BIO 36 is designed to help you gain a
better understanding of the science of ecology.
We achieve understanding by working together in class, in
the laboratory and in the field.
The goal of ecology is to explain the
distribution and abundance of organisms in nature through
an understanding of how organisms interact with their abiotic
and biotic environments. In addition to studying natural
history and learning some of the classical
experiments, we will address ecological
theory. Furthermore, we will study processes that
operate within and between hierarchical levels of organization
(e.g., individuals, populations, communities, ecosystems,
landscapes). Finally, we will tie up all this fundamental
knowledge and evaluate the current changes occurring in
nature as a result of the human population growth.
(1) Increase the students' ability to evaluate, discuss
and write about key issues in ecology via
readings, lectures, discussions, questions, essays, presentations,
laboratory and field work.
(2) Improve ecological literacy by understanding
how physical, biological and evolutionary processes affect
individual organisms and their populations and communities
that in turn affect ecosystem structure and function.
(3) Learn to ask questions in ecology and
how to find possible answers via the application of the
(4) Recognize that ecologists do not know all the
answers: “Awareness of ignorance is the beginning
of knowledge” Townsend, et al. 2000. There are plenty
of issues we do not yet understand.
(5) Finally, understand the scope of the problems that we
(humans) are facing such as unsustainable use of ecological
resources, erosion, pollution, extinctions, etc.
Prerequisite: General Biology
I/II and Mathematics or Calculus or Chemistry or Environmental
Classes will typically consist of lecture
time, interrupted frequently by questions and comments;
class discussion via jigsaw exercises; student presentations;
and question & answer sessions. The course emphasizes
the use of active cooperative learning strategies
to ensure interaction among students and instructor.
The laboratory portion will include work
in the field, laboratory , computer and library. Field
trips are mandatory.
Field trips, fieldwork, data analyses and reports: This
is the section that I enjoy the most and hope that you will
too! I will try very hard to inspire you with knowledge,
enthusiasm, and love for the field of ecology. We will be
getting the opportunity to explore some very interesting
questions, to design some experiments and to gather and
analyze tons of data.
(1) Pine Barrens in New Jersey
(2) Pocono mesic till Barrens of Pennsylvania
(3) Serpentine Barrens in southeastern Pennsylvania
(4) Crum Woods of Swarthmore College
(5) In search of Eels: nightlife in the Crum Creek
(0) Statistical Test review
(1) Origin and maintenance of the different barren communities
in eastern united states
(2) Net primary productivity in the Crum woods vegetation
(3) Insect diversity and water quality of the Crum Creek