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Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Chair 305 E. 23rd Street • CLA 3.306 • A3100 • Austin, Tx 78712 • 512-232-1595

Kenneth R. Young

Professor Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder

Kenneth R. Young

Contact

  • Phone: 512-232-8311
  • Office: CLA 3.422
  • Office Hours: Fall 2014: Tuesday 3:30pm
  • Campus Mail Code: A3100

Biography

Kenneth Young's Ph.D. is from the Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder. Previously he obtained a M.S. in botany (University of Florida) and a B.S. in ecology, ethology, and evolution (University of Illinois). He has spent extended periods in tropical countries, including research in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru, in addition to U.S. Peace Corps service in Guatemala. He came to the University of Texas in 2000, after being an assistant and associate professor in the University of Maryland Baltimore County for seven years.

Young teaches a wide range of courses in physical geography and human-environment interactions, including Biogeography, Climate Change, Comparative Ecosystems, Landscape Ecology, and the Natural Environment. He regularly teaches a topics graduate seminar in Biodiversity Conservation.

Kenneth Young does policy-relevant research that informs biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. He does this by linking biogeography and landscape ecology to questions of ecosystem dynamics and aspects of global environmental and socioeconomic change. He has worked in natural and utilized landscapes in tropical areas and aspires to understand the global tropics, especially as affected by humans. He studies protected areas in relation to conservation biology, to climate change, and to land use. Most recently he has been splitting his research efforts between high Andean landscapes and the tropical forests and floodplains of the western Amazon.

Selected Publications

Carey, M., M. Baraer, B. G. Mark, A. French, J. Bury, K. R. Young, and J. M. McKenzie. 2014. Toward hydro-social modeling: Merging human variables and the social sciences with climate-glacier runoff models (Santa River, Peru). Journal of Hydrology 518: 60-70.

Pomara, L.Y., K. Ruokolainen, and K.R. Young. 2014. Avian species composition across the Amazon River: The roles of dispersal limitation and environmental heterogeneity. Journal of Biogeography 41: 784-796.

Ponette-González, A.G., E. Marín-Spiotta, K.A. Brauman, K.A. Farley, K.C. Weathers, and K.R. Young. 2014. Hydrologic connectivity in the high-elevation tropics: Heterogeneous responses to land change. BioScience 64: 92-104.

Shinn, J. E., B. King, K. R. Young, and K. A. Crews. 2014. Variable adaptations: Micro-politics of environmental displacement in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Geoforum 57: 21-29; DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.08.006

Wrathall, D.J., J. Bury, M. Carey, B. Mark, J. McKenzie, K. Young, M. Baraer, A. French, and C. Rampini. 2014. Migration amidst climate rigidity traps: Resource politics and socio-ecological possibilism in Honduras and Peru. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104: 292-304.

Young, K. R. 2014. Research and activism on extractive industries: Visualizing the cryptic. Applied Geography, DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.06.015

Young, K. R. 2014. Biogeography of the Anthropocene: Novel species assemblages. Progress in Physical Geography, DOI: 10.1177/0309133314540930

Bury, J., B.G. Mark, M. Carey, K.R. Young, J. McKenzie, M. Baraer, A. French, and M.H. Polk. 2013. New geographies of water and climate change in Peru: Coupled natural and social transformations in the Santa River watershed. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103: 363-374.

Crews, K.A. and K.R. Young. 2013. Forefronting the socio-ecological in savanna landscapes through their spatial and temporal contingencies. Land 2013, 2(3): 452-471; doi:10.3390/land2030452

León, B., C.J. Rothfels, M. Arakaki, K.R. Young, and K.M. Pryer. 2013. Revealing a cryptic fern distribution through DNA sequencing: Pityrogramma trifoliata in the western Andes of Peru. American Fern Journal 103: 40-48.

