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COURSE NUMBER: BIOL 330
COURSE TITLE: Ecology
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Vern Peters
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 3)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: Relationships among animals, plants and the non-living environment, energy flow, nutrient cycles, ecological succession, communities, populations; application of ecological principles to the modern world. Laboratory work focuses on using basic techniques of ecological investigation. Participation in a three-day, overnight field trip on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the last weekend of September is required.

Prerequisites: BIOL 210, 211, CHEM 200, 201
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • Smith, T.M., Smith, R.L. and I. Waters. 2012.  Elements of Ecology, Canadian Edition, Pearson
  • Wright, R. 2003. Biology Through The Eyes of Faith (Revised & Updated). Harper and Row
    Publishers.
  •  Peters, VP, Wood, J. R.  2015.  Ecology Laboratory and Field Manual.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Mid-term Exam25%
Final Exam35%
Lecture assignments5%
Field Journal - Species List, Field Trip, Reflection15%
Laboratory & Field Exercises20%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: The study of ecology is somewhat different from other courses in biology. It is one of the few disciplines that attempts to see nature as a whole, with all of its interconnections. The course integrates knowledge from a variety of other disciplines. The scale of investigation ranges from observing microscopic organisms to global processes. Then too, ecology is a field oriented course. The objectives of this course are:

  • To investigate the interrelationships among plants, animals and the physical environment.
  • To review the quantitative tools appropriate for the analysis of these interrelationships.
  • To learn to critically appreciate our role as stewards of the creation.
  • COURSE OUTLINE: I. The ORGANISM and the ENVIRONMENT
    • The ecological crisis
    • Introduction to Ecology
    • What is the environment? – Adaptation to Abiotic Factors
    • Radiation - Light Spectrum & heat transfer
    • Plant responses to light
    • Plant responses to temp and moisture
    • Plants and nutrients
    • Soil Properties and Alfisols and Molisols
    • Conditions and Resources
    • Homeostasis - Decomposition
    • Ecosystems – Nutrient Cycles - Abiotic Factors conclusion
    • In Class Field Trip – Field Course Options and Comparison of Tropical Ecosystems
    • Animal Adaptations to the Env’t
    II. POPULATION ECOLOGY
    • Properties of Populations
    • Population Growth
    • Intraspecific Competiton and Life History
    • Interspecific Competition
    • Predation
    • Predator-Prey Relations
    • Review
    III. COMMUNITIES and ECOSYSTEMS
    • Interactions - Parasitism
    • Interactions – Mutualists
    • Community Structure & Dynamics
    • Community Processes - Succession
    • Biogeography of Ecosystems; Boreal, Tropics
    • Human Impacts on Populations, Global Cycles
    • Reflection – Think Little – Wendell Berry
    LAB OUTLINE:
    • Lab 1a: Lemna lab
    • Lab 2: Riparian Vegetation Analysis and Ecosystem Overview
    • Lab 3: Bird Identification for Crowsnest Pass – Self Directed
    • Crowsnest Pass Ecology Field Trip
    • Lab 4: Biomass, Weighing
    • Lab 4: Biomass, Laboratory Processing and Analysis
    • Lab 1: Part 2: Analysis of Duckweed Population Data
    • Lab 5: Tropical Bird Identification & Species Diversity
    • Lab 6: Biodiversity & Conservation – Video / discussion



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