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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Biology (BIOL)

BIOL 419 Ecological and Environmental Problem Solving (3) Overview of processes involved in solving environmental problems. Provides students with toolkit for understanding ecological and environmental problems.

BIOL 419 Ecological and Environmental Problem Solving (3)

The course will provide a general overview of the process involved in studying a variety of ecological and environmental problems. It will provide a toolbox of techniques for understanding ecological and environmental problems, and discuss how they can be used to address questions and generate testable predictions. It will examine connections between individuals and populations and communities as well as between theory and data. The focus will be on theoretical and computer modeling approaches, while maintaining a strong link to data and real systems.

After an introduction to modeling, students will learn to develop and use simple and stochastic optimization models for individual organisms, as well as applying basic game theory to interactions between individuals. Many of the class meetings will be held in computer laboratories where they will be actively engaged in working on applying these models. They will explore a sequence of population demographic models of increasing complexity, ranging from unlimited, unstructured population growth to density-dependent, structured population growth, in non-spatial and spatial contexts, culminating in individual-based models for population dynamics. The students will then apply these models to interacting species, learning about mutualistic, competitive and host-natural enemy interactions. Finally, we will explore theory for communities of species in space and time. Applied problems will be drawn from all areas of conservation, harvesting, pest control and epidemiology. This course will be one of several ecology courses that are available to students in the ecology and general option in the biology program along with the biology minor.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2004
Prerequisite: BIOL 220W

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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