Montoya, M. and K.R. Young. 2013. Sustainability of natural resource use for an Amazonian indigenous group. Regional Environmental Change 13: 1273-1286; 10.1007/s10113-013-0439-1

Postigo, J. C., M. Montoya, and K. R. Young. 2013. Natural resources in the subsoil and social conflicts on the surface:  Perspectives on Peru’s subsurface political ecology. Pp. 223-240 in A. J. Bebbington and J. T. Bury (eds.). Subterranean Struggles: New Geographies of Extractive Industries in Latin America. University of Texas Press, Austin.

ter Steege, H. et al. (120 authors). 2013. Hyperdominance in the Amazonian tree flora. Science 342, DOI: 10.1126/science.1243092

Young, K. R. 2013. Change in tropical landscapes: Implications for health and livelihoods. Pp. 55-72 in B. H. King & K. A. Crews (eds.). Ecologies and Politics of Health. Routledge, New York.

Pomara, L.Y., K. Ruokolainen, H. Tuomisto, and K.R. Young. 2012. Avian composition co-varies with floristic composition and soil nutrient concentration in Amazonian upland forests. Biotropica 44: 545-553.

Young, K.R. 2009. Andean land use and biodiversity: Humanized landscapes in a time of change. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 96, 492-507.

Sarkar, S., K. A. Crews-Meyer, K. R. Young, C. D. Kelley, and A. Moffett. 2009. A dynamic graph automata approach to modeling landscape change in the Andes and the Amazon. Environment and Planning B, Planning and Design 36, 300-318.

Young, K.R.  and B. León. 2009. Natural hazards in Peru: Causation and vulnerability. In E. Latrubesse (ed.). Natural Hazards and and Human-Exacerbated Disasters in South America. Developments in Earth Surface Processes Series. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Young, K.R. 2008. Stasis and flux in long-inhabited locales: Change in rural Andean landscapes. Pp. 11-32 in A. Millington and W. Jepson (eds.). Land-Change Science in the Tropics: Changing Agricultural Landscapes. Springer, New York, NY.

Postigo, J., K. R. Young, and K. A. Crews. 2008. Change and continuity in a pastoralist community in the high Peruvian Andes. Human Ecology 36: 535-551.

McCleary, A.L., K. A. Crews-Meyer, and K. R. Young. 2008. Refining forest classifications in the western Amazon using an intra-annual multi-temporal approach. International Journal of Remote Sensing 29: 991-1006.

la Torre-Cuadros, M. de los Angeles, S. Herrando-Pérez, and K. R. Young. 2007. Diversity and structural patterns for tropical montane and premontane forests of central Peru, with an assessment of the use of higher-taxon surrogacy. Biodiversity and Conservation 16: 2965-2988.

Peralvo, M. R. Sierra, K. R. Young, and C. Ulloa Ulloa. 2007. Identification of biodiversity conservation priorities using predictive modeling: An application for the equatorial Pacific region of South America. Biodiversity and Conservation 16: 2649-2675.

Young, K.R. 2007. Causality of current environmental change in tropical landscapes. Geography Compass 1: 1299-1314.

Veblen, T.T., K.R. Young, and A.R. Orme, Editors. 2007. The Physical Geography of South America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Young, K.R. and B. Leon. 2007. Tree-line changes along the Andes: Implications of spatial patterns and dynamics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 362, 263-272.

Kintz, D.B., K. R. Young, and K. A. Crews-Meyer. 2006. Implications of land use/land cover change in the buffer zone of a national park in the tropical Andes. Environmental Management 38: 238-252.

Young, K.R. and R.J. Aspinall. 2006. Kalaidoscoping landscapes, shifting perspectives. The Professional Geographer 58, 436-447.

Young, K.R.
and K.A. Crews-Meyer. 2006. Guest editors of Focus section on Landscape Form, Process, and Function: Coalescing Geographic Frontiers. The Professional Geographer 58, 367-447.

Young, K.R. and J.K. Lipton. 2006. Adaptive governance and climate change in the tropical highlands of western South America. Climatic Change 78, 63-102.

Bush, M.B., B.C.S. Hansen, D.T. Rodbell, G.O. Seltzer, K.R. Young, B. Leon, M.B. Abbott, M.R. Silman, and W.D. Gosling. 2005. A 17,000-year history of Andean climate and vegetation change from Laguna de Chochos, Peru. Journal of Quaternary Science 20, 703-714.

Polk, M.H., K.R. Young and K.A. Crews-Meyer. 2005. Biodiversity conservation implications of landscape change in an urbanizing desert of southwestern Peru. Urban Ecosystems 8, 313-334.

