STUDENT DOODLE FROM HUMAN ECOLOGY CORE COURSE
█ ECOLOGY OF THE WINTER COASTLINE
general studies of land use and protective strategies. Students will meet during the winter term to discuss a range of articles and book chapters dealing with aspects of conservation biology and Costa Rican natural history and culture but the major emphasis of the course will be a two week immersion in key habitats within Costa Rica itself during the March break. Non-travel days will consist of early to late morning fieldwork, afternoon lectures/presentations followed by early evening to late night fieldwork. The course is based out of three field sites: lowland Caribbean slope rainforest at Tirimbina ecological reserve in north central Costa Rica; montane forest of the Arenal and Tenorio volcanic region; and Pacific slope dry forest of the Nicoya Peninsula. Evaluation will be based on detailed field journals, course participation, and a series of examinations testing the student’s knowledge of species and concepts. Prerequisites: permission of instructor. *This course’s fee includes food, transport, and lodging in Costa Rica. Students are expected to provide airfare to Costa Rica.
█ ECOLOGY John Anderson Course limit: 12 Cost: $75 This course examines ecology in the classic sense: the study of the causes and consequences of the distribution and abundance of organisms. The class consists of two, one and one-half hour lectures per week, weekly field trips, and one three-day camping trip to Isle au Haut (conducting comparative island ecology studies). We examine assumptions and predictions of general models of predator/prey inter-actions; inter and intra species competition; island biogeography; and resource use, and compare these models to results of experimental tests in the lab and field. In addition we discuss appropriate techniques used by ecologists in collecting data in the field, and apply these techniques on field trips. Readings include selections from primary literature. Students are evaluated on the basis of class participation, a number of quizzes, problem sets, and a final exam. Prerequisites: Biology i and ii, and signature of instructor. Offered every year.
Scott Swann Course limit: 14 Cost: $85 This is a course studying marine botany, marine algae, and monitoring the spring time blooms of phytoplankton in Frenchman Bay. The class will cover topics such as the biology, taxonomy, and ecology of marine algae. A major component of this course will be focusing on the primary productivity of marine ecosystems. Students will experience exquisite and ephemeral phenomena through extensive lab work identifying and monitoring individual species of marine algae and phytoplankton. We will explore the flora and fauna of the islands, bays, and coastal waters surrounding Mount Desert Island by looking at organisms which make up wintertime communities. Topics include the seasonal movement of different species of seabirds and marine mammals; discussing species that are conspicuous by their absence, those which have stoically remained behind and species that are entirely winter visitors. Many consider January and February as deep winter, yet this is the time when the first signs of spring appear. Students are expected to keep a field/lab notebook and to write several term papers. Students should anticipate several field trips which might test their winter hardiness. Prerequisites: intermediate biology/ecology course or signature of instructor.
█ ECOLOGY: NATURAL HISTORY Steve Ressel & Scott Swann Course limit: 14 Cost: $75 This course emphasizes field studies of the ecology of Mount Desert Island, incorporating labs and field trips. Each exercise focuses on a central ecological concept. Topics include intertidal biology and diversity, forest trees and site types, bedrock geology, soil biology, insect diversity, pollination ecology, freshwater biology, predation, herbivory, and the migration of birds. Discussions include the development of natural history as a science and the role of natural selection in diversity evolution. Students are expected to keep a field notebook or journal, undertake a project, and write a term paper. Class meets for two lecture sessions and one lab session or two field/lab sessions per week. The course is particularly appropriate for students concentrating in environmental education. Fieldwork will involve strenuous hiking. Offered every fall.
This is the College of the Atlantic Guidebook prospectus for 2014