GEOL 197 - Selected Topics
Selected topical coverage of various timely or general interest subject areas in geology. The topic selected varies from year to year and is announced in advance of the registration period. Topics have included impact and extinction of the dinosaurs; volcanoes and tectonics; geologic consideration in land-use planning; and the geology of national parks. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits if the topic is different.
Winter 2018, GEOL 197-01: Special Topic: Are We Alone? (3). Despite estimates that there are billions of stars in the Universe (likely trillions of billions), Earth remains the only planetary body that we know has life (so far). This apparent paradox led the physicist Enrico Fermi to wonder: “where is everybody?” In this course, we explore modern thinking about the potential for extraterrestrial life, with particular focus on the concept of planetary habitability. What are the essential ingredients for the evolution of life like we know it? Our investigation focuses on relevant aspects of the planet we know best, Earth, including its formation, composition, climate, and tectonics. We also discuss the origin, history, and potential future of life on our planet. (SC) Rahl.
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