David L. Stokes
A general introduction to ecology. Introduces the principles that govern how organisms interact with each other and with their surroundings.
This course introduces and explores major concepts of ecology and examines these concepts in the context of current local and global environmental issues. Topics we will cover include: relationship between organisms and the physical environment, community-level ecological processes, the structure and function of ecosystems and their distribution on the planet, evolutionary processes, and population ecology. Environmental issues we will address include pesticide use, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, global climate change, and others. We will also use as a case study one Pacific Northwest ecosystem and examine in detail its ecology and associated environmental issues.
Student learning goals
Comprehensive understanding of the primary principles of the science of ecology, and an understanding of how principles of ecology translate to actual physical elements and processes of real ecosystems.
Understanding of the connections between ecological principles and environmental issues, and the scientific basis of environmental problems and potential solutions.
In-depth understanding of the natural history and ecology of a local ecosystem, and the environmental issues related to that system.
Improved ability to communicate information and understanding to others, both in oral and written form.
General method of instruction
Most classes will be a mix of lecture and discussion. We will take one Saturday field trip (required). We will also take "mini field trips" (10 - 20 minute forays outdoors) during some class periods.
Curiosity about the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it. This course is not intended for students who have taken BES 312 (Ecology).
Class assignments and grading
Grades will be based on tests, a project, and class participation.