Principles of Landscape Ecology (EBIO 4060/5060; next taught in Spring 2023)

Landscape ecology is a sub-discipline of ecology that emphasizes interactions between spatial pattern and ecological processes on a wide range of scales. It represents an ecological approach characterized by spatial explicitness and trans-disciplinary interactions. Key topics in landscape ecology include linkages between pattern, process, and scale; spatial scaling; landscape sustainability; and human-dominated ecosystems. This course will focus on the principles of this area of ecology and their relevance to the understanding and prediction of ecological response to broad-scale environmental change.

We will explore the principles of the field of landscape ecology as a framework for landscape research, analysis and management. This course will: 1) synthesize the dominant conceptual themes of landscape ecology; 2) introduce students to the breadth of current research in the field; and 3) explore applications of the landscape approach. Issues in sustainability and the benefits of a landscape perspective will be discussed.

Spatial Ecology: Concepts and Data Analysis (EBIO 4460/5460-001; next taught in Fall 2023)

Spatial ecology deals with the examination and modeling of the fundamental role of space in ecological patterns and process. Explicitly accounting for space is important for virtually all questions in basic and applied in ecology. This is because, as put by Turner and Gardner (2015) [all] Organisms live in heterogeneous environments; they grow, reproduce, disperse, and die in landscapes that are spatially variable and temporally dynamic. Key topics in spatial ecology include: scale, spatial statistics, spatial dependence/auto-correlation, land-cover pattern and change, species distributions, movement ecology, meta-population, and meta-community ecology. These topics overlap with various sub-fields of ecology. 

In this course we will embrace learning by doing. That is, to learn concepts and applications of spatial ecology to data we need to be (or become) spatial ecologists. We will explore concepts in spatial ecology and apply those concepts to the analysis of data. Objectives if this course are to: (1) Gain mastery of and appreciation for theory and concepts in spatial ecology, (2) gain mastery of and appreciation for modeling tools to quantify spatial data, (3) explore current applications of spatial ecology in basic and applied ecology, (4) apply concepts and tools learned to problems of interest, and (5) hone skills in critical thinking, data analysis, scientific writing, and oral communication. 

Insect Biology (EBIO 4660/5660; next taught in Fall 2022 with Dr. Sammy Ramsey)

The goals of this course are to develop your understanding, enthusiasm about, and enjoyment of insect biology. Throughout the semester, we will examine insect morphology, physiology and development in order to develop a context for understanding insect ecology, behavior and evolution. The course will foster better appreciation of the importance of insects in research, current issues, and human society. Students will apply their understanding of insect biology to issues facing the world today. The laboratory will focus on learning insect identification; techniques for collecting, mounting and labeling insects; insect morphology and evolutionary relationships. The laboratory will also provide an opportunity for students to understand insect structure and function in the context of the evolutionary history of insects.


Diversity and Inclusion in STEM

Natural History and EEB