Local Landscape A: Ecological Principles (BIO2127.01)

Kerry Woods

New England is one of the most heavily forested regions in the United States. 14,000 years ago it was covered by ice. When humans arrived about 11,000 years ago, they found extensive, well-established forests — and began reshaping the landscape through hunting and fire and, beginning about 2000 years ago, farming. European colonists caused further ecological change by expanding agriculture and bringing livestock, and by 1850 most of the region was cleared for agriculture. Most of that farmland has now become forested again. How do we understand and predict the workings of such a dynamic landscape? This course uses our local landscape to illustrate principles of ecological science, and uses ecological science to understand the landscape we live in. We will explore aspects of that landscape ranging from its deep history to the effects of climate change and invasive species, to the recent emergence of a new Lyme disease epidemic as an ecological phenomenon. This course is for anyone interested in how ecosystems work and why they are as they are; it will also prepare students for more advanced work in ecology. Ecology is one of the core scientific components of work in environmental studies. You may take this 2-credit class on its own, or along with the 2-credit field/lab class, “Local Landscape B”. This class may be taken remotely, but “Local Landscape B” cannot.

Prerequisites: None.
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
M 1:40PM-5:20PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Environment , Biology
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