1) to understand general ecological principles,
2) to apply ecological principles to the conservation and management of populations, communities, and ecosystems,
3) to improve skills of oral and written presentation,
4) to foster creative thinking and hypothesis testing.
The laboratory portion of the course is a combination of regular 4-hour sessions and one overnight field trip to an ecology research station in the Poconos. Many of the labs involve fieldwork, so please plan accordingly. The laboratory portion of the course will involve student-initiated research projects. You will be expected to complete background reading and research in each of these areas and contribute to the development of a testable hypothesis and experimental design. Following data collection, you will be expected to spend additional time outside of lab to conduct analyses and complete graded exercises. The total time commitment to lab should be in the range of 4-7 hours per week.
This course is designated as a writing intensive course. To give you experience with scientific writing, we will expect you to write a research proposal in some area of ecology. Be creative--this is fun! You will give a short oral presentation on your proposal during one of the lab periods. The written proposal should be no longer than 10 pages (excluding references). More details about the research proposal will be covered in class.
Your grade will be based on your performance on exams, participating in group presentations, a written and oral presentation of an independent research proposal, and completion of lab exercises.