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Bi 370
Ecology (Bi 370) is an undergraduate course that provides a general background on the interrelationships between species and their physical environment at the scale of the individual to the ecosystem. I explore such diverse topics as the mechanisms cacti use to photosynthesize to the influence of park or reserve size on species diversity. We learn about basic ecological models and the experiments designed to test them especially as they relate to real world applied problems such as endangered species, habitat degradation, species invasions, and global climate change. In particular, goals or outcomes for students include the ability to comprehend, interpret, and subsequently synthesize information on the following topics: 1) Global and regional climate processes, 2) Thermal regulation, water balance, and energy and nutrient capture and transfer in plants, animals, and microbes, 3) Behavioral interactions among individuals 4) Models of population growth, dispersal and metapopulation dynamics, 5) Factors influencing life history variation among species, 6) Models of negative and positive species interactions at both trophic and non-trophic levels, 7) Influence of disturbance and physical stress on ecological processes such as succession, 8) Theories important to species diversity, food webs, productivity, and stability, and 9) Human influences on ecological processes