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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Fall 2006

LAS 330 • COMPARATIVE ECOSYSTEMS

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41245 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
GRG 316
YOUNG

Course 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 nutrient cycling, water balance, and the role of natural disturbances such as fire. 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. Students are expected to have background in physical geography and/or ecology. This is best done by previously taking GRG 301C or its equivalent. Contains a substantial writing component. Required Textbooks: Chapin, III, F.S, P. A. Matson & H. A. Mooney. 2002. Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology. Springer, New York. ISBN: 0-387-95443-0 (paperback). Melillo, J., C.B. Field & B. Molden (eds.). 2003. Interactions of the Major Biogeochemical Cycles: Global Change and Human Impacts. Island Press, Washington DC. ISBN: 1-55963-066-3 (paperback). Course Schedule: Part 1. Ecosystem processes and dynamics; Part 2. Management of changing ecosystems Grading: One exam (vocabulary, short answer, short essay)--30% Two group projects--10% Three written projects--60%

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