I just heard about this awesome news and wanted to share with all the natural history fans out there. No previous experience necessary, only an open mind and sense of adventure!
The course being offered
Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology will be led by Dr. Phil Currie. Currie is Curator of Dinosaurs at the University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Paleontology, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
The course will be available in three versions:
- to the world for free (no exams);
- to University of Alberta students for UAlberta credit, as either the online course version (PALEO 200) or the in-class experience version (PALEO 201); and
- to students from around the world for course accreditation for a modest fee.
Dino 101 will not only be engaging for individuals, but also for families and community members to share in the learning experience of the scientific method through the inspirational world of dinosaurs. It will also help highlight the best of Alberta’s rich dinosaur assets.
About the Course
Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology is a 12-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of non-avian dinosaurs. Topics covered: anatomy, eating, locomotion, growth, environmental and behavioral adaptations, origins and extinction. Lessons are delivered from museums, fossil-preparation labs and dig sites. Estimated workload: 3-5 hrs/wk for non-credit; 7-10 hrs/wk for credit.
Workload: 3-10 hours/week
Course SyllabusWeek 1: “Appearances and Anatomy” covers the diversity in dinosaur appearances, and will be able to identify major features of the major groups of dinosaurs.Week 2: “Eating” looks at the variety of food types, feeding habits, and feeding adaptations amongst the major groups of dinosaursWeek 3: “Moving Around” helps students understand the general modes and styles of locomotion in the major dinosaur groups. The lesson also describes general methods of evaluating hypotheses on locomotion.Week 4: “Birth, Growth, Reproduction” provides a generalized life history of a dinosaur, from birth through adulthood, including reproduction. The student will be able to describe major techniques of evaluating growth stages and rates in dinosaurs.Week 5: “Attack and Defence” examines the behaviours and structures that may have served for attack or defence through the lifetime of a dinosaur.Week 6: “Death and Fossilization” describes how fossils form, how we interpret the taphonomy of skeletons and bonebeds, and looks at the possible biases taphonomic events may create in the fossil record.Week 7: “What is a Species” will teach the different ways of defining what a species is. Students will be able to compare the strengths and weaknesses of different species concepts for different situations.Week 8: “Evolution” will describe the basic theories of speciation, and discusses how how these different methods of speciation may have occurred, including both hypothetical and empirical examples.Week 9: “Stratigraphy and Geologic Time” provides basic stratigraphic concepts and the scale of earth history. Students will understand the evolution of dinosaurs through time, including which groups evolved when and where.Week 10: “Palaeogeography and Plate Tectonics” presents the basic concepts in plate tectonics and the evolution of the earth’s surface.Week 11: “Dinosaur Origins” will look at the evolution of dinosaurs from non-dinosaurian archosaurs.Week 12: “Dinosaur Extinction” will examine the end-Cretaceous extinction event, and provide examples of vertebrate groups that both persisted and died out during the event.
For more information and to register please visit: http://uofa.ualberta.ca/dino101