Young, K.R. 2003. Genes and biogeographers: Incorporating a genetic perspective into biogeographical research. Physical Geography 24, 447-466.

Young, K.R., C. Ulloa Ulloa, J.L. Luteyn and S. Knapp. 2002. Guest Editors for Plant Evolution and Endemism in Andean South America. Botanical Review 68, 1-188.

Zimmerer, K.S. and K.R. Young, Editors. 1998. Nature's Geography: New Lessons for Conservation in Developing Countries. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

NIH Biosketch

Interests

Biogeography; Landscape Ecology; Climate Change; Sustainability; Tropical Environments

GRG 335N • Landscape Ecology

37555 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 3.102
show description

Landscape ecology is the study of spatial patterns in the Earth's biosphere and of the processes that produce those patterns. Landscapes can be defined in many ways and at many scales but in this course we will focus on landscapes at the level of a human observer. This interdisciplinary approach draws from ecology and geography, but it is also a perspective increasingly shared by hydrologists, foresters, wildlife biologists, social scientists, landscape architects, and others. We will examine the current state of knowledge and research on the patches and corridors that constitute landscape mosaics. We will cover the possible causal explanations for landscape heterogeneity from geographical and ecological points of view. Finally, we will explore practical applications of landscape ecology to the study of natural environments and those managed or altered by human activities. 

GRG 366K • Biogeography

37650 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 3.102
show description

Contemporary patterns of plant and animal distribution, and the environmental and historical processes affecting them.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and three semester hours of coursework in physical geography or one of the geological or natural sciences.

GRG 333K • Climate Change

37485 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 1.108
show description

Climate Change

GRG 333K, Spring 2013

MWF 11AM in CLA 1.108
                     

Dr. Kenneth R. Young

Department of Geography and the Environment, UT-Austin

kryoung@austin.utexas.edu; Office hours: Wednesday 10 AM, or by appointment

 

Course Description:  This course will survey the causes of changes in climatic systems over both short and long time periods and their consequences for landscape dynamics, biogeography, land use, sustainability, and vulnerability. The first part of the course will introduce the study of climates from an earth systems approach. Implications of differences in climate for carbon, biodiversity, and humans will be discussed. The second part of the course will look at historical and current climate change trends and controls worldwide, including coverage of the different scientific methods used for studies of these processes. We will build towards developing the expertise to critically evaluate future climate scenarios using environmental and socio-ecological approaches.

Students are expected to read the assigned readings and participate actively in class. The exams will test knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to explain and apply information.  The class projects and writing assignment will work on the ability to synthesize and communicate on scientific issues associated with climate change.

 

Prerequisites:  Assumes background from GRG 301C, GRG 301K, or an equivalent course.

 

Required textbooks:

D. Archer. 2009. The Long Thaw: How Humans are changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0-691-14811-3 (paperback).

K. Richardson, W. Steffen, and D. Liverman (eds.). 2011. Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 978-0-521-19836-3 (hardback; a digital version is also available).

 

Grading:

Two exams (vocabulary, short answer/essay)---200 points (100 points each).

Nine in-class projects/discussions---90 points (10 points each).

One written independent project---40 points

Final letter grades for the course are assigned by percentages of the 330 total possible points: >92%=A; 90-91.99%=A-; 88-89.99%=B+; 82-87.99=B; 80-81.99=B-; 78-79.99%=C+; 72-77.99%=C; 70-71.99%=C-; 68-69.99%=D+; 62-67.99%=D; 60-61.99%=D-; <60=F.

The exams are based on the assigned readings, the lectures, and the class discussions and projects. Note that the University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities; for more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259, 471-4641).

The final 40-point project is a three (or four) page essay on one of two possible chapters (14 or 16) in the Richardson et al. textbook, to be done independently and due on the last day of class, along with a brief informal oral presentation of findings to the class on either 1 or 3 May. You should briefly summarize the main points in the chapter you have chosen, and then explain what specific research and policy changes are necessary, in your opinion, to carry out the adaptation and development called for. Cite any sources you use in the same manner as is done in the Richardson et al. textbook. Note that this assignment replaces the final exam and so must show mastery of the topics covered in the semester.

