Winter interim course teaches Earth's history in a natural laboratory Twitter
A course itinerary that includes hiking up Andean volcanoes with views of glaciers and snorkeling along the coast of the Galapagos Islands where Charles Darwin formed some of his ideas of evolutionary biology gives students quite an appreciation for the history of Earth.
As part of their biennial January interim course, “Geological and Paleobiological Evolution of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands,” Lawrence Malinconico and David Sunderlin, associate professors of geology and environmental geosciences, used Ecuador as a natural laboratory. Twenty-four students from a variety of majors learned about the origin of oceanic crust and hotspot island archipelagos, the development of continental mountain ranges, and the relationship of geological processes to biogeography and biological evolution.
The 21-day course began with one and one-half days of intensive on-campus sessions, which laid the foundation for what they would encounter during the immersive field experience.