Maria Gomez Posada
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. Prerequisite: B BIO 180.
Ecology is a diverse field of study that involves integration between living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components of our environment; it is an extremely broad discipline, which spans the study of adaptations to the environment on an organismal level all the way to global biodiversity and energy balance. This course will touch on all levels of organization within the field of ecology, and students will be introduced to the principles and concepts that the science of ecology is built on. Topics include the relationship between organisms and the physical environment, evolutionary processes, the structure and function of ecosystems, population biology, biodiversity, global warming, and conservation. This knowledge in turn will be used to effectively synthesize, and analyze problems that threaten ecological biodiversity both locally and globally. Special consideration is given to case studies that illustrate current environmental issues, from an ecological perspective. This course will provide foundational knowledge for additional coursework in Environmental Science and Biology.
“Understanding natural ecological systems in the context of a human dominated world”
Student learning goals
An understanding of the major principles and concepts of ecology, ecological process, habitat-species relationships and the dynamics of ecosystems.
An understanding of the reciprocal connections between humans and the environment – both benefits and impacts.
Identify ecological processes that are occurring all around us.
Improve analytical skills, and the ability to reason quantitatively and interpret visual representation of ecological data.
Develop and practice skills in collaboration and teamwork, and gain experience in communicating science to different audiences
General method of instruction
Class will usually consist of a mixture of lecture, lot of group work (discussion, associated practice problems, answering review questions, analyzing a study case, short student presentations, among others). Some local community-based projects related with natural resources will be analyzed from an ecological point of view. Class will visit the UW Seattle Greenhouse to see first-hand many of the ecological examples from class.
Required: Biology 180 or other introductory biology course. Recommended: Familiarity with algebra. Knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and physics is useful but not necessary. NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you contact the instructor prior to enrollment if you are unsure if your introductory biology course covered material equivalent to BBIO 180.
Class assignments and grading
Students will have individual assignments, in-class group assignments, and group projects. Mastery of material will be evaluated through 2 exams. Final grades will be based on the overall percentage of scores earned on all assignments combined.