Public programs : Short courses

A University of California Museum of Paleontology short course
Global climate change and its influence on evolution


Climate and the evolution of Earth's terrestrial biota
Bruce Tiffney recommends the following topical resources:

On PALEOCLIMATOLOGY (the first two are fairly technical, the third more popularized and focused):
• Crowley, T.J., and G.R. North. 1996. Paleoclimatology. Oxford University Press.
• Frakes, L.A., J.E. Francis, and J.I. Syktus. 2005. Climate Modes of the Phanerozoic. Cambridge University Press.
• Beerling, D.J. 2007. Emerald Planet: How Plants Changed Earth's History. Oxford University Press.
On the EFFECT OF CLIMATE ON LIFE (both of the following are good "historical geology" texts, and summarize major transitions in the history of life, which almost always involve some climatic change):
• Prothero, D.R., and R.H. Dott. 2003. Evolution of the Earth. McGraw Hill Pub. Co.
• Stanley, S.M. 2004. Earth System History. W.H. Freeman Co.
• Of course we start with University of California Museum of Paleontology site — The Paleozoic, The Mesozoic, and The Cenozoic.
• For an overview of Phanerozoic (Cambrian to present) maps depicting climates and continental positions of the globe see The Paleomap Project.
• See a summation of Earth climate as presented in a UC Berkeley geography course (contains some good graphics).
• See a lecture sequence (with graphics) concerning Paleozoic climate.
Permian climate and phytogeography.
Jurassic climate and phytogeography.
• Find information on the Paleocene Thermal Maximum and Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (good summary of the last 65 Ma from the University of Southampton, UK).
• Read a brief summation of questions and research surrounding the PETM/EECM.

Did global climate change influence human evolution?
Access information about Tim White's research at the Human Evolution Research Center website.

The green evolution: how climate has shaped plants and plant communities through time — and vice versa
Caroline Strömberg recommends the following papers and books and provides two images (pdf) that she references in her presentation.

• Osborne, C.P. 2007. Atmosphere, ecology and evolution: what drove the Miocene expansion of C4 grasslands? Journal of Ecology 96:35-45.
• Strömberg, C.A.E. 2005. Decoupled taxonomic radiation and ecological expansion of open-habitat grasses in the Cenozoic of North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the Unites States of America 102(34):11980-11984.
• Wing, S.L., G.J. Harrington, F.A. Smith, J.I. Bloch, D.M. Boyer, and K.H. Freeman. 2005. Transient floral change and rapid global warming at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. Science 310:993-996.
A great book about the EVOLUTION OF PLANTS, which provides some good climate context:
• Willis, K.J., and J.C. McElwain. 2002. The evolution of plants. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.
Also, in the Virtual Paleobotany Lab, a chapter on climate inferred from plants.

Effects of recent climate change on California birds and mammals — and improving projections for the future
Craig Moritz will provide updated information on the Grinnell Project as it evolves.

The Evolution Explosion by Steve Palumbi
Rapid evolution caused by human-induced environmental changes
A visit to Steve Palumbi's home page will provide a wealth of resources including a link to his "Short Attention Span Science Theater". and even some of his music — The Last Fish Left. Steve is the author of an excellent book, The Evolution Explosion, (right) described as "entertaining, eloquent, and right up to date." This is a great read for those interested in why evolution is important in our lives — shouldn't that be all of us?

Return to the short course agenda.

This short course is co-sponsored by the California Science Teachers Association, the California Academy of Sciences, the Oakland Museum of California, and the UC Berkeley Natural History Museums.