    64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
    Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
    Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
    Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
    Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
    Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
    (all plug-ins are free)

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    Additional Information
    Who should take this course?
    Lifelong learners, dinosaur enthusiasts, students of biology and environmental history, beginning students of geology and paleontology.

    Reading assignments: There are no required reading assignments in this course. Professor Olsen has recommended a textbook for further study and has included links within the course to relevant articles and Web sites.

    Taking the seminar: The content of this e-seminar is delivered entirely on the Internet. You may access this content and participate in discussions at any time during which the course is open. There are no set times at which you must be online.

    This course includes a discussion board for students to pose questions and comments to their peers and the professor.

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