Recommended prerequisites: BIOLOGY 171 or equivalent (e.g. BIOLOGY 195), two college-level courses in biology, or permission of instructor.
Satisfies requirements for: BS, NS, PitE Practical Experience, Biology Lab, and EEB Field/Research
Meets: Thursday, Friday, Saturday
This field course is focused on the ecology of forest species and the characteristics of ecological systems which support them.
In this class, we will learn and use ecological concepts as they apply to forest ecosystems both in Michigan and throughout the world. We will mainly focus on tree communities as the foundational species of these systems, but we will also address interactions with other organisms, the role of the soil and atmosphere environments, disturbance, global change impacts and the larger landscape context.
The course will consist of 1) lectures, 2) field trips to a diversity of ecosystems in the region, 3) field labs where we will collect data on forest diversity, structure, carbon pools, and tree growth, 4) computer labs where we will analyze the data collected in the field, and 5) independent time for students to work on their assignments. During the course, students will gain skills in field techniques, field interpretation of forest status, and basic data graphing and analysis skills in R. As part of the course students will complete assignments that incorporate topics, methods and skills covered during the course’s sections.