AEC 295 Global Change Ecology
This course will help undergraduate students develop the tools to integrate interdisciplinary information, solve problems, and think critically about topics related to global change. By the end of the course, students will be able to compare and contrast the major drivers of historical, present, and future global change; explain how global change affects individuals, species, populations, communities, and ecosystems across space and time; communicate to a general audience how global ecological change affects human well-being; and apply their knowledge to critically evaluate management practices and policies for preventing and mitigating global ecological change. Throughout this course, students will also advance their abilities to find and evaluate scientific evidence, interpret figures, analyze models and data, collaborate with peers, and communicate ideas and scientific results. This course uses a “flipped classroom” approach, where students use self-directed, multi-media learning to prepare for problem solving activities in class.
AEC 295 Predicting the Future of Life
To a great extent scientists have focused their prediction on the near future. Many models of climate, the future of species and the future of cities, for example, consider what might happen in the years 2030 or 2050. Yet, much of the infrastructure we are building now, whether it is roads, policy infrastructure or social and cultural infrastructure, will last far longer. Some of our constructions may well last tens of thousands of years. We are building some of the distant future even as we focus mostly on conversations about the here and now. Fortunately, we already know quite a bit about some inescapable biological realities of the future as a consequence of the general rules of life. Through lectures, guest panels (of economists and, separately, science fiction writers), and discussions, this class considers what we can predict about the more distant future, be it 2050, 2500 or 25000. It concludes by considering the evolution of species after the extinction of humans and then, finally, at the very end, the end of the universe. This class has real world applications for thinking about how to design cities, how to imagine the future of agriculture and even the ways in which we might reimagine hospitals and homes.
AEC 400 Applied Ecology
Global climate change, over-harvesting, habitat loss, altered nutrient cycles, and the spread of invasive species are among the world’s pressing global environmental issues. Solutions to these problems are complex, but firmly rooted in the fundamental tenets of ecological theory. The field of applied ecology is premised on using these fundamental ecological principles to help solve the environmental challenges we face. This course will provide an overview of the field of applied ecology, based on a series of case studies. Working from the individual to global level, the course will provide a broad perspective on the field of applied ecology.
AEC 441/442 Biology of Fishes
TR 3:00-4:15pm / F 12:50-3:35pm
Fishes are the largest and most diverse assemblage of vertebrates on the earth with nearly 30,000 described species. This undergraduate level course provides an overview of ichthyology including evolution, classification, and identification of fishes and a comparative examination of divergent fish behavior, physiology, and ecology. The content of the course will emphasize evolutionary relationships between fish groups and their adaptations for life in streams, lakes, and oceans. The course will be organized into three major segments: 1) taxonomy and systematics of fishes, 2) physiology and biology of fishes, and 3) ecology of fishes.
AEC 460 Field Ecology
T 8:30-9:45am R 8:30am-1:00pm
Field Ecology and Methods will expose senior students with interests in Ecology and Evolution to the diverse field approaches used to address ecological questions. The course considers and implements a variety of field approaches ranging from microcosm experiments to global studies of patterns and diversity. Course is restricted to seniors.
AEC 495/592 Urban Ecology
Developing design, conservation, and management strategies to serve humans and biodiversity in urban areas is an ongoing challenge. This course examines cities as unique physical environments and as social-ecological systems: How urban factors drive abundance and distribution of plants and animals, with consequences for biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human well-being. We will address the role of ecology in urban design and management, and emphasize the question of whether urban systems, and the role of humans therein, are adequately described by existing ecological theory.
AEC 495/592 Fish and Wildlife Data Analysis: Introduction to R
The purpose of this course is to provide a hands-on introduction into the use of R for analysis of fish and wildlife data. Topics will include data input/output; using vectors, matrices, and data frames; functions; packages; graphics; and basic summary statistics. No prior programming experience is assumed. This is an online course to be completed at your own pace, with quizzes to help you gauge your progress. The course is intended to be for advanced undergraduates and new graduate students. It should provide a basic foundation for future classes that use R, and can serve as a starting point for using R as a fish or wildlife professional.