BL 337 General Ecology Syllabus Fall, 2006
Meeting times: Lecture 1300 T and Thu. Lab 1400 to 1700 Tuesday or Thursday. Be prepared to be out until 1700.
Gregory Zimmerman 213 Crawford Hall. 635-2470. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: 1000 to 1100 MW + 0900 to 1100 T; 1100 to Th; other hours by appt
Required Text: Dodson et al. 1998. Ecology.
In addition to the text, you will need a clipboard, engineering pad and non-smudging pen for field notes.
By the time you complete this course, you will be able to:
· Describe appropriate approaches for analyzing specific ecology problems (i.e., how to recognize the appropriate organizational level for a particular problem)
· Hypothesize about ecological processes operating at various scales and recognize the importance of explicitly recognizing the best scale at which to address a particular problem,
· Conduct field measurements of some of those processes,
· Prepare written reports based on that information , and
· Read ecological research reports.
You should also come out of the class with an enhanced desire to know more about the structure and function of ecosystems and increased comfort in accessing the ecological literature.
The idea is to provide you with the background that will let you reason your way through ecological problems and provide you with opportunities to practice doing so. The idea isnt just to memorize a bunch of facts, though there are facts and terms you will need to have at your disposal.
physiological ecology the niche and evolutionary cost/benefit tradeoffs associated with physiological adaptations, conservation biology implications of niches, tools and techniques of physiological ecology, including basic mathematical approaches.
behavioural ecology how organisms alter their patterns of activity to take advantage of spatial and temporal variation in niche factors and the evolutionary cost/benefit tradeoffs associated with behavioural adaptations, conservation biology implications of niches, tools and techniques of behavioural ecology, including mathematical approaches.
population ecology factors that regulate numbers of organisms over time, namely competive, predator/prey, host/parasite, mutualistic relationships, evolutionary cost/benefit tradeoffs associated with various population strategies, conservation biology implications, tools and techniques of population ecology, including mathematical approaches.
community ecology basic community descriptions, hierarchical aspects of community ecology, neutral vs. niche-based models of community ecology, relationship of community structure and ecosystem function, tools and techniques of community ecology including mathematical approaches, measuring ecological integrity of communities.
landscape ecology the importance of spatial context, describing landscapes, disturbance regimes across landscapes, conservation biology implications, tools and techniques for landscape ecology, including mathematical approaches.
systems ecology energy flow and biogeochemistry in ecosystems, human impacts on ecosystem function, ecosystem services, tools and techniquesw for ecosystem ecology including mathematical approaches.
historical ecology role of humans in ecosystem structure, connections between ecology and development of societies.
Prerequisites: BL131, BL132, MA111
Components of grade:
Exams (3) essay 40%
Final exam 10%
Article reviews (3)* 10%
Other lecture assignments 10%
Lab assignments 30%
*You are to find two semi-technical articles and one technical article related to an aspect of biological ecology that you are interested in and write an article review (500 words maximum thats 2 double spaced typed pages). Details to follow. You might consider doing all three on the same topic and using this assignment to get started on your senior thesis lit review.
Format and other details of lab assignments will be provided as we go along.
98 -100 A+ ; 92 - 97 A ; 90 - 91 A-; 88 - 89 B+ ; 82 - 87 B ; 80 - 81 B-;
78 - 79 C+ ; 72 - 77 C ; 70 - 71 C-; 60 - 69 D ; LT 60 F
28 Aug Intro and Phys Eco Chapters 1,5 Ash Ck. recon
04 Sept Phys Eco, cont. Chapt 5 no labs labor day recess
11 Sept Behav Eco Chapter 6 Algonquin recon EXAM 1
18 Sept Popln Eco Chapt 7 local wetland Lab Assgn 1
25 Sept Pop, cont. Landsc Eco Chapt 7, 3 Algon Q&T Art 1
02 Oct Landsc. Eco, cont Chapt 3 AshCk Q&T EXAM 2
09 Oct * Lab only * Robts Lk Cliffs ON
16 Oct Systems Eco Chapt 4
23 Oct Systems Eco, cont. Chapt 4
30Oct Comm Eco Chapter 8 data analysis in lab Art 2
06Nov Comm Eco, cont data analysis in lab
13Nov Historical Eco data analysis in lab
20Nov Cases Chapt 2 no labs Tks Brk
27Nov Cases,cont. computer exercise Lab Assn3
04Dec Wrap Up Lab Final Assignment Art 3
11Dec Final Exam ------ Consult official exam schedule for time and day
*Lab data sheets due at conclusion of each field trip
Exams will be on Thu of week indicated.
1. This is a field-intensive course and the field experience is an essential component. Be prepared for extensive hiking in all weather and over rough terrain. Be prepared with rain gear, layered clothing, adequate footwear, etc. Do not schedule too tightly after the field trips. I try my best to get us back by 1730 but due to unforseeable circumstances we may not always make it exactly on time.
2. All assignments must be turned in on the due date. Late assignments will not be accepted. All University policies regarding academic policy apply (e.g., if you cheat, you flunk). Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented special needs for tests, tutoring, note-taking and similar services. Students must coordinate these accommodations through the RCSD Office in South Hall.
3. You are expected to take all exams at the scheduled time. If you know you must miss a test, provide 2 days advance notice and an alternative test will be provided. Unexpected absences require documentation from appropriate student office. Otherwise, missed exams score zero, including the final exercise. Personal travel arrangements for breaks are not considered valid reasons to miss exams.
4. Additional constraints on grade: You must pass the lab portion to pass the class. Lab attendance is mandatory. If outside activities will require you to miss more than one lab, you are requested to take this course at another time when you will be able to attend all lab sessions. Failure to complete any one of the above assignments will result in deduction of a letter grade, regardless of the point value.