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Cornell University    
  Feb 21, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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BIOEE 3610 - Advanced Ecology

(PBS-AS) (CU-SBY)     
Fall. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Prerequisite: one semester of calculus and BIOEE 1610  or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

S. Ellner, J. Sparks, D. Winkler.

This course provides an in depth survey of ecology emphasizing conceptual foundations and the integration of experimental and quantitative approaches, including population and community ecology, ecosystem biology, and ecological modeling. Current and classical ecological research is used to introduce major concepts and methods, derive major ecological principles, and critically discuss their applicability on multiple organizational levels, on multiple scales, and in a variety of ecosystems. Weekly discussion/lab sections focus on measurement techniques and computation (modeling, simulation and data analysis using the R language).

Outcome 1: Students will be able to read, synthesize and critically discuss contemporary published research in ecology. Students will be able to analyze ecological systems in terms of proximate and ultimate causation, and be able to work with multi-level systems interactions.

Outcome 2: Students will be able to use basic conceptual and analytical tools for describing and quantifying ecological relationships.

Outcome 3: Students will be able to understand and use fundamental analytical methods to describe structure and dynamics of populations and communities. Students will be able to make predictions about population and community dynamics based on their knowledge about biotic and abiotic factors influencing species interactions. Students will be able to integrate their knowledge about species interactions to explain higher level ecosystem processes

Outcome 4: Students will be able to evaluate differences across ecosystems in terms of differences in rates of metabolism and the relative open-ness of ecosystem cycles.

Outcome 5: Students will be able to critically evaluate data from whole-ecosystem experiments and cross-ecosystem studies.

Outcome 6: Students will be able to analyze some of the complex interactions between global change and ecological structure and function.

Outcome 7: Students will be able to “read” a model, interpreting its equations as statements about underlying processes and assumptions about system structure and function.

Outcome 8: Students will be able to modify existing models for applications to related systems or alternative scenarios.

Outcome 9: Students will learn to use the R scripting language as an environment for implementing ecological models and studying their behavior.

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