Each year, typically in the spring, UCMP hosts a short course on topics in
paleontology for general audiences. This page describes short courses
offered in recent years. Activities take place in Berkeley, California.
Registration is required, and space is limited. Dates for upcoming short
courses can be found on our Upcoming
Events page two to three months in advance.
If you are interested in receiving e-mail notification of short courses
and lectures, please send e-mail to: email@example.com.
The Implications of Evolution: Evidence and Applications
On Saturday, February 10, 2007, come learn about current research in evolutionary biology, including behavior and defense, primate evolution, and coevolution and its impact on biodiversity. Click the link to find out more.
California on Shaky Ground
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the short
course began with geologists and seismologists discussing the Bay Area’s seismic history, advances in earthquake
science, the threat of tsunamis, and what’s being done to better understand how earthquakes work. On Sunday,
a special workshop for teachers included a series of practical, standards-based, hands-on activities appropriate
for grades six and higher. Teachers also took a campus tour to see evidence of movement on the Hayward Fault,
such as this crack in Memorial Stadium (right).
Revisiting the Uniqueness that is California
Due to the popularity of 2004's short course theme, we decided to stay with it.
New speakers spoke on new topics, such as California's seismic origins,
dinosaurs, sharks, terrestrial vertebrates, and redwood ecology. On Sunday, Jere Lipps explained
the major geological processes responsible for producing our local landforms and the diverse
biological communities that they support during a geologic tour of the Bay Area.
The Uniqueness that is California
This course featured a one-day series of speakers, each sharing
their research as it relates to the uniqueness of California its
geology, paleontology, biodiversity, and peoples. An optional field
trip led by David Howell of the USGS gave an interesting perspective on
the connections between geology and climate and the production of the
wonderful wines of the Napa Valley.
The Evolution Solution
This course focused on a series of case studies illustrating
the importance of evolution in our understanding of biodiversity and
behavior, as well as its relevance to our society. Topics ranged from the
evolutionary "baggage" exemplified by marine mammals, to evolutionary
strategies used by plants to cope with changing CO2 levels, and the origin
of modern humans and the evolution of their behavioral advances.
Back to the Future: The History of the San Francisco Bay
This two-day course focused on the past, present, and future of
the San Francisco Bay, including geology, ecology, and human impacts.
Saturday's lecutures touched on sea level fluctuations, geologic processes,
and much more. A Sunday cruise on the Bay offered participants an
opportunity to see many of the features discussed during the lectures,
including the wonderful layers of sedimentary graywacke on Yerba Buena
Tracking the Course of Evolution
About 200 participants enjoyed a comprehensive look at the evolution of life on
Earth. Saturday's lectures, for a general audience, covered a variety of
topics from microbes to plants to evolution and systematics. Sunday's
presentations targeted classroom teachers, including a discussion with
scientists, teaching strategies and hands-on activities.
"Original" Thoughts: Interpreting the Evidence for Origins and Evolution
This two-day short course
focused on a series of lectures on Saturday covering the origins of life,
the Cambrian Explosions, the challenges of terrestriality, novel
structures, adaptation, and the origin of human social bonds. Sunday
provided a series of hands-on activities appropriate for grades 6-12 on
associated subjects. (Offered in March)
Our Pleistocene Heritage
This two-day short course focused on a series of lectures on Saturday covering
the geology, fauna and flora of California 1.8 million to 11,000 years
ago. This was followed by a Sunday field trip viewing Pleistocene sites in
both Marin and Sonoma counties. (Offered in February)
Biodiversity, Past and Present
A series of lectures on different perspectives on diversity that went beyond the
buzzwords, the tree-hugging, the sloganeering, and the doomsaying to the
science itself. Topics included: diversity through time, extinctions as a
natural process, the myth of stability of communities, conservation
decisions and case studies. (Offered in November)
UCMP Anniversary Lecture Series
Our Earliest Ancestors: New Discoveries from the Middle Awash,
Ethiopia — Professor Tim White (October)
Keeping House and Minding the Store: Seashells, Museums and How
they Contribute to Our Understanding of Economics — Professor Geerat
The Decline of Reason: Science, Pseudoscience
and Antiscience in America — Professor Jere H. Lipps (December)
A Symposium on Origins
This series of lectures focused on origins and evolution from that of the Universe, to
the Solar System and the Earth, and then to the origin of life in general,
animals, plants, humans, and even life beyond Earth. (Offered in
Tracking the Course of Evolution
This inaugural two-day short course focused on a series of
lectures on both Saturday and Sunday covering the Precambrian life,
adaptations, dinosaur evolution and extinction, origin of mammals and the
evolution of humankind. The lectures were interspersed with tours of the
collections, slide shows, demonstrations of web-based resources, and
hands-on activities. (Offered in December)
Updated November 9, 2006