David L. Stokes
Introduces major concepts of ecology and relates these concepts to current environmental issues. Topics include the relationship between organisms and the physical environment, evolutionary processes, the structure and function of ecosystems, population biology, forest management, pesticide use, and global warming. Required background: two quarters of college biology.
In this course students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical principles and applications of ecology, the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. Topics addressed include: evolutionary processes and the relationship between ecology and evolution; interactions between organisms and their physical environment; population ecology; interactions between species, such as competition and predation; community-level ecological processes; and the structure and function of ecosystems. The course will also relate ecological concepts to a variety of current environmental issues. The information and understanding of ecology gained in this course provides a foundation for further coursework in environmental science and biology.
Student learning goals
Comprehensive understanding of the major principles of the field of ecology, including specific examples of how those principles play out in a variety of systems.
Knowledge of the scope and diversity of the science of ecology: levels of study, types of systems, methods, approaches, and applications.
An ability to critically evaluate ecological data and hypotheses.
An understanding of ecological aspects of selected current environmental problems and solutions.
Improved ability to communicate information and understanding to others, both in oral and written form.
General method of instruction
Class will be mostly in lecture format, with some class discussion and student presentations as well. We will occasionally go outside during class, and we will take one all-day Saturday field trip.
Required: Biology 180 or other college biology course. This course is not intended for students who have taken BIS 390 (Ecology and the Environment).
Class assignments and grading
Grades will be based on tests, a student project, and class participation.