 

Course schedule:

Dates                      Topics                                       Readings  

14 January            Introduction   

16-18 January     Global climate systems            Chap. 1

21 January          Martin Luther King Day

23 January            Oceans, Ice                        Chaps. 2, 3    

25 January          Class project #1                   Archer Chaps. 1-3

28-30 January      Oceans, Ice                        Chaps. 2, 3

1 February           Class project #2              Archer Chaps. 4-5

4- 6 February           Carbon                             Chap. 4

8 February            Class project #3                   Chap. 11

11-18 February      Biodiversity, Land use           Chap. 6

20 February              Review

22 February              Exam #1   

25-27 February        Interactions                       Chap. 7

1-6 March                  Targets                          Chap. 8

8 March                Class project #4              Archer Chaps. 6-7

11-15 March           Spring Break

18-20 March        Equity, Economics             Chaps. 9, 12

22 March              Class project #5            Archer Chaps. 8-9

25-27 March            Governance                 Chaps. 10, 13

29 March              Class project #6                  Chap. 17

1-5 April                  Adaptation                     Chap. 15

8-13 April                  TBA

15 April                   Anthropocene                  Chap. 17

17 April                     Review

19 April                    Exam #2

22 April                  Future change          Archer Chaps. 10-12

24 April                Class project #7               Chaps. 14, 16

26 April                Class project #8           Chaps. 14, 16

29 April                Class project #9           Chaps. 14, 16

1-3 May     Independent projects with in-class presentation

 

GRG 335N • Landscape Ecology

37495 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CLA 1.108
show description

Landscape Ecology

Geography 335N, Spring 2013

MWF 9 AM, CLA1.108

Dr. Kenneth R. Young

Department of Geography & the Environment, UT-Austin

kryoung@austin.utexas.edu

Office hours: Wednesday, 10 AM, or by appointment

 Course goals:

Landscape ecology is the study of spatial patterns in the Earth's biosphere and the processes that produce those patterns in landscapes, typically portions of the Earth measured in square kilometers. This interdisciplinary approach draws from ecology and geography, but is also a perspective increasingly shared with hydrologists, foresters, wildlife biologists, social scientists, landscape architects, and others. We will examine the current state of knowledge and research on the patches and corridors that constitute landscape mosaics. We will cover the possible causal explanations for landscape heterogeneity from geographical and ecological points of view. Finally, we will explore practical applications of landscape ecology to the study of natural environments and those managed or altered by human activities.

Students are expected to read the assigned chapters and participate actively in class. The exams will test knowledge, vocabulary, and the ability to apply concepts to novel situations. 

 

Prerequisites:    Assumes background in physical geography or ecology.

 

Required textbook:

M. G. Turner, R. H. Gardner, and R. V. O’Neill. 2001. Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice: Patterns and Processes. Springer, New York. (ISBN 0-387-95123-7, paperback).

 

Readings:

Arima, E.Y, R.T Walker, S.G. Perz, and M. Caldas. 2005. Loggers and forest fragmentation: Behavioral models of road building in the Amazon basin. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 95: 525-541.

Kupfer, J.A. 2011. Theory in landscape ecology and its relevance to biogeography. Pp. 57-74 in A.C. Millington, M.A. Blumler, and U. Schickhoff (eds.). The SAGE Handbook of Biogeography. Sage Publications, London.

Romme, W.H., M.S. Boyce, R. Gresswell, E.H. Merrill, H. Evelyn, G.W. Minshall, C. Whitlock, and M.G. Turner. 2011. Twenty years after the 1988 Yellowstone fires: Lessons about disturbance and ecosystems. Ecosystems 14: 1196-1215.

Turner, M.G. 2005. Landscape ecology: What is the state of the science? Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 36: 319-344.

Young, K.R. 2008. Stasis and flux in long-inhabited locales: Change in rural Andean landscapes. Pp. 11-32 in A. Millington and W. Jepson (eds.). Land-Change Science in the Tropics: Changing Agricultural Landscapes. Springer, New York, NY.

 

Grading:

1.) Two exams (vocabulary, short answer, short essay)--100 points each.

