John Pickering -- email@example.com -- 706-542-1115 -- 538 Biological Sciences Building (northeast corner of building)
After class (10:00AM - noon, Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays) or by appointment.
When: 9:05-9:55AM, Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays
Where: Auditorium, Ecology Building
F 09 Jan -- Course structure (this page). What is Ecology? [Smith & Smith, Chapter 1]
M 12 Jan -- Scientific & quantitative methods, experimental design [Smith & Smith, Chapter 1]
W 14 Jan -- Climate Change -- Film: "An Inconvenient Truth" (abbreviated) [Smith & Smith, Chapters 2 & 29]
F 16 Jan -- Biodiversity [Smith & Smith, Chapter 26]
M 19 Jan -- No Class, MLK Holiday
W 21 Jan -- Bumblebees and Climate Change [Guest Lecture: Gretchen LeBuhn]
F 23 Jan -- The Challenge -- Film: "Tragedy of the Commons
M 26 Jan -- Ecological genetics [Smith & Smith, Chapter 5]
W 28 Jan -- Evolution by natural selection, speciation, Tree of Life
F 30 Jan -- Units of selection [Trivers, Chapter 4]
M 02 Feb -- Behavioral ecology, genetic relatedness, sociality [Trivers, Chapter 6]
W 04 Feb -- Individual-population interactions, sex ratios [Trivers, Chapter 11]
F 06 Feb -- Populations, growth & regulation [Smith & Smith, Chapters 8-11]
M 09 Feb -- Metapopulations [Smith & Smith, Chapter 12]; Natural History; Trophic interactions
W 11 Feb -- Invasive species; Biological Control
F 13 Feb -- Disease ecology -- causes, epidemiology, virulence
M 16 Feb -- Review -- integrating ideas and data globally
W 18 Feb -- Cumulative Midterm Exam
[Pick heads out to teach in Costa Rica on 19th]
This first part of the course is worth 27% of the total course grade. Grades
will be assigned based on performance on unannounced short tests in lectures and
a cumulative midterm exam on 18 February. Students may elect to substitute an
independent team project (2-5 students per team) instead of taking the midterm.
If over half the class elects choose to do independent projects by 28 January,
then all students must do independent projects. Because of the anticipated
difficulty of the midterm, grades will be curved and based on total points.
At least the top 1/6th of the class will get 90% or better; the next 1/3rd
will get a 80% or better, and most of the remainder will get 70% or better.
Unannounced tests of 2-6% each will be given to reward daily attendance
and reading assigned material on time. If you miss a test and have a valid excuse,
then your test grade will equal the average of your other unannounced test grades.
Valid excuses will be limited to those pre-approved by Pickering, medical excuses
documented by a doctor, or ones approved by the University's administration. These
test will be open notes but not open book.
Midterm exam will be cumulative and focus on problem solving rather than memorization.
Independent team projects
To be presented at the General Ecology Film Festival, Sunday, 26 April, 1:00-5:00PM, Ecology Auditorium
Information about the labs will be posted on WebCT and will be available to enrolled students after drop/add.
The labs start on Tuesday, 20 January, 2009. Because the 19th January is a holiday, if you're in a Monday lab section,
please go to any other section that week.
If you have questions about the labs, please contact a teaching assistant:
Bill McDowell -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- 510-847-9814
Christina Baker -- email@example.com -- 706-483-2549
Dawn Drumtra -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- 479-200-8822
All academic work must meet the standards contained in "A Culture of Honesty."
Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before
performing any academic work. The link to more detailed information about
academic honesty can be found at:
Text -- Smith, T. M. and R. L. Smith. 2009. Elements of Ecology (Seventh Edition).
Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN 0-321-55957-6/978-0321-55957-9. [Required pages specified above.]
Additional readings will be assigned in class. Some of these will be required; others are optional and may
help in thinking about an independent project.
Trivers, R. L. 1985. Social Evolution. Benjamin/Cummings. ISBN 0-8053-8507-X. [Chapters 4, 6, & 11 required.]
Stiling, P. D. 1996. Ecology: Theories and Applications (Second Edition). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-221939-5.
[Recommended -- a good alternative text.]
Ricklefs, R. E. 1990. Ecology (Third Edition). W. H. Freeman & Co. ISBN 0-7167-2077-9. [Recommended -- a good, thick, heavy ecology text.]
Louv, R. 2005. Last Child in the Woods. Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
ISBN-13:978-1-56512-391-5/10:1-56512-391-3. [Recommended -- about how our children are disconnected from nature.]
Friedman, T. L. 2008. Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Why we need a green revolution -- and how it can renew America.
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. New York. ISBN-13:978-0-374-16685-4/10:0-374-16685-4. [Recommended -- environmentalism, not ecology.]
Friedman, T. L. 2005. The World is Flat. A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. New York.
ISBN-13:978-0-374-29288-1 [Recommended -- supports why you should do an independent project!]
Lomborg, B. 2007. Cool It - The Skeptical Environmentalists's Guide to Global Warming.
Vintage Books. New York. ISBN:978-0-307-38652-6 [Recommended -- environmentalism --
a case for why you shouldn't always believe in what you read or see. See
Mowat, F. 1996. Sea of Slaughter. Mariner Books. ISBN-10:1576300196/13:978-1576300190 [Recommended -- environmentalism --
Have humans really slaughtered so many creatures in North America? Are common species more at risk to extinction than rare ones?]
2009 Horizon Report
Videos (Please view these as assigned. Some will be shown in lecture.)