Paleontology and Geology of Indiana focuses on the geological and evolutionary processes that have shaped our planet and life on it over the last 550 million years, the long, fossil-rich period known as the Phanerozoic. Using Indiana as the focus, you will learn about the evolutionary history of major groups of animals and plants, the origins of life on land, the growth of the North American continent, changes to the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, and the interactions among life, climate, sediments, and geological structures.

Module 1 - Indiana Today

Overview of Indiana's physiography and climate; Introduction to modern biomes; Anthropogenic changes to modern Indiana; Historical view of life and the Earth; Introduction to Earth systems.

Lecture 1 - Indiana Today.pdf

Module 2 - The Lay of the Land

Terms associated with surface geology and geomorphology; Processes of weathering, erosion, transport, and deposition; Historical thinking about landforms; Surface geology of Indiana.

Lecture 2 - The Lay of the Land.pdf

Module 3 - A Short History of North America

Introduction to Geological Time Scale; Structure of the Earth, formation of rocks and continents; Early history of the Earth; Continental history of the Phanerozoic; Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and sea level through the Phanerozoic. [Geol Timescale Handout]

Lecture 3- Short history of North America.pdf

Module 4 - Where Do Indiana's Rocks Come From?

Sedimentary rocks - definitions and sources; Siliciclastic versus carbonate; Depositional environments; Types of siliciclastic rocks (clays, siltstones/shale, sandstones, conglomerates); Types of carbonate rocks (limestones, dolomites); Rock types in Indiana; Denudation and erosion rates

Lecture 4 - Where do rocks come from.pdf

Module 5 - Overview of Indiana Geology

Indiana's bedrock geological map; Cross-section of bedrock geology in Indiana Large and small scale geological maps; William Smith and the first geological map Stratigraphic column of Indiana; Stratigraphic terminology; David Dale Owen and geology of the Mississippi Basin; Overview of events represented in Indiana's rocks.

Lecture 5 - Overview of Indiana Geology.pdf

Module 6 - A Short History of Life and Metazoan Phyla

 Phylogeny and classification; Origin and early history of life; Metazoan radiation and phyla; Diversity and mass extinctions.

Lecture 6 - Short history of life and phyla.pdf

Module 7 - Ordovician: the Cincinnatian and the Richmondian Invasion

The Ordovician system in Indiana; Cambrian and Ordovician life; Taconic Orogeny and the formation of the Cincinnati Arch; Paleogeography of the Cincinnatian in Indiana; Facies; Cincinnati School of paleontology; Ordovician life; The Richmondian invasion and the end-Ordovician extinction.

Lecture 7 - Ordovician and Richmondian Invasion.pdf

Module 8 - Silurian and Devonian: Colonization of the Land

Climate and atmosphere in the Paleozoic; Silurian and Devonian rock units in Indiana; Events of the Silurian and Devonian; Paleogeography and major structural features, including Illinois and Michigan Basins; Stromatoporoid reefs; First land plants in Silurian; Falls of the Ohio State Park.

Lecture 8 - Silurian and Devonian.pdf

Module 9 - Mississippian: the Borden Delta

Late Devonian and Carboniferous rocks in Indiana; Borden group formations; Extinctions; Sea level changes, transgressions and regressions; Fluvial and deltaic depositional systems; Mississippi Delta; Borden Delta and Ontario River; Deltaic facies in the Borden Group.

Lecture 9 - Borden Delta.pdf

Module 10 - Mississippian: Sun, Seas, and Reefs

Paleogeography and sea level changes in the later Mississippian; Sanders and Blue River group rocks; Geological map of Monroe and Brown counties; Salem Limestone depositional environments and fossils; Karst formation; Karst, caves, and lost rivers in Indiana.

Lecture 10 - Later Mississippian.pdf

Module 11 - Pennsylvanian: Plants and Climate

Pennsylvanian paleogeography and rock units; Terrestrial life in the Pennsylvanian; Early land plants, lepidodendron forests, Pennsylvanian biomes; Coal and its formation; Transgression, regression, and cyclothems; Carbon and oxygen cycles and the effects of plant burial on atmospheric composition; Cyclothems and an Ice Age in the Pennsylvanian.

Lecture 11 - Pennsylvanian.pdf

Module 12 - Evolution, Phylogeny, and Taxonomy

Basic principles of phylogenetic trees; Terminology of phylogenetic trees and characters; Evidence for phylogeny; Evolution, descent with modification, and natural selection; Phylogeny reconstruction, traits, and parsimony; Metazoan phylogeny; Field gear.

Lecture 12 - Phylogeny.pdf

Module 13 - Industry in Indiana: Stone, Coal, and Oil

Types of geological industry in Indiana; Stone industry; Hydrocarbons and formation of oil and gas; Trenton gas field and its history; Rise and fall of gas and oil resources.

Lecture 13 - Geological industry.pdf

Module 14 - Speciation, Extinction, Biostratigraphic Correlation

Basic concepts of speciation, first and last appearances, and biostratigraphic concepts.

Lecture 14 - speciation, extinction, correlation.pdf

Module 15 - What We Miss: Mesozoic and Cenozoic

Late Paleozoic; Assembly of Pangea; Permian-Triassic extinction and its causes; Mesozoic paleogeography and faunas; Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction and its causes; Cenozoic paleogeography and climates; Eocene forests.

Lecture 15 - Mesozoic and Cenozoic.pdf

Module 16 - Quaternary Environments and Glacial Cycles

Quaternary climate in Cenozoic context; Agassiz and discovery of past glaciations; Glacial cycles and relation to orbital cycles; Ice sheets, glacial / interglacial terminology, oxygen isotope stages; Glacial landforms; Methods for absolute age determination and radiocarbon; Glacial history and modern physiography; Distribution of soil types and Quaternary history; Glacial landforms in Indiana.

Lecture 16 - Quaternary environments.pdf

Module 17 - People Come to Indiana: Late Pleistocene Extinctions

Modern mammals and biomes; Quaternary mammals, biomes, and non-analogue faunas; Mammoths, mastodons, and pollen; Early human evolution and expansion into the New World; Late Pleistocene extinctions.

Lecture 17 - Biomes and people.pdf

Module 18 - Back to the Present, and the Future

The pattern of glacial-interglacial cycles; Oxygen isotope proxies for climate; Regional differences in paleoenvironmental change; Late Quaternary extinction and the role of humans; Current changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature; Comparison with past; Certainties and uncertainties from a geological and paleontological perspective.

Lecture 18 - Back to present.pdf