Ecological science examines the integrated workings of nature at all scales of life, from molecules to global cycles that sustain life on earth. This course is designed in hierarchical fashion. First, the ecology of individuals is examined, in the realm of physiological ecology and the adaptations of organisms to the abiotic factors of the environment. Populations of organisms are the next level of complexity, involving regulation of population growth and population genetics. Populations comprise communities, with community structure, diversity, stability, and change. From there the study of nature from a systems point of view is examined, exploring ideas of biomass and energy flow through ecosystems and the cycles of elements in the biosphere. The course finishes by taking the information learned in the course and applying it to conservation and pollution issues and the scientific approaches to those problems. While the lecture focuses on the concepts and models of ecological science, the lab is oriented towards field experience. Local habitats are used to explore the concepts learned in the lecture with a mixture of experimental analysis and natural history. A web site has been established with descriptions of the local habitats and species lists of the dominant animals and plants found there (the Flora and Fauna of Northwest Florida). Images of species are being constantly added, and the site should help in studying the local flora and fauna in lab. Chemistry and Statistics are prerequisites, and a good background in biological science is helpful.
The following items are available here or you can visit the Library's course reserve materials site. Readings required for lab (listed with the lab schedule) are also available at the course reserve site as downloadable files. In addition, all reserve materials are accessible by walking into the library and requesting the hard copies at the reserve desk.
from Taxonomy lab, courtesy of your classmate, Carla
For further Information Contact:
Dr. Richard A. Snyder
Bldg 58, Rm 62D