Critical Steps in the Evolution of Earth and life

Undergraduate, IT-distance – 7.5 credits, Course code GG5123
Start Fall/Spring term period 1
Language: English

The concept Earth System Science is introduced. This is followed by some critical events in the evolution of Earth and life. Among these are theories about the origin of life, the Cambrian explosion, how life conquered the continents, and the five big mass extinctions. The course ends with climate history, how climates changed from a warm greenhouse world to the present icehouse world that began 34 million years ago.

Course page 


Course Director
Helen Coxall
Department of Geological Sciences

Stockholm University
106 981 Stockholm

Margret Steinthorsdottir
Department of Geological Sciences

Stockholm University
106 981 Stockholm


Admission requirements

Knowledge equivalent to Tellus I 30 credits (GG2003), Tellus II 22,5 credits (GG4033) and Sediment Petrology 7,5 credits (GG4014/GG4144) or Sediment and Sedimentary Rocks 7,5 credits (GG4020/GG4120).


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Course information

Course literature

Web based lectures +
Steven M Stanley: Earth System History, 4th Edition, W.H. Freeman, 2014.
ISBN 1429255269, 9781429255264


is based on a written/oral assessment at the end of the course. Assessment criteria are:

A = Excellent
B = Very good
C = Good
D = Satisfactory
E = Sufficient
Fx = Insufficient
F = Entirely insufficient

The assessment criteria will be outlined at the start of the course. To pass the course, a minimum grade E is necessary. 
Department of Geological Sciences
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46 (0)8 16 20 00 | Web administrator ines.jakobsson[at]
In case of emergency call (08) 16 22 16 or (08) 16 42 00