About this Course
4.4
57 ratings
15 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 34 hours to complete

Suggested: 8 weeks of study; 4-6 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Romanian
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 34 hours to complete

Suggested: 8 weeks of study; 4-6 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Romanian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Orientation

In this module, you will become familiar with the course, your instructor, your classmates, and our learning environment....
Reading
2 videos (Total 8 min), 8 readings, 1 quiz
Video2 videos
Welcome to the Emergence of Life!5m
Reading8 readings
Welcome to Emergence of Life!10m
Syllabus10m
Updating Your Profile10m
Social Media10m
About the Discussion Forums10m
How Graded Discussions Work10m
Discussion Rubric10m
Paper Assignment Rubric10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Orientation Quiz10m
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Week 1 - Geological Time and the Nature of Science

The week begins with a discussion of the historical and philosophical approaches that have been developed for the completion of scientific research, with the work of Professor Carl Woese evaluated as an example. The basic tools required for this type of scientific reasoning and the ability to overcome the challenging concepts of scale and complexity are then presented. Finally, we'll explore the dynamic formation of the Earth itself with respect to the environmental conditions present on the earliest and most ancient version of planet Earth....
Reading
9 videos (Total 71 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video9 videos
1.2. Philosophical Benchmarks in Science10m
1.3. Scientific Inquiry vs Scientific Method6m
1.4. The Scale of Time and Space: Powers of Ten8m
1.5. NASA’s Greeting Card to Aliens: The Golden Record11m
1.6. Deep Geological Time4m
1.7. The Structure of the Solar System7m
1.8. Birth of the Earth7m
1.9. The Perfect Storm: A Recipe for Life5m
Reading1 reading
Week 1 Overview10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 1 Quiz As
Week 1 Quiz B30m
Week
2
Hours to complete
10 hours to complete

Week 2 - The Tree of Life and Early Earth Environments

The advent of life on Earth came about as a result of a remarkable confluence of physical, chemical, and biological processes, all of which were intrinsically linked to rapidly changing early Earth environments. Within this context, cutting-edge approaches in molecular phylogeny by Professor Carl Woese revealed new understandings of the emergence of life and the possible distribution of life within the cosmos. All this and more will be explored in this week's lessons!...
Reading
10 videos (Total 75 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
Video10 videos
2.2. The Place of Carl Woese in Evolutionary Biology8m
2.3. Revolution of the Tree of Life7m
2.4. Evolution of the Tree of Life6m
2.5. How Did Life Emerge?5m
2.6. The Genetic Code and Evolutionary Theory7m
2.7. Throwing Rocks at Earth: The Martian Meteorite10m
2.8. Microbial Mats and Stromatolites: Laying Down On the Job6m
2.9. Oxygenation of the Atmosphere5m
2.10. Snowball Earth; It Did Freeze Over!8m
Reading3 readings
Week 2 Overview10m
Who Was Carl Woese?10m
Paper Assignment 1 Information10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 2 Quiz As
Week 2 Quiz B30m
Week
3
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Week 3 - Fossilization and Precambrian Life-Earth Interaction

This week, you'll explore how scientists interpret ancient fossilized life, which yields remarkably detailed and complete reconstructions of the lifestyles of ancient organisms that have been deceased for hundreds, thousands, millions, and even billions of years. These reconstructions provide valuable information regarding the evolutionary success of organism morphology and lifestyle....
Reading
7 videos (Total 62 min), 1 reading, 3 quizzes
Video7 videos
3.2. Ancient Forensic Science: Fossilization12m
3.3. Getting Old and Well-Preserved: Modes of Preservation9m
3.4. Our Spineless Friends: The Invertebrates6m
3.5. Lifestyles of the Rich and Fossilized6m
3.6. Trying to Make a Living: Fossil Feeding Modes6m
3.7. The Great Experiment of the Ediacaran Fauna7m
Reading1 reading
Week 3 Overview10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 3 Quiz As
Week 3 Quiz B30m
Week
4
Hours to complete
9 hours to complete

Week 4 - Paleozoic Life After the Advent of Skeletons

This week, you'll learn more about the Cambrian Explosion, which led to the development of external hard skeleton components at 542 million years before present. The initial successes of the invertebrates were shortly followed by the appearance of vertebrates with internal skeletons. Life then utilized these newfound evolutionary capabilities, beginning distinct cycles of radiation, diversification, and extinction, which define the three great Eukarya faunas of the Phanerozoic....
Reading
10 videos (Total 96 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
Video10 videos
4.2. Cambrian Explosion3m
4.3. Cambrian Fauna: Origin of Vertebrates14m
4.4. Burgess Shale Experiment5m
4.5. Invertebrates: Successes of Life Without a Backbone18m
4.6. Paleozoic Fauna12m
4.7. Vertebrates: Successes of Life With a Backbone3m
4.8. Evolution of Jaws and Perfecting Predation13m
4.9. Heavily Armored Fish Without Jaws6m
4.10. Fish Evolution: Hook, Line, and Sinker10m
Reading2 readings
Week 4 Overview10m
Paper Assignment 2 Information10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 4 Quiz As
Week 4 Quiz B30m

Instructor

Avatar

Bruce W. Fouke, Ph.D.

Director of the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center
Department of Geology, Department of Microbiology, and Institute for Genomic Biology

About University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement, distinguished by the breadth of its programs, broad academic excellence, and internationally renowned faculty and alumni. Illinois serves the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and finding solutions to critical societal needs. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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