Paleonet: Teaching: making paleo relevant

Paula M. Mikkelsen pmm37 at
Mon Feb 4 13:57:59 UTC 2013

"Teaching Paleontology in the 21st Century" is now in book form, available from the Paleontological Society through the PRI online bookstore.

Paula Mikkelsen
Paula M. Mikkelsen, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Science and Director of Publications
Visiting Fellow, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel. (607) 273-6623, ext. 20
Fax (607) 273-6620
email  pmm37 at
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-----Original Message-----
From: paleonet-bounces at [mailto:paleonet-bounces at] On Behalf Of Martin Farley
Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2013 6:35 PM
To: PaleoNet
Subject: Re: Paleonet: Teaching: making paleo relevant

One suggestion is to peruse the set of teaching activities on Paleontology at the Carleton College SERC website (
and see if there are some that meet your needs or inspire you to create your own. There was a workshop specifically on "Teaching Paleontology in the21st century" about 3.5 years ago. The participants contributed a wealth of activities on paleo sensu lato (e.g., some are suitable for courses like Historical Geology).

Some of how I do this is tied to my region (e.g., Quaternary climate change; sea level on the NC Coastal Plain), and some isn't (e.g., I created an exercise to show the application of relative geologic time principles based on investigations of paleoseismology along the San Andreas fault).

Some of the things I do are for lab only; others, although hands-on "lab"
exercises, I do in lecture. Depending on your class size, you might be able to do the same.

On Sun, February 3, 2013 2:15 pm, Thomas Hegna wrote:
> All,
>   To those of you who teach classes like Historical Geology, History 
> of the Earth, and Paleontology: how do you make connections between 
> events in the past (both in terms of mechanism and scale) and those we 
> see today? I feel like thus far in my teaching I have kept these 
> connections too general (sea-level rise, climate change, etc.) and not 
> tied it down with meaningful specifics. How do others approach this?
> Best,
> Tom
> ___________________________________
> Thomas A. Hegna
> ___________________________________
> Department of Geology
> Western Illinois University
> Tillman Hall 113
> 1 University Circle
> Macomb, IL 61455
> ___________________________________
> _______________________________________________
> Paleonet mailing list
> Paleonet at

Truly yours,

Martin Farley
mbfarley at

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