LAS 330 • COMPARATIVE ECOSYSTEMS
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
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 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.
Course schedule: Part 1. Ecosystem processes; Part 2. Dynamic ecosystems; Part 3. Ecosystem management
Two exams (vocabulary, short answer, short essay)--100 points each exam. One independent written project--100 points. Three small group projects, with written essays--40 points each project.
Busch, D. E. & J. C. Trexler (eds.). 2002. Monitoring Ecosystems: Interdisciplinary Approaches for Evaluating Ecoregional Initiatives. Island Press, Washington DC. ISBN: 1-55963-851-6 (paperback). 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).