ANTH 201:  HUMAN EVOLUTION
Fall 2013

 

Instructor:  Barbara Welker                                   Office hours: Tu, W, Th 2:30-3:30

Office:  Fraser 118 & Lab:  Fraser 116                  Telephone:  245-5204 & email:  welker@geneseo.edu

 

This course is an in-depth examination of human evolution using a multidimensional approach.  Students will gain an understanding of the phylogenetic history of our tribe, Hominini, through lectures, lab work, and presentations/discussions.  Topics that will be covered fall into the general categories of:  (1) the fossil evidence, (2) environmental pressures driving the various stages of hominin evolution, (3) biological and behavioral adaptations, and (4) hominin culture.

 

Learning outcomes:

1.  Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the various stages of human evolution by writing two in-class examinations that have as their focus, (1) the fossil evidence with a special emphasis on morphological change and its adaptive significance over time and (2) the fossil sites and associated paleoanthropologists.  In addition, they will be able to recognize and associate factual and morphological information with the various fossil hominin casts during two practical examinations.

2.  Students will research and report on a hominin species of their choice.  They will demonstrate competency in research by reviewing and reporting on the relevant literature associated with their topic of interest by working in groups to plan an integrated presentation of their chosen species.  Their presentations will be assessed and will help hone their oral speaking/instructional skills.

3.  Students will gain writing experience and retain what they have learned from their research by writing a five page term paper.  They will improve their writing skills by making recommended corrections/revisions after I have corrected them.

4.  Students will demonstrate their familiarity with current theories regarding the mechanisms of evolution, the origin of life and biological diversity, human origins and evolutionary stages, the biological significance of our behavior, and how science is conducted by reading and discussing three books: Lucy’s legacy:  Sex and intelligence in human evolution, The fossil trail: How we know what we think we know about human evolution, and Mean Genes : From Sex To Money To Food: Taming Our Primal Instincts.

 

Required Books

  • Jolly A. (1999) Lucy’s legacy:  Sex and intelligence in human evolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-67-400540-2
  • Tattersall I. (2009) The fossil trail: How we know what we think we know about human evolution. NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-536766-9
  • Burkham T. and J. Phelan (2000) Mean Genes : From Sex To Money To Food, Taming Our Primal Instincts. Perseus Press. ISBN 0-7382-0230-4
  • Additional assigned readings are available on “mycourses” site.

 

Course requirements

1 quiz on human anatomy and bipedalism (5%)                5-page paper  (15%)                         

2 written exams (25% each)                                                 Presentation  (10%)

2 practical exams (7.5% each)                                             Participation (max 6%)

 

Participation credit cannot be made up.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  There are 6 days when discussions are scheduled. You will earn 1% for each discussion that you prepare for and participate in, as long as the “TOPICS” that you submit that day are acceptable (in terms of demonstrating your preparedness and the fact that you read the assigned reading).  “TOPICS” will consist of questions, comments, things you would like to discuss further…  They must NOT be an overview of the readings as that is not useful for generating instant discussion.  They are due on the day for which they are scheduled and cannot be submitted late. 

Written exams consist of fill-in, multiple choice, and short descriptive answers.  They are non-cumulative.

 

Practical exams involve students answering a variety of short answer questions about bones and fossil casts at stations set up around the laboratory.  YOU MUST BE ON TIME FOR PRACTICAL EXAMS AS THEY BEGIN AT SET TIMES AND CANNOT BE MADE UP.