2.) Nine in-class projects—10 points each project.

3.) One independent essay---40 points.

 

Final letter grades for the course are assigned by percentages of the 330 total possible points: >92%=A; 90-91.99%=A-; 88-89.99%=B+; 82-87.99=B; 80-81.99=B-; 78-79.99%=C+; 72-77.99%=C; 70-71.99%=C-; 68-69.99%=D+; 62-67.99%=D; 60-61.99%=D-; <60=F.

Lecture notes will not be available if you should miss a lecture; plan on getting them from someone else in the class; lecture powerpoints will be posted on blackboard after the lecture. The exams are based on the assigned readings (available on blackboard), the lectures, the powerpoints, and the class discussions and projects. Class attendance is very important for doing well. Note that the University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities; for more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259, 471-4641).

Class projects: The nine 10-point projects are each based on participation in a group class exercise during the class period, and are typically based on the assigned reading.

Independent final project: The final 40-point project is a three (or four) page essay based on one of three possible readings: on the Amazon by Arima et al. (2005), on Yellowstone by Romme et al. (2011), or on the Andes by Young (2008). This project is to be done independently and is due on the last day of class, along with a brief informal oral presentation of findings to the class done on either 1 or 3 May. In this essay, you should briefly summarize the main points in the reading you have chosen relevant to the study of landscape dynamics, and then explain what specific research and policy changes are necessary, in your opinion, to do further landscape analyses in those or similar kinds of landscapes. Use Chapter 11 in the textbook for ideas on likely future research directions in landscape ecology. Cite any sources you use in the same manner as is done in the textbook. Note that this assignment replaces the final exam and so must show mastery of the topics covered in the semester.

 

Course schedule:

Dates                           Topics                                 Readings                             

14 January                  Introduction   

16-23 January             Landscapes               Chap. 1

25 January                1st Class Project         Kupfer (2011)

28-30 January           Landscape patterns     Chap.4

1 February                  2nd Class Project       Kupfer (2011)

4-6 February              Landscape dynamics    Chap. 7

8 February                  3rd Class Project        Kupfer (2011)

11-18 February           Dynamics, Scale         Chaps. 7, 2

20 February                Review

22 February               First Exam (100 points)          

25-27 Feb., 1 March   Pattern analyses          Chap. 5

4-6 March                   Models                     Chaps. 3, 6

8 March                      4th Class Project         Turner (2005)

11-15 March              Spring Break

18-20 March              Species & landscapes    Chap. 8

22 March                   5th Class Project          Turner (2005)

25-27 March              Species & landscapes    Chap. 8

29 March                     6th Class Project        Turner (2005)

1-5 April             Ecosystems & Watersheds     Chap. 9

8-15 April                 Land use                       Chap. 10

17 April                    Review

19 April                 Second Exam (100 points)

22 April                Landscape futures                  Chap. 11

24 April              7th Class Project, Andes          Young (2008)

26 April              8th Class Project, Amazon       Arima et al. (2005)

29 April              9th Class Project, Yellowstone    Romme et al. (2011)

1-3 May             Independent projects presented

GRG 333K • Climate Change

37378 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GRG 312
show description

Climate Change

GRG 333K, Fall 2012;  TTh 3:30 PM in GRG 312

Dr. Kenneth R. Young

Department of Geography and the Environment, UT-Austin

kryoung@austin.utexas.edu

 

Course Description:

This course will survey the causes of changes in climatic systems over both short and long time periods and their consequences for landscape dynamics, biogeography, land use, sustainability, and vulnerability. The first part of the course will introduce the study of climates from an earth systems approach. Implications of differences in climate for carbon, biodiversity, and humans will be discussed. The second part of the course will look at historical and current climate change trends and controls worldwide, including coverage of the different scientific methods used for studies of these processes. We will build towards developing the expertise to critically evaluate future climate scenarios using environmental and socio-ecological approaches.

 

Students are expected to read the assigned readings and participate actively in class. The exams will test knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to explain and apply information.  The class projects and writing assignment will work on the ability to synthesize and communicate on scientific issues associated with climate change.

 

Prerequisites:

Assumes background from GRG 301C, GRG 301K, or an equivalent course.

