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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Earth System Evolution: The First Four Billion Years

Instructor(s): Richard Lindemann, Geosciences

Are there golden threads permeating Earth’s history that could contribute to the optimization of the human condition and the longevity of our species? If so, where are they preserved and by what signs might we recognize them? The Earth System has evolved over the past 3.5 billion years through interactions among the planet’s solid surface, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. While changes in the planet’s inanimate components have been predominantly cyclic in character, biospheric components ranging from bacteria to ecosystems have evolved by adapting to global change through the development of synergistic survival mechanisms. This course is a study of global evolution form prebiotic times to the present to seek out modes of change and adaptation within the Earth System that may be applicable to envisioning a sustainable future for Homo sapiens.

Course Offered