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Environmental Evolution, the Lynn Margulis legacy course, is a big-picture science course that examines the co-evolution of life and the environment. It offers an understanding of Gaia Theory, Earth history, the origin and effects of life, and the theory of evolution. It also provides insight into contemporary issues such as environmental preservation, climate change and the role of the microbial world in both human and planetary health. While the course takes on some challenging topics the focus is on general understanding. It is recommended, but not required, that students have already taken a semester of science, especially either biology, geology or chemistry. Environmental Evolution is a critical thinking course that teaches how scientists ask questions, investigate nature and build a world-view that is based on facts. The class is taught by Dr. Bruce Scofield, who co-taught the course with Lynn Margulis for ten years. The history of Earth is presented through lectures, discussions, some readings, films, and recordings made by scientists who are leaders in their fields. Grading is based on written assignments, weekly discussion forum questions, several short quizzes and a final paper.
  • Creators: Dr. Lynn Margulis, Dr. Bruce Scofield
  • Used by people who call the work: Gaia Theory/Science-Based Systems Thinking
  • Applies a deep time evolutionary perspective to: Biology and Earth Systems Science
  • Learning Stages: Adult Education, Higher Education, Lifelong
  • Types: Lecture/Webinar
  • Keywords: Gaia, Environmental Evolution, Lynn Margulis, Bruce Scofield, evolution, origin of life, Gaia theory, online course, James Lovelock, University of Massachusetts, Continuing and Professional Education, astrobiology, Earth systems science, Big History
  • Why I love this Resource: Environmental Evolution was the first Big Earth History course and the first course in Earth systems science. Lynn Margulis was the champion of ideas that are currently revolutionizing the fields of evolution, biology, physiology and medicine.
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  • Person/organization that added resource: James MacAllister
  • Date Added: February 26, 2018

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