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EARTH 460: Paleobiology and Paleoenvironments

June 8 - July 8, 2016

Ruggized field digital data collection

Earth's biosphere has coevolved with its climatic and environmental conditions at the surface. This course will explore that coupled system in detail, looking at both biological and environmental changes, by focusing on interdisciplinary fieldbased case studies. Using the natural laboratory of UM's Camp Davis, as well as sites in places like Colorado, Utah, and Montana, students will learn techniques and skills needed to interpret the rock and fossil record to reconstruct Earth's deep past. An array of observational and analytical skills will be taught, drawing from, but not limited to, sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleobotany, paleozoology, paleoclimate, paleoecology. In addition, students will be presented with opportunities to learn transferable skills in science communication, photography, as well as specialized and general purpose software (e.g., Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop).


Earth 460 will be team taught by two Professors and two graduate student instructors. Faculty for summer 2016 include:

Prof. Selena Smith U-M E&ES, Prof. Nathan Sheldon U-M E&ES & PITE


Successful completion of courses in two or more of the following: EARTH 305, EARTH 313, EARTH 418 or permission from instructor.


Requirement Fulfillment

Satisfies 5 LS&A Natural Science credits.

Satisfies field experience requirement for Earth concentration

Satisfies field experience requirement for PITE concentration.

For a full list of requirements this course fulfills please click here.

Fees & Tuition

Every student attending the Camp Davis program will be charged both fees and tuition.  

Fees: Cover food, books, transportation and lodging. Fees for summer 2016 are $1300. Fees will be billed on or before June 30th, 2016.

Tuition: Tuition for five U-M credits and course fees will be billed on or before June 30th, 2016. Guest students are charged upper division rates. Up to date tuition rates can be found at the U-M Registrar website. If you are unsure how to calculate your tuition cost, please contact us, and we would be happy to help. 

Financial Aid

Earth & Environmental Sciences Grants:  The dept. of EE&S distributes funds each summer to student applicants based on both need and merit. Interested students should visit our Financial Aid page to apply.

Scholarships:  Students interested in obtaining external scholarships to help offset  costs should visit our Financial Aid page for more information. It's important to note that while students are encouraged to apply, these external scholarship programs are not affiliated with U-M or the Dept. of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

U-M College of LS&A Financial Aid: The LSA Spring and/or Summer Scholarship provides financial support for spring and summer terms to qualified LSA students who have demonstrated financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. This application process is separate from the Dept. of E&ES Grant program.

U-M Office of Financial Aid: Interested University of Michigan students are encouraged to apply directly for financial aid through the U-M Fin-Aid Office. This application process is separate from the Dept. of E&ES Grant program. 

Unfortunately, guest students are not eligible for E&ES Grants and U-M Fin-Aid.



Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers and additional information.  Please feel free to contact us directly with any additional questions or concerns. 

Phone: 734-615-8600


Application & Registration

To apply to the Earth 460 program:

  1. Click the link below and complete our online application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis per U-M registration policy. Accepted students will be notified via email.
  2. Upon acceptance students will be required to submit a $100.00 deposit via our online payment portal. Accepted students will receive a portal link via email.
  3. In early April 2016, accepted U-M students who have paid their deposit will receive permission, via email, to register for the course in the Wolverine Access system. Accepted students without an active U-M account will be required to submit a guest student application and registration will be handled by the E&ES Dept.