BI 341, Ecology

Instructor: Rebecca Burton, Ph.D.
Office: CO 221
Classroom: TL 212
Email: rebecca.burton@alverno.edu

Texts: Ecology: Concepts and Applications, M.C. Molles, Jr.;
A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold; & Additional readings

Introduction

Ecology is a study of relationships. It encompasses both the abiotic (non-living) and biotic world. There are many ways to approach this highly complex web of connections. We will start with the abiotic world because climate and resources limit the type and number of life forms that can occupy an area. Next, we will look at individual species and their population dynamics, then at how species coexist to form communities. Finally, we will deal with the most complex topics, including ecosystem-level processes, meta-analysis of data, and conservation issues.

You will be planning and conducting field experiments, analyzing and interpreting data, and reporting results in both written and verbal form. You will also be evaluating the work of others. These activities will include reviewing peer work, analyzing environmental issues, and critiquing environmental impact statements (EIS's).

While the science of ecology is different from the political arena of environmentalism, ecological knowledge is used to examine environmental issues. Therefore, we will apply the concepts covered in this course to current environmental topics so that each student can make decisions about environmental policy that are consistent with her own values.

Course Goals

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

1. Identify connections between species and abiotic factors

2. Describe key differences between ecosystems

3. Trace the affects of changes in ecosystems

4. Use ecological concepts to evaluate the possible effects of management decisions

5. Design, conduct, interpret and communicate ecological research

6. Use mathematical models to describe systems

Course Description

BI 341 - Ecology (4 credits, 3 hrs. lec., 3 hrs. lab.)
Prereq.: MT 123 and one of the following: BI 221, BI 222, BI 251 -- The student examines the relationships of organisms or groups of organisms to their environment and studies the interrelatedness among organisms. Her extensive field work and long-term research assist her in analyzing complex environments. Throughout this course, the student develops the skills of system analysis and the use of models. She analyzes and formulates model environmental impact statements using her ecological tools.

Resources

Writing in
Biology

Sample
Lab Report

O to E
Sample

Assessments
Research
Tools

Classic
Papers

Stats in
Excel

Reading
Technical Lit.

Alverno Student Research Archive

Places to publish your research

Bios Published by Tri-beta (Need not be a member)
Journal of Undergraduate Sciences Published by Harvard


Alverno Biology Dept. home page

Alverno Environmental Science home page

Alverno Broadfield Science home page

Biology Department Information

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Last update: 8/26/03 by Rebecca Burton, Dept. of Biology, Alverno College