Time and Place of Class Meetings:
BIOL 4684-201 will be held in Room 212 of Bolin Hall at 8:00-9:20 on Tues, Thurs.
BIOL 4684-201A (Lab) will be held in Room 207 of Bolin Hall at 2:00-4:50 on Monday.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:
· Describe the levels of biological organization.
· Understand and apply the scientific method.
· Evaluate experimental results objectively.
· Understand major ecological hypotheses (ex: the niche, competitive exclusion, and Tillman’s R.....)
· Understand the interaction of organisms with their environment (definition of Ecology!).
· Understand basic principles of evolutionary ecology, population ecology, community ecology, and behavioral ecology.
· Understand ecological processes such as resource partitioning, invasiveness, extinctions, etc...
· Describe and recognize adaptations of organisms to their environment.
· Understand energy flow and nutrient cycling
· Understand and apply common sampling techniques for biodiversity
· Understand basic data analysis and presentation
· Critically evaluate the scientific literature in ecology
· Have a grownup conversation about Ecology without looking like a total fool.....
Attend class regularly and participate in discussions. Show up prepared by reading the text ahead of time. Sometimes read text that is not assigned. Surprise me with initiative.
Biology 4684 consists of both a lecture and laboratory component. The following standard scale will be used when reporting your composite grade: 90-100%=A, 80-89%=B, 70-79%=C, 60-69%=D, 0-59%=F.
Final Course Grade = (Lecture Grade x 75%) + (Laboratory Grade x 25%)
Your lecture grade will be determined by THREE exams (the last of which is your cumulative final exam), a written report, and a discussion participation grade. Each in-semester exam is worth 50-points and the final will be 100. The written report is worth 30 points and your discussion participation is worth 20 points. You are expected to contribute to our weekly class discussion at least once per week. Particularly insightful points derived from outside reading will be rewarded. You will have written exams that covers both specific and conceptual questions. A blue book should be obtained from the bookstore for each exam.
Final Lecture Grade = (All points earned / 250)
Everything above pertains to you with the additional requirement of two short oral presentations of a biographical sketch of a major figure in Ecology (10 points each) and a more extensive term paper which replaces the written report of the undergraduates (80 points). The term paper will be over a major hypothesis or process in Ecology and will be accompanied by an oral presentation to the class. Graduate students’ exams may contain different questions than the undergraduates’.
Final Lecture Grade = (All points earned / 300)
Your laboratory grade will be comprised of four data presentation/writing exercises (20 points each), a project proposal (40 points), and participation (100 points). You will be divided into teams for many exercises and part of your participation grade (50%) will be from anonymous peer reviews by your teammates. The other 50% is based upon my observations. Weather permitting; there will be a number of field trips to local sites to gather ecological data. If you do not help gather the data, you cannot do assignments over the data.
Final Laboratory Grade = (All points earned / 220)
THERE WILL BE NO INDIVIDUAL EXTRA CREDIT, SO DO NOT ASK.
(If extra credit is assigned, it will be made available to everyone in the class.)
Attendance is required. Exam make-ups are allowed for university sanctioned absences or other circumstances deemed legitimate by Dr. Watson. If you must miss an EXAM day, contact Dr. Watson prior to the absence. Field trips that take place during laboratory time are mandatory.