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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Timothy E. Essington
FISH 454
Seattle Campus

Ecological Modeling

Examines concepts in ecological modeling focusing on the rationale, interpretation, and motivation for modeling in ecological sciences. Explores individual, population, and ecosystem-based models. Excel-based computer exercises, model building and interpretation, readings. Recommended: prior coursework in ecology and statistics. Offered: jointly with Q SCI 454.

Class description

The course will cover the types of models commonly used in ecology, including population, meta-population, ecosystem and behavioral models. Emphasis is on how models are used to build understanding about the real world, so the process of interpreting models is emphasized. Fundamental programming and numerical concepts are presented but are not the primary focus of the course

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Two lectures per week gives the background and derivation of models. Weekly lab sessions are used to develop skills in applying and interpreting models. Weekly "skills" sessions explore particular tools used in quantitative modeling

Recommended preparation

Must have background in ecology understanding of fundamental ecological concepts. Students should have at least one course in college-level calculus and statistics. No programming expertise is needed.

Class assignments and grading

Grading is based on a combination of weekly lab assignments and larger, independent modeling exercises.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Timothy E. Essington
Date: 10/25/2011