Graduate Courses

Spring 2019 Courses

AEC 503 Foundations of Ecology

2 credits, M 9:35-11:25am, 123 David Clark Labs

This course will introduce graduate students to the major concepts and theories in ecology. We will cover population, community and ecosystem ecology, evolutionary ecology, and applied ecology, and introduce students how to critically evaluate scientific papers.

Contact Dr. Rebecca Irwin:

AEC 509 Biology of Aquatic Insects

3 credits, W 1:30-3:20pm (lecture) and 3:35-5:25pm (lab), 4310 Gardner Hall

This course will introduce graduate and upper level undergraduate students to the identification, biology, ecology, and responses and roles of aquatic insects in the environment. The significance of aquatic insects for ecosystem functioning, as indicators of water quality, their trophic role in food webs, as disease vectors, and vectors of contaminant will also be explored. Open to undergraduates with permission of instructor.

Contact Dr. Bradley Taylor:

AEC 592, sect 006: Biology, Diversity, and Ecology of Algae

3 credits
T 4:30-5:20pm (lecture); 283 David Clark Labs
TH 4:30-7:15pm (lab); 283 David Clark Labs

An introduction to the taxonomy, morphology, reproduction, and ecological / economic importance of the fascinating and diverse group of primary producers known as algae. Emphasis on the freshwater algae of North Carolina and the marine algae of the southeastern U.S.

Contact Dr. Joann Burkholder:

Graduate Courses in Applied Ecology

AEC 501 Ornithology

Our goal for this course is to build a foundation of knowledge about birds in a way that will stimulate you to keep learning about them for the rest of your life. Our approach will be to focus primarily on the behavior and ecology of birds and the development of field skills.

AEC 502 – Introduction to Biological Research

The main objective is to develop the tools and skills needed to excel in graduate school.  Topics range from practical skills to the philosophical. There will be a specific focus on proposal writing and professional presentation. Emphasis will be placed on peer collaboration and feedback, developing important professional relationships. Offered in Fall.

AEC 503 Foundations of Ecology

This course will introduce graduate students to the major concepts and theories in ecology. We will cover population, community and ecosystem ecology, evolutionary ecology, and applied ecology, and introduce students how to critically evaluate scientific papers.

AEC 515 – Fish Physiology

The main objective of this course is to examine the similarities and differences between structural parts and their functional systems in an extraordinary assemblage of organisms, the fishes. The content of the course will emphasize evolutionary relationships between fish groups and comparative physiology of divergent forms and life histories. Offered in Fall.

AEC 519 – Freshwater Ecology

The course explores the structure and function of streams, lakes, and wetlands, including physical, chemical and biological controls of productivity and species composition of aquatic plants and animals and effects of pollution on organisms and water quality. The laboratory emphasizes modern, hands-on techniques for answering fundamental and applied questions. One local weekend field trip required. Credit in both AEC 419 and AEC 519 is not allowed. Units: 4 – Offered in Fall Only (Alternate Even Years).

AEC 586 Aquaculture

This course will explore the many unique facets involved in the farming of aquatic plants and animals. Emphasis will be placed on the practical aspects of culturing organisms in an aquatic environment, general principles involved with reproduction and selective breeding, water quality management, nutrition, engineering and economics.

AEC 587 – Aquaculture Laboratory

Methods and techniques of cultivating aquatic organisms. Field trips and reports on local hatcheries and facilities required.[Three to four overnight field trips taken on week days to coastal areas, state hatcheries, and private hatcheries; students responsible for shared room costs and their meals. Four field trips also taken on laboratory day within driving range of Raleigh.] Units: 1 – Offered in Spring Only (Alternate Even Years).

AEC 592, Sec 010 Science Communication

This course is an introduction to science communication and how to present science effectively and creatively on the web and in other visual formats.

AEC 592, Sec 005 Bioenergetics Modeling

In this class you will gain a conceptual understanding of bioenergetics principles and learn how to construct and apply bioenergetics models to address research and management questions. The course format will include a mix of lectures, literature reading and discussion, hands‐on modeling exercises and an individual project. Students will need to bring a laptop computer.

AEC 592, Sec 011 Foundations of Freshwater Science

This course explores the foundational concepts and theories in freshwater science, ranging from fisheries to geomorphology. The course is suitable for graduate students at any career stage. The course format includes readings from the primary literature, student‐led discussions, citation analyses, and written commentaries to be included in a future publication similar to the Foundations of Ecology and Foundations of Fisheries Science.

AEC 592, Sec 014 Community Ecology

This course explores the mechanisms structuring ecological communities. Topics covered include two‐species interactions, multispecies interactions, ecological networks, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, estimation of and regulation of species diversity, community succession, and biogeography. Emphasis will be on concepts and theory, quantitative and mathematical models, experimental and other empirical approaches, and hands‐on use of data sets and computer software to address questions in community ecology.

AEC 592 Sec 014 – Genetics of Invasive Species

This graduate seminar will explore the genetic tools used to identify and monitor invasive species. We will focus on current papers using a variety of genetic approaches to the conservation of species impacted by invasion or the identification and management of invasive species. Offered in Fall.

AEC 592 Sec 015 – Agricultural Chemical Risk Assessment

This new blended learning course brings together on-campus and online students to learn about the risks and benefits of agricultural chemicals in relation to human and environmental health. In this course, students will learn how to conduct and communicate human health and ecological agricultural chemical risk assessments, including hazard and exposure assessments. Course content includes emerging technologies and issues and ways to apply them in the field. Offered in Fall.

AEC 630 – Special Topics in AEC

Special Topics in AEC. Topics will vary. Units: 1-6 – Offered in Fall Spring Summer.

AEC 726 – Quantitative Fisheries Management

Current methods for assessment and management of exploited fish populations, including sampling methods, data analysis and modeling. A required research paper or project. Units: 3 – Offered in Fall Only (Alternate Even Years).

AEC 761 – Conservation Biology for a Changing Climate

We will on the concepts and theories in ecology and impacts of climate change that have the greatest potential for biological conservation. The recurrent question will be: how can we apply ecology and knowledge of change to our physical environment to improve conservation of species, biodiversity, and ecosystem services? Offered in Fall.