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Earth's six major mass extinctions: an introduction

Course Dates: 14/02/21 - 21/02/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
Tutors:

An introductory course which gives a long-term perspective to extinction events throughout earth’s history, reminding us of the fragility of the planet's ecosystems. While we currently see the very real effects of climate change on the planet for humans, we may forget that many biological organisms have not survived in earlier extreme conditions. Looking back over the last 450 million years of earth’s history we will go beyond the extinction of the dinosaurs to mass extinctions that were even more devastating.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.

Description

What is the course about?

This course examines some aspects of our current climate crisis and of the 5 mass extinctions that ravaged the earth over the last 450 million years. It will give you an appreciation for the fragility of ecosystems, which can be disrupted by even the smallest change. You will also learn how scientists date rocks and how they know these extinction events took place. Scientists have not entirely explained the causes of these events and a number of possibilities will be examined for each period. This is an opportunity for you to go beyond the extinction of the dinosaurs to planetary history that featured some of the most devastating mass extinctions.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- The Holocene Extinction Event: Present Day
- The Extinction of the Dinosaurs: 65 million years ago
- The Triassic-Jurassic Extinction Event: 200 million years ago
- The Great Dying: 250 million years ago
- The Kellwasser - Hangenberg Event: 375 million years ago
- The Ordovician-Silurian Extinction Event: 450 million years ago.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- List the major extinction events
- Describe the key evidence that sheds light on these events
- Explain the mechanisms that contributed to the extinction event
- Learn about the fragility of ecosystems throughout prehistory.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory overview, no previous knowledge required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Combination of presentation, discussion and materials to view.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please do bring a notepad and pen.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HS141 A brief introduction to human evolution
HS117 The geology beneath British landscapes
HS046 Genes, genomes and genetic manipulation.

Reviews
Tutor Biographies
Charles Clarke Tutor Website

Charles T. G. Clarke hails from the Republic of Ireland. He specialises in Archaeology and Human Evolutionary research. With a Bacholar of Science in Applied Archaeology from the Institute of Technology Sligo and a Master of Science in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology (IOA) University College London (UCL). His work touches on aspects of the geological sciences from radiometric dating to an understanding of rock formation. He currently works as a Commercial Archaeologist with Archaeological Management Solutions (AMS) in the Republic of Ireland.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HS210

Sun, day, 14 Feb - 21 Feb '21

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £47.00
Concession: £30.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.