Paleontology

Bruce Runnegar

Paleontology

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences department

Bruce Runnegar

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from 9 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.0
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.7
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.6
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.9
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 2.6
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Tough Tests
  • Gives Extra Credit

Textbooks

Textbook listings are currently unavailable for this course.

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Grades

Winter 2017
26.7%
22.3%
17.8%
13.4%
8.9%
4.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2016
28.9%
24.1%
19.2%
14.4%
9.6%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2015
26.8%
22.3%
17.8%
13.4%
8.9%
4.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2014
25.0%
20.8%
16.7%
12.5%
8.3%
4.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2013
23.9%
19.9%
15.9%
12.0%
8.0%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2010
23.7%
19.8%
15.8%
11.9%
7.9%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews

Quarter Taken: Winter 2018 Submitted Dec. 18, 2018 Grade Received: B+

DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY LIKE ROCKS! It is extremely boring and the professor is probably the driest I have ever experienced at UCLA. I was never able to stay awake/engaged during lecture no matter how hard I tried and neither was the rest of the class. The exams are pretty detailed and looking at the slides alone won't be enough to do well on them. You have to actually listen to what is said in lecture but it's just really hard to do. Our class was also at like 1pm or something which is always a difficult time to focus so maybe that was a factor. The TAs aren't all that helpful either, they gave a final exam review which was really just going over the slides without the professor's comments. I normally don't tell people to outright avoid a class but this was such a waste of time that I just have to.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2018 Submitted March 24, 2018 Grade Received: A+

This class is one of the first upper div electives I took for my major, and I can honestly say that it was very fun! I will admit, sometimes Bruce's lectures can be somewhat dry, but he always inserts clever (but subtle) puns, comics, and humor in them, so if you pay attention you should be able to catch them. He's a very sweet old man from Australia, and he definitely knows his stuff about paleontology. His voice is very calming and his accent does have a tendency to lull you to sleep though, so most of my peers were not that awake in class. I know that lots of people don't go to class, but I do recommend going, even if it's just sitting through lecture. He goes over many things you won't be able to understand just by looking at the slides/pictures, and it's helpful to learn about the specimens you're going to see in lab that week.

The class is divided into as follows: 20% midterm, 30% lab work, 20% lab final, 30% final. Labs consist of answering questions about specimens seen in the lab and some take-home labs that require you to design fossils such as trilobites, brachiopods, etc. For my class, the averages for the midterm and final were quite low (around the low 60s) so don't expect a cakewalk for the exams. They are very in-depth and detailed, and you need a good understanding of the geological time scale, specimens, and paleontology to do well. However, Bruce is generous on the scaling for the grades, and so if you have a high 80s average, you should be able to pull off an A- depending on other people's performances in class. I myself am a fan of rocks and paleontology so I was able to pull a nice percentage in the class, but if you're not a fan, it might be more difficult for you. If he's still around, I recommend Kevin Coffey as a TA! He's super informative in lab sessions and he is happy to answer any and all questions that you have about the class. This class also doesn't have a textbook, so I thought that was nice my wallet as well.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted April 15, 2014 Grade Received: N/A

He is very knowledgeable. However, this isnt an easy class that everyone says it is. His lecture notes consist a bajillion pictures that don't tell you anything. You will have to go to lecture and stay awake to take down nearly everything he says regarding each slide. It doesnt help that he has a soporific voice. The midterm/final is brute memorization of lecture notes..to the knitty gritty details that you would think is not important.

I recommend that you do well in your labs. Depending on which TA you have, labs can be super easy or really subjective and hard. The labs will maintain your grades if you dont do well on the tests. This includes the lab final. Do well on it. You will need it.

All in all, the class has a very generous curve. I got a 75% on the midterm, ~90% on the labs, ~95% on the lab final, and a 60% on the final. I managed to get an A. Basically if you have an average of about 80%, you get an A, but its NOT easy getting to that 80%..I studied my butt off for the lab final and thats what maintained my grade..because obviously I failed the midterm and final.

Unless you have photographic memory, its not an easy A. Good luck.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted April 29, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

ESS 116. I'm pretty sure I only had around a 80% in the class but to my surprise, I got an A in the class! I'm guessing he curves very generously. I thought it was a pretty chill class compared to my other classes. Labs were very interesting, but his lectures were so boring. Unfortunately his slides online are very barren and you kind of have to go to lecture and stay awake to fill out your printed-out lecture notes to know what will be on the exam.
As for the exams, they were ALL MULTIPLE CHOICE - BIO MAJORS REJOICE. So you don't have to memorize very specific stuff since the all the right answers are right there on the exams, so hopefully you should be able to recognize things when you see them. Yeah, I got like a 75% on the midterm, a 85%ish in labs, and I'm pretty sure around a 80% on the final (not sure). I expected something like a B+ but when the A came in, I was pretty happy. This class was my chill class.

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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Tough Tests
  • Gives Extra Credit

Textbooks

Textbook listings are currently unavailable for this course.

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