The advancement of ichnological research over the past two decades has left in its wake a considerable volume of literature that contains many important concepts and the results of some excellent field studies. Because of time and page-space restrictions, however, our short course cannot possibly go into all the details from these studies, particularly those that are specialized by taxonomic group or field locality. We, therefore, have tried to consolidate the most salient topics of the discipline and emphasize the application of ichnological concepts and data to geological problems.
In many respects, a detailed knowledge of trace fossil concepts is a matter of experience rather than education, because few university courses offer an extensive program on the subject. Trace fossils, unlike other fossils, are part of the rock and, thus, they are difficult to collect and curate. As a result, interested geologists must go to the field and see a lot of trace fossils in a variety of different views, preserved under a variety of different conditions, to build a working expertise on such structures. Because few university level courses teach trace fossil concepts, short courses and literature reviews are important for a geologist’s continuing education.
We have tried to design this short course to suit the needs of a diversified audience, which is made up of geologists from both academic and industrial institutions. Although the primary concern is to introduce the subject to those having little background in ichnology, we also hope to update those geologists who already