Timothy E. Essington
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.
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
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.