 

GRG 366C • Comparative Ecosystems

37466 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 800am-930am GRG 312
show description

Comparative Ecosystems

 

GRG 366C, Fall 2012; Meets TTh 8AM in GRG 312

Dr. K. Young, Department of Geography and the Environment

kryoung@austin.utexas.edu

 

Description:

This course will survey the important ecosystem processes that affect the distributions, characteristics, and management of natural environments at landscape, regional, and continental scales. We will cover ecosystem functions including carbon dynamics, nutrient cycling, water balance, and the role of natural disturbances. This will be done by drawing examples and inspiration from a wide range of ecosystems, from the tundra to the rain forests and grasslands of the tropics. We will also evaluate the role of human impact in altering those environments, for farming or extractive practices, and we will search for appropriate management and conservation strategies for sustainable use. 

Students are expected to have background in physical geography and/or ecology. This prerequisite is best accomplished by previously taking GRG 301C or its equivalent.

 

GRG 392M • Smnr Biodiversity Conservation

37495 • Fall 2011
Meets M 400pm-700pm GRG 408
(also listed as LAS 388 )
show description

Towards New Paradigms

 

GRG 392M (#37495), LAS 388 (#40407), Fall 2011

Mondays 4-7 PM, in GRG 408

Dr. Kenneth R. Young (kryoung@austin.utexas.edu)

GRG 334-A, Department of Geography & the Environment, UT-Austin

Office hours: Tue, 10AM-Noon; or by appointment

 

Course goals:
            This course will use a graduate-student seminar format to examine the current state of knowledge about the goals and methods of biodiversity conservation, especially in reference to global changes, both environmental and social. Students will be expected to read the relevant scientific literature, to actively participate in class discussions, and to write three essays. The seminar is crafted to expose participants to the means of research and communication concerning the environmental consequences of global change, and especially in regards the management of species, ecosystems, and landscapes. New approaches to biodiversity conservation will be evaluated over the course of the semester.

 

Course schedule:

         Part 1:  Species and Ecosystems (August, September)

       Part 2:  Landscapes: Utilized and Natural (October)

       Part 3:  Assessing New Paradigms (November)

 

Required textbooks:

Chapin, F. S., III, G. P. Kofinas, and C. Folke (eds.). 2009. Principles ofEcosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York, NY. ISBN: 9780387730325

Perfecto, I., J. Vandermeer, and A. Wright. 2010. Nature’s Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty. Earthscan, London (paperback). ISBN: 9781844077823

 

GRG 335N • Landscape Ecology

37570 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GRG 102
show description

 

 Geography 335N, Spring 2011

 

Dr. Kenneth R. Young,

Department of Geography & the Environment, UT-Austin

kryoung@austin.utexas.edu

 

Course goals:

Landscape ecology is the study of spatial patterns in the Earth's biosphere and the processes that produce those patterns in landscapes, typically portions of the Earth measured in square kilometers. This interdisciplinary approach draws from ecology and geography, but is also a perspective increasingly shared with hydrologists, foresters, social scientists, landscape architects, and others. We will examine the current state of knowledge and research on the patches and corridors that constitute landscape mosaics. We will cover the possible causal explanations from geographical and ecological points of view. Finally, we will explore practical applications of landscape ecology to the study of natural environments and those managed or altered by human activities.

 

Prerequisites: Assumes background in physical geography or ecology.

 

Required textbook:

          David B. Lindenmayer and Joern Fischer. 2006. Habitat Fragmentation and Landscape Change: An Ecological and Conservation Synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DC. ISBN 1-59726-021-5 (paperback)

GRG 333K • Climate Change

37335 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 800-900 GRG 316
show description

Course Description:

This course will survey the causes of changes in climatic systems over both short and long time periods and their consequences for landscape dynamics, biogeography, land use, sustainability, and vulnerability. The first part of the course will introduce the study of climates from an earth systems approach. Implications of differences in climate for carbon, biodiversity, and humans will be discussed. The second part of the course will look at historical and current climate change trends and controls worldwide, including coverage of the different scientific methods used for studies of these processes. We will build towards developing the expertise to critically evaluate future climate scenarios using environmental and socio-ecological approaches.

