This course combines lectures with field and indoor laboratory exercises to explore factors that determine the distribution and abundance of plants and animals in natural systems. The course begins with an overall view of global patterns and then builds from the population to the ecosystem level. An emphasis is given to basic ecological principles and relates them to current environmental issues. Selected topics include population dynamics (competition, predation, mutualism); community interactions (succession, food chains and diversity) and ecosystem function (biogeochemical cycles, energy flow). In Fall 2020, the course will use a hybrid model, with recorded lecture material available to all students. In person and remote class meetings will focus on problem sets and interactive case studies. Labs will be available in either in person or remote modalities. Remote participants will have the opportunity to collect their own data for some lab exercises, while in other cases will receive background information and media describing the data collection process. All students will be required to complete all data analyses and written lab reports.
Format: lecture/laboratory; Six hours per week. All labs will be available in both remote and in-person modalities. All students (whether in person or remote) may choose their preferred modality for each lab module. Due to COVID-19 distancing requirements, some labs will require walking to field sites. The instructor will work with individual students to identify accommodations that support in person lab participation as needed.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
problem sets, lab reports, hour exams, and a final exam
BIOL 101 and 102, or ENVI 101 or 102, or permission of instructor
students planning to pursue Biology and/or ENVI
satisfies the distribution requirement for the Biology major
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Much of the material in this course centers on the interpretation and application of mathematical models used to describe ecological systems. The laboratory section of this course also contains a large data analysis component. Students are introduced to t-tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, chi-square analysis, and regression.
ENVI Natural World Electives
EVST Environmental Science
EVST Living Systems Courses