Residential College Courses

Natural Science (Division 875)

232. History of Life. (4). (NS). (BS).

This course surveys the history of life through geologic time and introduces biological diversity from the perspectives of evolutionary biology and ecology. Factual content focuses on the historical development of life on earth as known from the fossil record and the diversity, ecology, and adaptations of living organisms. Principles and concepts of historical geology, evolutionary biology, and ecology form the conceptual core of the course. Subjects include earth history, origin of life, origins of species and major groups, constraints on the design of organisms, controls on biological diversity, extinction and the current loss of biodiversity, climate and evolution, and human evolution. Also, we will discuss the implications of earth history and evolution for conservation, nature vs. Nurture in human behavior, and the ethical treatment of other species. Weekly field trips will demonstrate the biodiversity of organisms, habitats, and ecosystems. There will be several written exercises, frequent writings in class, a field project, midterm and a final. Texts: The Book of Life, edited by Stephen Jay Gould; The Diverse of Life by E.O.Wilson, and a small course pack. (Badgley)

Social Science (Division 877)

460. Social Science Senior Seminar. Senior standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 101 Senior Research Seminar: Topics in Recent Detroit History. Permission of instructor is required. Preference will be given to senior and/or Social Science concentrators.
This senior research seminar will organize itself for field work during Spring term. The nature of the research projects conducted in this seminar will depend upon the composition and inclinations of the group that forms. There are three general developments that seem possible: (a) students may decide that they wish, individually, to pursue research in topics of interest, in which case the seminar will serve for support and discussion; (b) students may decide to pursue a cluster of related topics flowing from a common problem or theme, in which case the seminar will be used to develop bridging themes and questions that can inform the work of individuals and teams doing research; (c) students may agree on a common topic for investigation, in which case the seminar will constitute itself as a research team, and the final paper will be collectively composed and written. (Bright)


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