BIO 270. Ecology and Evolution. An introduction to ecological and evolutionary patterns, principles, and processes. Topics include life history and adaptation, speciation, mechanisms of evolution, population dynamics and interactions, community structure, and ecosystem processes. Laboratories include experimental investigations of several levels of biological organization using cooperative lab groups. Prerequisite(s): Biology 190. S L Q W2 Normally offered every year. Staff.

Course Philosophy

The lecture, lab, and field investigations in Bio 270 expose students to four levels of biological organization: the individual level (acid rain study), population level (White pine population study), the community level (rocky intertidal community study), and global ecosystems (climate change study). Each study introduces new levels of ecological complexity and avenues of inquiry to stimulate critical thinking and to provide a frame of reference for the lecture information. The studies have been designed to incrementally introduce new concepts and techniques that build on and reinforce information and skills learned in Bio 190 and Bio 242. Ecology is a quantitative discipline, and thus we will use a variety of quantitative tools to investigate and analyze data related to the problems posed in each study.

As in the other biology core courses, we place special emphasis on the processes of scientific inquiry and communication. Effective communication in a scientific discipline requires working knowledge of conventions of scientific writing and the language used in the discipline. In addition to writing, you will have opportunities to present information orally. Critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills are best developed through practice with challenging material; thus, lecture and lab provide many opportunities to evaluate and interpret ecological data. The instructional staff is there to assist and guide your learning - use them and the other course resources to your best advantage.

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