BIOLOGY 109 - Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem Solving
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Biology (BIOLOGY)
Department: LSA Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
Credit is granted for a combined total of 17 credits elected in introductory biology.
Other Course Info:
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The world presents us with many types of environmental problems. Everyone needs to have a basic understanding of the scientific knowledge and theories that are needed to solve these problems, so that they can make informed decisions as educated citizens. We will use a case study approach to learn how to apply knowledge and theory to the process of developing solutions.

Examples of the kinds of case studies that we will study include:

  • Use and subsequent ban on use of DDT and PCB, including examples from Michigan
  • Control of vampire bats in Central and South America
  • Reservoir construction and mercury poisoning
  • Role of wastewater treatment facilities in the water quality of lakes along the Huron River near Ann Arbor
  • Acid Rain
  • Biological species invasions
  • Ecological effects of nuclear radiation
  • Climate change and efforts to reverse current trends
  • Landscape fragmentation, spotted owls and other examples
  • Habitat restoration

Additional readings will include the nature of science, debates about science vs. "junk science", and even about the mindsets of typical scientists.

Course Requirements:

Grading is based on in-class quizzes and graded evaluation of two essay assignments. The essays will give you the opportunity to identify an environmental problem, state elements of theory, report present understanding about the problem, and suggest ways to verify the facts.

Intended Audience:

This course can be elected by undergraduate students in any year of their degree program.

Class Format:

There will be two lectures per week.

BIOLOGY 109 - Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem Solving
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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