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Introduction to the course

What are dinosaurs?
Dinosaurs are a group of reptiles that include birds and all other reptiles more closely related to birds than other reptiles. They share the characteristic of having a hole through the hip socket.


Why study dinosaurs?

What is the purpose of this course?
Its purpose is to show you how a historical science works and give you some practical knowledge about how the Earth as a system works.
What is the basic structure of the course?
There are 27 lectures
There is a midterm and a final
There is a term paper of about 10 pages; first draft is due Monday, 3/29/04, and the final draft is due Monday, 5/03/04.
Class participation is very important. Attendence to the lectures is manditory; while there is significant material on the course web pages, the lectures contain additional material taught from powerpoint lectures.
There are occasionally homework problems.
To use this course to fulfill the Science Requirement, Barnard students must take the lab. For all others it is optional.
The laboratory is offered for this course and is worth 1 point. Though optional to most it is highly recommended because of the hands on experience it gives you. Lab students generally do better than average on the exams.
What is the book for the course?"
The Mistaken Extinction: Dinosaur Evolution and the Origin of Birds. by Lowell Dingus and Timothy Rowe (referred to as "Dingus and Rowe" in readings)
What is the basis for the grades?
Go to Grading.
This course is available on-line - how do we use it there?
The home page for this course is:
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/dees/courses/v1001/
All handouts, homework assignments, course notes, and much other useful information is available on the World Wide Web. While not a requirement for the course, the more you use the WWW the better off you will be not just in this course, but in general.
I will spend part of this lecture going over how to use the web and gain access to this web site.

Go To The Next Lecture: Unraveling Geological Time


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BACK TO THE DINOSAUR AND THE HISTORY OF LIFE HOME PAGE