Ecology

Degree Requirements

Ecology

Coordinator: Persons

Ecology is an interdisciplinary program that draws on the strengths of the Biology Department and the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department and provides students the possibility of earning either a major or a minor in ecology.

Learning goals:

  • Ecology majors will learn to identify and describe the basic principles and theories of ecology and the related sciences (biology, environmental science and geology).
  • Using these principles and theories, students will learn to construct and critique logical scientific arguments.
  • Students will learn to use appropriate skills and techniques to acquire and evaluate scientific evidence.
  • Students will recognize how basic ecological principles and theories are relevant to the broader university curriculum, as well as to their daily lives.

Requirements for the Major in Ecology. The Bachelor of Science degree in ecology requires 64 semester hours in biology, earth and environmental sciences, physics, and chemistry with grades of C- or better in ecology, biology, and earth and environmental sciences courses. The Bachelor of Science in ecology includes an introductory sequence, ecosystem-level courses and a year of student research. In addition, the 64 semester hours include 12 semester hours of elective courses with at least one drawn from each of Category 1 and Category 2. In cases where the lecture and laboratory components of courses are listed separately, students in the ecology program must take both lecture and laboratory.

semester hours

16

Introductory Sequence (16 semester hours)

 

4

ECOL:100 Introduction to the Science of Ecology (BIOL:101 Ecology, Evolution and Heredity, EENV:101 Environmental Science, or EENV:103 Earth System History may substitute as an initial course in the introductory sequence)

 

4

ECOL:113/EENV:113 Geology and the Environment

 

4

ECOL:201 Ecosystems

 

4

ECOL:202/BIOL:202 Systematic Biology

8

Ecosystem-Level Courses (8 semester hours)

 

4

BIOL:408-409 Aquatic Ecology

 

4

ECOL:380/EENV:380 Wetlands Analysis

12

Elective Courses (12 semester hours chosen from the following, with at least 4 semester hours taken in each category)

 

Category 1: Biology Electives (must be accompanied by the laboratory component)

 

4

BIOL:308309 Vertebrate Natural History

 

4

BIOL:312313 Microbiology

 

4

BIOL:324325 Animal Behavior

 

4

BIOL:326327 Invertebrate Zoology

 

4

BIOL:332-333 Population Biology

 

4

BIOL:404405 Plant Physiology

 

Category 2: Environmental Science Electives

 

4

EENV:213 Oceanography

 

4

EENV:220 Water Resources

 

4

EENV:240 Introduction to Meteorology

 

4

EENV:242 Climate and Global Change

 

4

EENV:283 Sedimentology/Stratigraphy

 

4

EENV:360 Geographic Information Systems

 

4

EENV:383 Soil Science

 

4

EENV:420 Groundwater Hydrogeology

 

4

EENV:430 Chemistry of Natural Waters

8

 

Student Research

 

4

ECOL:510 Student Research I

 

4

ECOL:511 Student Research II

20

Required Corollary Courses

 

Students must complete the following corollary statistics, chemistry and physics courses:

 

4

A statistics course (MATH:108, MGMT:202 or PSYC:123)

 

8

CHEM:101-102 General Chemistry I, II; CHEM:103-104 General Chemistry I, II Teams; or CHEM:111-112 General Chemistry I, II Teams WS

 

4

CHEM:221 Organic Chemistry I, CHEM:231 Quantitative Analysis or CHEM:300 Topics in Chemistry under the title Green Chemistry

 

4

PHYS:204 Introductory Physics I

Requirements for the Minor in Ecology. The minor in ecology requires 24 semester hours in ecology, biology, and earth and environmental sciences with grades of C- or better. The first course in the minor may be one of the following: ECOL:100, BIOL:101, EENV:101 or EENV:103. That introductory course should be followed by the sequence of ECOL:113, ECOL:201 and ECOL:202. Following the completion of the introductory sequence, the student will take at least four semester hours from Category 1 (biology) and four semester hours from Category 2 (earth and environmental sciences).

16

Introductory Sequence (8 semester hours)

 

4

One of four introductory courses

 

 

ECOL:100 Introduction to the Science of Ecology

 

 

BIOL:101 Ecology, Evolution, and Heredity

 

 

EENV:101 Environmental Science

 

 

EENV:103 Earth System History

 

4

ECOL:113/EENV:113 Geology and the Environment

 

4

ECOL:201 Ecosystems

 

4

ECOL:202/BIOL:202 Systematic Biology

8

Elective Courses (8 semester hours chosen from the following, with at least 4 semester hours taken in each category)

 

Category 1: Biology Electives (must be accompanied by the laboratory component)

 

4

BIOL:204 Biogeodiversity

 

4

BIOL:308-309 Vertebrate Natural History

 

4

BIOL:312-313 Microbiology

 

4

BIOL:324-325 Animal Behavior

 

4

4

BIOL:326-327 Invertebrate Zoology

BIOL:332-333 Population Biology

 

4

BIOL:404-405 Plant Physiology

 

4

BIOL:408-409 Aquatic Ecology

 

Category 2: Environmental Science Electives

 

4

EENV:213 Oceanography

 

4

EENV:220 Water Resources

 

4

EENV:240 Introduction to Meteorology

 

4

EENV:242 Climate and Global Change

 

4

EENV:283 Sedimentology/Stratigraphy

 

4

EENV:360 Geographic Information Systems

 

4

EENV:380/ECOL:380 Wetlands Analysis

 

4

EENV:383 Soil Science

 

4

EENV:420 Groundwater Hydrogeology

 

4

EENV:430 Chemistry of Natural Waters

Majors must also take a comprehensive ecology examination prior to graduation. Exam content will be drawn from introductory sequence courses. Students have multiple opportunities to take the comprehensive examination; only the highest score is recorded on the transcript. Performance on the comprehensive examination is reported on the transcript as high pass, pass or fail.

Honors in Ecology. The ecology program encourages and recognizes superior academic performance in ecology. To graduate with program honors, ecology majors must request entry to the program or be nominated for entry to the program by one or more faculty members who teach required or elective distribution courses within the major. Request for entry or nominations for honors must be initiated by the beginning of the senior year.

Candidates for academic honors must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a GPA of 3.50 in major courses to qualify for academic honors.
  • Successfully complete Student Research I and II (ECOL:510 and ECOL:511) and earn a grade of B- or better in these courses.
  • Receive a high pass on their highest score on the comprehensive exam.

Candidates for research honors must do the following:

  • Be nominated by a member of the faculty who teaches within the ecology program by midterm of Student Research II (ECOL:511).
  • Submit an acceptable research thesis based upon two semesters of Student Research (ECOL:510 and ECOL:511).
  • Pass an oral comprehensive examination of their thesis in their final semester. The oral comprehensive examination is administered by faculty who teach within the ecology major.

Ecology Research Facilities. The Center for Environmental Education and Research (CEER) is an 87-acre tract of land immediately adjacent to campus that serves as a convenient field station for observational and manipulative studies in ecology. The site also includes a research greenhouse, research plots and storage facilities for field equipment. In addition, the department operates the George A. Hepner Ecology Laboratory at Camp Karoondinha. It provides a modern research laboratory and a variety of habitats, offering students experience through short- and long-term experiments. The property features more than 600 acres from 600 to 1,800 feet above sea level. It includes both deciduous and mixed coniferous forests, an 8-acre lake, Penns Creek and small streams.



Course Catalog

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