BIO 215 - Tropical Ecology
Tropical Ecology will examine the role of tropical rainforest in our world today as well as the conditions that set up tropical rainforest. We will examine the biological diversity of tropical ecosystems and the evolutionary pressures that have led to this diversity. Class will meet once a week and have an on-line assignment, textbook reading, and quiz each week. Course culminates in a 10 day trip to Costa Rica during Spring Break. An additional course fee and instructor approval is required for acceptance.
3 Class Hours, 3 Laboratory Hours
Learning Outcomes of the Course:
Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
1. Understand how geographical principles such as latitude, elevation, terrain, and prevailing winds create different conditions and "set up" different forms of tropical forest.
2. Understand that not all of the tropics is "rainforest" and will understand other systems and why they are there.
3. Discuss differing hypotheses for the diversity of tropical rainforests.
4. Understand the human pressures on tropical ecosystems and possible solutions for ameliorating these pressures.
5. Understand how natural selection, evolution, and co-evolution have shaped the organisms of the tropics in a unique way.
6. Become more aware of the world they live in and gain appreciation for other cultures and ways of life.
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