ECOL 592 Interdisciplinary Seminar

Future Offerings

Listings for Fall 2016 will be posted here by registration time.

Current Offerings: Spring 2016

Ecosystem Resistance, Resilience, and Stability

Andrew Felton, Melinda Smith

Description:The goal of this course is to explore both the theory and empirical research related to drivers of the resistance and resilience of ecosystem structure and functioning under environmental change. The course will consider both pulsed disturbances (e.g., fire and drought) and chronic changes (e.g., N deposition), particularly within the context of current human-driven global changes. The course will thus aim to attain breadth in an understanding of the determinants of ecosystem stability, while utilizing weekly class sessions to analyze and discuss in detail the assigned papers focused primarily on the mechanisms of ecosystem resistance and resilience. Each week students will select a paper in groups to contribute insight into weekly discussions of the specific topic and reading. Attendance and participation in discussion will be used as part of the grading process. Additionally, weekly assignments in the form of worksheets pertaining to the assigned papers will be used to evaluate student performance. Both assigned and student selected papers will be cataloged on Mendeley, resulting in the production of a comprehensive information resource on ecosystem resistance, resilience, and stability for students.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/20/2016
Meeting Times: Tues 1 - 1:50 pm
Classroom: Yates rm 206
CRN: 10362
Section Number: 1
Cross Listed:
Enrollment Limit: 20
Background:
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Andrew Felton felton12392@gmail.com 612-251-8554
      Melinda Smith melinda.smith@colostate.edu 970-491-7155

Frontiers in Aquatic Microbial Ecology

Ed Hall

Description:Interest in and understanding of microbial ecology is rapidly advancing in environmental sciences. As new technologies and advances in computing powers increase our ability to learn more about the unseen majority, information on environmental microorganisms is accumulating at an unprecedented rate. Microbial ecology, once a field with abundant conceptual frameworks and little data, has been turned on its head. Today we have an exceptional amount of data on genes, proteins, and metabolic products of environmental microorganisms but fewer functional conceptual models within which to organize these data and advance our understanding. In this course we will discuss the most recent and exciting articles in aquatic microbiology in an attempt to identify and address how environmental microbiology is being used in aquatic and ecosystem ecology today. Participants will be responsible to identify recent papers of interest and lead discussions on the paper and associated concepts. Participants will also be encouraged to formalize some of the course discussion by synthesizing the topics discussed under the umbrella of an existing or newly formed conceptual framework.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/20/2016
Meeting Times: weekly - day tbd
Classroom: NESB B224
CRN: 10363
Section Number: 2
Cross Listed: ESS, GDPE, MIB, A/Z
Enrollment Limit: 16
Background: microbiology, ecology, chemistry, limnology, poetry, art
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Ed Hall ed.hall@colostate.edu 970-491-2162

Citizen Science Theory and Practice

Greg Newman, Rina Hauptfeld, Russell Scarpino

Description:Scientists are increasingly asked, both by funders and by academic institutions, to broaden the impacts of their research to audiences beyond the ivory tower. Citizen Science Theory and Practice will consider the unique possibilities and challenges associated with defining an ecological research question with and appropriate for a lay public, taking into consideration cross-cultural contexts. Through weekly readings and in-class discussions, students will consider how methodological design may impact not only statistical results, but also decision-making, participant learning, and social-capital development. Students will be responsible for weekly readings, class discussions and activities, and designing methods for a community partners' citizen science project (in pairs). Utilizing one of the online platforms introduced in class, student pairs will draft methods and data sheets appropriate for one of 3 citizen science audiences (Grades 7-12; College; Adult learner), and submit their project methods to their partner. Our goal is to develop real research projects for real community partners.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/20/2016
Meeting Times: Weekly - TBD (maybe one a week on Wednesday - flexible.
Classroom:
CRN: 10365
Section Number: 4
Cross Listed: ESS/HDNR
Enrollment Limit: 20
Background: Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Conservation Biology; Research methods
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Greg Newman Gregory.Newman@ColoState.Edu 970-491-0410
      Rina Hauptfeld Rina.Hauptfeld@colostate.edu 508-667-4710
      Russell Scarpino russellscarpino@yahoo.com 970-491-7644

Mechanisms of drought induced plant mortality: Do trees and herbaceous growth forms differ?

Troy Ocheltree, Alan Knapp

Description:The goal of this course will be to better understand the mechanisms of herbaceous plant mortality in response to drought. Attention has recently been focused on understanding the mortality of woody species in response to drought, but the mechanisms of herbaceous mortality have not been addressed and are likely to differ from those identified for woody species. To assess the state of knowledge in this field and move forward, we will conduct a literature review to find all papers that may shed light on this topic, synthesize that knowledge, and then develop new hypotheses that encompass mortality mechanisms inclusive of all growth forms. Students will participate in literature searches in this area, disseminate results and synthesize ideas from the literature, and actively participate in developing new testable hypotheses.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/27/2016
Meeting Times: 2pm on Wednesdays
Classroom: TBD
CRN: 10366
Section Number: 5
Cross Listed: NA
Enrollment Limit: 10
Background: Basic understanding and interest in plant physiology
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Troy Ocheltree troy.ocheltree@colostate.edu 970-491-5658
      Alan Knapp Alan.Knapp@colostate.edu 970-491-7010

Parasites and the Behavior of Animals

Janice Moore

Description:The scope of this seminar will be fairly broad, including defensive behavior on the part of hosts as well as behavior that is manipulated by parasites, and the fuzzy territory between. The course will begin with assigned readings and discussion that cover this broad base; following that, each participant will be responsible for bringing forward at least one recent paper (and associated/background literature if appropriate) to share with the class, giving a brief presentation and leading discussion. Attendance and participation will be important, and those, together with the quality of the presentation, will determine each student's grade.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/19/2016
Meeting Times: TBA
Classroom: TBA
CRN: 10367
Section Number: 6
Cross Listed: BZ 492/692 A
Enrollment Limit: 10
Background:
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Janice Moore Janice.Moore@Colostate.edu 970-491-6764; 970-491-7011

 

Previous Offerings

Previous ECOL 592 course descriptions available on the Past 592 page.