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Earth's Evolving Systems: The History of Planet Earth, Second Edition is an introductory text designed for popular courses in undergraduate Earth history. Written from a "systems perspective", it provides coverage of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere, and discusses how those systems interacted over the course of geologic time. The origins of the planet and life and its evolution are presented within the context of the major eras, including Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Paleogene, and Neogene. No other resource captures the dynamism of our planet's fascinating history. Earth's Evolving Systems draws primarily on the author's approach to an introductory course populated mostly by non-science majors. He has taught the course for over 20 years and its content convinces some students to become geology majors.
Part 1 Earth Systems: Their Nature and Their Study
Chapter 1 Investigating Earth Systems
Chapter 2 Plate Tectonics
Chapter 3 Earth Systems: Processes and Interactions
Chapter 4 Sedimentary Rocks, Sedimentary Environments, and Fossils
Chapter 5 Evolution and Extinction
Chapter 6 Geologic Time and Stratigraphy
Part 2 The Precambrian Origin and Early Evolution of Earth’s Systems
Chapter 7 An Extraordinary Beginning: The Hadean and Archean
Chapter 8 The Origins of Life
Chapter 9 The Proterozoic: Life Becomes a Geologic Force
Chapter 10 Life’s Big Bang: The Explosive Origins and Early Diversification of Multicellular Animals
Part 3 The Phanerozoic: Toward the Modern World
Chapter 11 The Early-to-Middle Paleozoic World
Chapter 12 Late Paleozoic World
Chapter 13 The Mesozoic Era
Chapter 14 The Cenozoic Era: The Paleogene Period
Chapter 15 The Cenozoic Era: The Neogene Period
Part 4 Humans and the Environment
Chapter 16 Rapid Climate Change During the Holocene
Chapter 17 The Anthropocene: Humans as an Environmental Force
Ron Martin is Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Delaware. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from Bowling Green State University, M.S. from the University of Florida, and the Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley.
His present research focuses on the evolution of plankton and the biosphere, marine-terrestrial interactions, and the formation of fossil assemblages, especially those of microfossils, and their use in deciphering past climate and sea-level change; microfossils as bioindicators of ecosystem health; and geoarchaeology.
He worked as a biostratigrapher for Unocal in Houston prior to coming to Delaware in 1985. He has served as Associate Editor of Palaios, Editor of the Journal of Foraminiferal Research, President of the North American Micropaleontological Section of the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), and is the author of One Long Experiment: Scale and Process in Earth History, Taphonomy: A Process Approach, and editor of Environmental Micropaleontology: The Application of Microfossils to Environmental Geology. He teaches courses in paleontology, stratigraphy, and Earth systems, and has been nominated for the University of Delaware excellence in Teaching Award several times.