Students are expected to read the assigned readings and participate actively in class. The exams will test knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to explain and apply information.  The class projects and writing assignment will work on the ability to synthesize and communicate on scientific issues associated with climate change.

 Prerequisites:

Assumes background from GRG 301C, GRG 301K, or an equivalent course.

GRG 366K • Biogeography

37440 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1100-1200 GRG 312
show description

BIOGEOGRAPHY

GRG 366K (#37440), Spring 2010

MWF 11AM, GRG 312

 

 

 

Dr. Kenneth R. Young

Department of Geography & the Environment, UT-Austin

kryoung@austin.utexas.edu

Office hours: Monday, 9-11 AM, GRG 334-A

 

Course description:

This course introduces biogeography, the discipline that attempts to document and explain the changing distributions of plants and animals.  Explanations come from the study of current ecological processes and from historical perspectives on past Earth-system changes in relation to evolutionary processes.  In addition, there are many applications for biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.  We will put equal emphasis on ecological, evolutionary, and conservation biogeography. 

 

Students are expected to read the assigned readings and participate actively in class.  The exams will test knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to explain and apply information.  The independent essay will be an opportunity to develop technical writing skills.

 

Prerequisites:

Assumes background from GRG 301C or an equivalent course, for example in the biological or geological sciences.

 

Required textbooks:

G. M. MacDonald.  2003.  Biogeography: Space, Time, and Life.  John Wiley & Sons, New York.  (ISBN: 0-471-24193-8). 

 

Grading:

Final letter grades for the course are assigned by percentages of the 300 possible points, with 200 points from the two exams, and 100 points from an independent project. Grades will be based on >90%=A, 80-89%=B, 70-79%=C, 60-69%=D, <60%=F, with pluses/minuses used for intermediate grades. Any form of academic dishonesty will be punished severely; be particularly careful in the essay to give proper credit to sources for information you utilize, thus avoiding plagiarism. Note that the University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities; for more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259, 471-4641).

 

The exams will include vocabulary, short answers, and essays. They will be based on the lectures and readings. Note that my lecture notes will not be available if you should miss a lecture. The exams are based on both the assigned textbook chapters and from material covered in class, so taking good notes in class in critical, as is reading and understanding the assigned texts.  Attendance is very important---you will not do well if you miss lectures.

 

The literature review essay is worth 90 points, with 10 additional points from a class presentation in the last week of the semester. It is due on 7 May (any late papers will receive a letter grade penalty for each day late). The goal of this project is to evaluate an important topic in conservation biogeography. The topics will be assigned early in the semester. The essays will be graded based on the quality of the technical writing, their originality, and their relevance to the discipline of biogeography. Format of any citations used should be given in the text as “Smith (1999) hypothesized that . . .” or “. . .can be hypothesized (Smith 1999)”. References used should be listed completely at the end of the essay: author, date, title, journal or book chapter, pages. This essay is to be an independently researched and written essay. It should be 8 to 12 pages long, double spaced, and should utilize a minimum of ten references from the scientific literature (a couple of citations of internet-based materials is also okay). Note that this assignment replaces the final exam, so the essay should demonstrate knowledge of the topics covered during the entire semester. 

 

 

Date                                    Topic                                     MacDonald          

20 January                     Introduction        

 

22 January                   Biogeography                                   1, 2

 

25-29 January         Physical environments                             3

 

1-3 February            Biological interactions                             4

 

5-12 February               Disturbances                                      5

 

15-24 February                Dispersal                                         8

 

26 February            FIRST EXAM- Ecological Biogeography

 

1 March                            Biomes                                           6

 

3 March                            Realms                                          10

 

5 March                        Plate tectonics                                    7

 

8-12 March                       TBA

15-19 March          NO CLASSES--SPRING BREAK

 

22-31 March                       Evolution                                      9    

 

2-9 April                         Human influences                           12

 

12 April               SECOND EXAM- Historical Biogeography

 

14-16 April                           TBA

 

19-23 April                         Species                                       13

 

26-30 April                       Biodiversity                                 14, 15

 

3-7 May                 CLASS PRESENTATIONS

 

7 May                    LITERATURE REVIEW ESSAY DUE

 

 

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