OSHR 1896 - Earth History - The Last 541 Million Years

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

In this journey through the last 541 million years Earth history, we will examine the co-evolution of the lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. We will reconstruct the formation and breakup of supercontinents, the formation of mountain ranges, flooding and emergence of land areas and the warming and cooling of climates.

We will also examine the evolution of life from the explosion of marine invertebrate organisms with shells to the invasion of land by plants and animals, the origin and extinction of dinosaurs and the evolution of mammals and humans. In our journey we will consider changes in major chemical cycles and how they affect ocean chemistry, life, weathering, sediment production and global climate.

This course is a natural follow-up to the Osher Early Spring 2014 course "The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years", but is a stand along course - participation at the previous course is not necessary. The course is designed for those with an interest in geologic processes and history, including biological evolution.

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.