Winter Quarter 2003
Use the program website to stay up-to-date as changes
are made to the schedule and readings. Download assignments and lecture notes here, too, including readings
and handouts for the vertebrate anatomy lab (under "vertebrate lab").
The winter quarter of Freshwater Ecology will include:
- limnology (lake ecology, with emphasis on the chemistry of nutrients;
nutrient cycling, and lake dynamics);
- vertebrate biology (We will spend several weeks dissecting aquatic
vertebrates, including lampreys, sharks, and salamanders, in the lab; there will also be several
lectures on fish and amphibian biology and life histories);
- population ecology (during computer labs we will be learning
mathematical population ecology; during lectures and workshops we will approach population
ecology from an evolutionary framework); and
- biodiversity, as it relates to issues of policy and management.
- Independent projects undertaken by students on some topic in freshwater ecology.
This two-quarter program will focus on freshwater ecosystems as models for ecological investigation.
Through a combination of field work, computer labs, and biology labs we will integrate
an evolutionary approach to the study of rivers, lakes and wetlands, with quantitative methods for
analyzing interactions within these ecosystems.
Some of the questions central to this program include:
- How are freshwater ecosystems best understoodby controlling for as many variables as
possible, or by trying to understand them in all their complexity?
- As scientists engaged in the study of these systems, how do we assess the various sources of
knowledge: the data that was gathered before us, existing ecological theory, our own
interpretation and generation of data and theory?
- How do the physical environment, chemical composition, and biological diversity, structure, and
history of a given freshwater ecosystem combine to form a functional unit?
- What is a healthy freshwater ecosystem? How do we know?
- What is sustainable practice with regard to these systems?