This course examines the wide variety of geologic, physical, chemical, and biologic evidence for the nature, duration, timing, and causes of climate change throughout the long history of our planet. In general, the course proceeds chronologically through geologic time. As the course approaches the modern world, students examine the paleoclimate record in progressively greater detail, and consider increasingly complex explanations for the patterns seen. Because of the great breadth (interdisciplinary range) and great depth (wide range of time periods) of the topics considered, students use a wide range of sources, including semi-popular articles, textbooks, and primary literature. The lab focuses on examining a variety of primary sources of paleoclimatic information and techniques of data analysis, such as tree rings, pollen, and stable isotopes.
Prerequisites: Completion of Natural Scientific Approaches core