 

PRESENTATIONS MUST BE ON MY COMPUTER BEFORE CLASS BEGINS – YOU MUST PUT THEM IN MY INBOX OR SEND THEM VIA EMAIL ≤1hr PRIOR – IF CLASS GETS HELD UP BECAUSE YOUR TALK IS NOT YET ON MY COMPUTER YOU WILL LOSE 25%; IF YOU MISS YOUR TIME SLOT, YOU WILL LOSE 50%

Presentation:  Students will research a particular species of hominin and present the results of their literature review to the class.  Talks should be 13-15min in length.  If they are less than 12min, you will lose credit.  Videos and other internet sites are not to be accessed as part of your presentation as they take up speaking time.  If you found a really interesting internet site, mention it in your talk.  A minimum of 5 acceptable references must be used and cited at the end of the presentation.  Acceptable references are peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters from edited books, and/or monographs that differ from assigned texts and other students’ references.  Magazine articles and internet sites can be used but must be in addition to the five or more acceptable references.  Students researching a particular species need to be sure that they are not duplicating a topic that someone else is working on.  You will meet your co-researchers in class.

 

FAILURE TO CONFORM TO PAPER GUIDELINES RESULTS IN FORFEITURE OF REVISIONS

Paper:  Papers need to be a minimum of five pages in length (writing is worth 50pt and for every ½ page that is missing, you will lose 5pt), typed using 12 font and standard margins (≤1.25), double-spaced, spell-checked, and proof-read.  Your research is worth 50pt (10pt each deducted for missing references).  References (see above for 5 acceptable references) must be cited throughout the text of your paper and “Works Cited” should conform to the AJPA format (see mycourses “course materials”). Papers are due 1 week after presentation and from 11/26 on, they are due on the same day as the presentation5pt/day deducted if papers are late AND you forfeit revisions

 
Please note:  SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities.  Accommodations will also be made for medical conditions related to pregnancy or parenting.  Students should contact Dean Buggie-Hunt in the Office of Disability Services (tbuggieh@geneseo.edu or 585-245-5112) and their faculty to discuss needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.
 

Week  Date                                        Topic                                                                          Reading Assignments:

T=Tattersall, J=Jolly, M=mycourses, B&P=Burkham & Phelan

=============================================================================

1          8/27                 Introduction and presentation assignments

            8/29                 Human skeleton & LAB

2          9/3                   Bipedalism and related anatomical landmarks            & LAB                       M: Campbell

            9/5                   LIBRARY RESEARCH in Milne 104

3          9/10                 LAB & TOPICS                                                                               J1-100

            9/12                 Practical QUIZ on human and bipedal anatomy                                 J101-223

                                    Meet in diff location & TOPICS

4          9/17                 Pre- and early hominins                                                                      T1-50

            9/19                 Ardipithecines & Australopithecines                                                             T51-98

5          9/24                 Robust Australopithecines TOPICS                                                            J224-308                    

            9/26                 LAB and 3 presentations (*10/3)

6          10/1                 Early Homo & and 2 presentations (*10/8)                                     T99-150

            10/3                 LAB and 3 presentations (*10/10)

7          10/8                 LAB & TOPICS                                                                               J309-434

            10/10               MIDTERM PRACTICAL EXAM Meet in diff location

8          10/15               FALL BREAK                                                          

            10/17               Film: “Ardi”

10        10/22               “Becoming Human I” and 1 presentation (*10/31)

            10/24               MIDTERM WRITTEN EXAM Meet in diff location

11        10/29               Homo erectus and 1 presentation (*11/5)                                        T151-202

            10/31               “Becoming Human II” and 1 presentation (*11/7)

12        11/5                 Homo heidelbergensis & 2 Presentations (*11/12)                          T203-250

            11/7                 3 Presentations (*11/14) & LAB                                                     T251-294

13        11/12               “Becoming Human III” and 1 presentation (*11/19)

            11/14               3 Presentations (*11/21) & TOPICS                                            B&P1-128

14        11/19               Neandertals and 1 presentation (*11/26)

            11/21               Homo sapiens sapiens

15        11/26               LAB and 2 presentations (*today)

            11/28               THANKSGIVING BREAK

16        12/3                 3 Presentations (*today) & TOPICS                                             B&P129-252             

            12/5                 LAB and 2 presentations (*today)

            12/12               12:00 FINAL EXAMS (written and practical) Meet in diff location

 

                                    *Date when term papers are due, in relation to presentations