Warren G. Gold
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.
Autumn 2006: Students will become familiar with the ways in which organisms interact with their environment and each other, and the factors that influence these relationships. Knowledge will be placed in a framework of the scientific method and evolution, as principles central to an understanding of ecological science. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the variety of ways in which organisms cope with aspects of their physical and chemical environment. They will also learn about the organization and function of ecological populations and communities as well as the principles of ecosystem composition, structure and function. We will examine some characteristic ecosystems of the world and discuss the role of ecological theory and scientific information in management of ecosystems. This course can be taken as a single introduction to the science of ecology or as a foundation for advanced courses in ecology.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class sessions will be mostly lecture in format, but there will be some sessions devoted to student-led discussions.
Students would benefit from having had at least one course in basic biology that covered ecology, diversity and evolution. Some knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry and physics would be helpful but not necessary.
Class assignments and grading
Review and discussion of scientific papers for class discussion as well as synthesis of scientific literature for a topic paper will be expected.
Grades will be based upon two exams, one major term paper and elements of in-class discussions.