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Ecology (BIOL 2245)

Total Credits: 4
Lecture Credits: 2
Lab Credits: 2

Description: This course examines the interactions between living organisms and their physical, chemical, and biological environment. You will explore ecological concepts at the level of organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems across the Earth. Topics include population structure and growth, species interactions, energy flow, nutrient cycling, and succession. You will also learn about contemporary environmental change, evolutionary ecology, and conservation science. You will gain hands-on experience in designing experiments, data analysis and interpretation, and communication of results. This course includes four hours of required lab per week with extensive outdoor components including required field trips.

Topical Outline:
1. The physical environment, biomes, and coping with environmental variation.
2. Population ecology: Life history, distribution, growth, and behavior.
3. Community ecology: species interaction, ecological succession, and species diversity.
4. Ecosystem ecology: energy flow, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem restoration.
5. Contemporary ecological issues and conservation science.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand and apply knowledge of the relationships of organisms with their environment at the level of the individual, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere.
2. Use critical thinking skills to understand, evaluate, and analyze ecological processes and interactions.
3. Demonstrate the ability to select a sampling method, plan a sampling regime, and apply relevant statistical tests to ecological data.
4. Formulate a hypothesis and conduct and analyze an ecological experiment
5. Draft, edit, and revise formal scientific writing that incorporates and cites ideas from the primary scientific literature.
6. Utilize and understand the value to human society of ecological modeling, monitoring, and restoration.

Prerequisites:  BIOL 2202

  • Goal 3: Natural Sciences
  • Goal 10: People and the Environment