MITx: The History of Ancient Environments, Climate, and Life
A survey of Earth's early history of life and environments through a combination of classroom lecture and virtual field trips to Northern Minnesota, Svalbard, Norway, and the Death Valley area. At these key sites, students explore the interactions between Earth's early environments and ancient life.
The History of Ancient Environments, Climate, and Life
About this courseSkip About this course
Students explore the co-evolution of Earth's environment and life from ~2 billion years ago to 500 million years ago by examining rocks from several field location around the world. This course is designed to give students an introductory understanding of Earth history and geology through a series of lectures, virtual field trips, and interviews with experienced geologists. Virtual field sites include the early-mid Proterozoic of Minnesota, and the Neoproterozoic and early Phanerozoic of Svalbard (Norway) and the Death Valley region (eastern California).
At a glance
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Describe key aspects of the rock and fossil record over Earth’s early history
- Look at a sedimentary rock and describe key features
- Use those observations to make inferences about the depositional environment
- Understand how geology from the field can aid understanding of Earth’s history