BIOLOGY 109 - Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem Solving
Winter 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Biology (BIOLOGY)
Department: LSA Biology
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
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:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


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
  • 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
  • Pollution of surface waters
  • Ozone layer depletion and recovery
  • Avian Influenza and other epidemics
  • 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 and thought processes of typical scientists.

Course Requirements:

Grading is based on three online, synchronous multiple-choice exams and three online quizzes. The online quizzes can be repeated and you will receive the highest grade you achieve.

Intended Audience:

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

Class Format:

There will be two lectures posted per week.


BIOLOGY 109 - Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem Solving
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
Note: Asynchronous lectures will be posted 2 times per week on Canvas. Remote, synchronous, exam dates/times are TBD and will be posted in Canvas.

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for BIOLOGY 109.001

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for BIOLOGY 109 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)