This course presents a broad overview of the history of life on earth over the past four billion years, outlining the importance of biological input into the making of planet Earth. Topics include the use of fossils as keys to geological time, evolution and ancient environments; the origins of life, development of the atmosphere and oceans and evolution of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the light of plate tectonics; and morphology, paleoecology and evolution of important fossil groups, starting with bacteria, algae, vascular plants, and ending with protochordate invertebrates. Laboratory sessions deal with stromatolites, calcareous algae, vascular plants, microfossils and invertebrates (sponges, corals, bryozoans: remaining labs covered in GEOL 2407). Annual fall field trip to Manitoulin Island. Suitable for students of biology, geography or anthropology. (lec 3, lab 3) cr 3.