How has life on earth changed throughout the last 3.8 billion years of geologic time? This course is an overview of the science of paleontology and the fossil record of ancient life. Geological and biological principles for interpreting ancient life are introduced and examined. The earth's geologic timescale and methods of absolute and relative age dating techniques will be discussed. Important groups from the invertebrate and vertebrate fossil records, including, plants, dinosaurs, and other organisms will be covered. The course will include several field trips to nearby locations to collect and examine fossils along with the rocks in which they are found.