EcologyThe ecology program at Susquehanna University is a cooperative, interdisciplinary program that draws on the strengths of the Department of Biology and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The word ecology is derived from the Greek word oikos, meaning “house.” Literally taken, ecology is the study of organisms in their home, or more broadly, the interconnections in nature. Students in the ecology program learn how the different components of Earth’s environment – air, water, soil, and organisms – relate to one another. Studies of such interactions allow students to understand how organisms embedded in their environments function.
At Susquehanna University, the teaching and research in ecology cover a wide range of topics from the study of streams, lakes, and wetlands to nutrient cycling, and aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Specialties of the participating faculty include aquatic ecology, soil science, behavioral ecology, paleoecology, vertebrate ecology, and plant ecology.
Students who graduate in the program will be prepared to move into a variety of ecological applications such as: fisheries consulting; forestry, agricultural management; parks and recreation; and resource planning, management, and conservation. Students also will be well prepared for advanced study in the science of ecology.
The Ecological Research Center. The Susquehanna University Ecology Research Center (ERC) is conveniently located within easy walking distance to campus (1/4th of a mile). This field site is dedicated to providing an outdoor laboratory for formal coursework as well as independent and collaborative research. The site is situated on a 20-acre parcel of old field habitat, subdivided and maintained in successional stages, and surrounded by coniferous and deciduous hedgerow communities. The center provides exceptional educational opportunities as a focal site for terrestrial, landscape, restoration, and agroecology research.
George A. Hepner Ecology Laboratory at Camp Karoondinha. The Department of Biology operates this field research station. 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 eight-acre lake, Penn’s Creek, and small streams.