An investigation of Earth's dynamic history and evolutionary changes over the past 4.5 billion years. Topics include impacts of climate change, the evolution of life, major changes in the nature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans, and for major mountain building events that have affected the continents as well as the evolutionary development of plant and animal life as recorded in the geologic record. Specific topics include the origin of life, mass extinctions of dinosaurs and other organisms, paleoclimate, and the geologic history of New York State. The link between geology, chemical cycles and life is highlighted, as is the relation of past biogeochemical changes to current global environmental change. Field trips during lab investigate local geologic history and the course may require a weekend field trip.