Biodiversity and Global Change Fall Quarter, 1998

NEW POSTING, 29 Oct 1998: week 5 assignment, using TESC carabid survey data.

NEW POSTING, 20 Oct 1998: Week 4 assignment on Brown Creek dataset. References used for weeks 3 and 4 biodiversity lectures.

NEW POSTING, 20 Oct 1998: How to write a proposal, how to write a scientific report, how to give a symposium talk.

NEW POSTING, 7 Oct 1998: Data sets for 1992 and 1994 TESC Carabidae Surveys.

Program information as of 28 September 1998:

Faculty: John T. (Jack) Longino, Lab I-3056, x6511; Gerardo Chin-Leo, Lab II-2274, x6514


Climate Change and its Biological Consequences (Gates)
Global Environmental Change: An Atmospheric Perspective (Horel and Geisler)
Biodiversity: An Introduction (Gaston and Spicer)
Ecological Diversity and its Measurement (Magurran)

Lecture Component. Lectures will be during 3-hour time periods. There will be 15 lecture periods, roughly divided between Gerardo and Jack.

Seminar Component. There will be two seminar groups, one with Gerardo and one with Jack. The first seminar meeting will be in week 3, and faculty will discuss the nature of the primary scientific literature. This will be followed by 6 seminar meetings, during which students will give class presentations. Each seminar group will be divided into 6 teams of 4 or 5 students. Each team will lead the seminar for one of the weeks. Leading the seminar will involve (1) selecting topics and primary literature sources, (2) a week prior to seminar, presenting a short written proposal to faculty, containing topic and sources, (3) giving a 20-30 minute presentation in class, during which each team member will make a contribution, (4) leading the subsequent discussion, and (5) preparing two exam questions from the seminar topic. Three of the topics will relate to biogeochemistry and/or climate, and three to biodiversity. The biodiversity topics can be selected from the "Going Further" sections in Gaston & Spicer. Global change topics can be selected from the scientific papers listed in the end of the text by Gates.

Laboratory/Field Component.

Jack will coordinate a set of activities that involve measuring the diversity of the beetle family Carabidae. Students in the class will become "carabid experts," learning methods of field sampling, methods of specimen preparation, species-level identification skills, ecological data entry, techniques of analysis, and presentation skills. On Thursday and Friday of Week 1 there will be a whole-class field trip to Olympic National Forest, where we will carry out an intensive inventory of the Carabidae. Thursday afternoon and Friday of Week 2 we will undertake a similar inventory on TESC campus, and work in the laboratory to process the results of our field sampling. On Week 5 we will meet in the MacLab of the Computer Center, where we will work on data analysis from the beetle project. On Week 8 we will meet in the MacLab again, for presentation of results from the carabid surveys, and a discussion of the results. For the computer labs, there will be two lab sections, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. For field and laboratory work, the class will be divided into 10 teams of 5 students each.

Gerardo will coordinate field and lab work to study biogeochemical cycling in aquatic systems, and the properties of green house gases. Weeks 3 and 4 will be dedicated to study the possible eutrophication of a local estuary (Budd Inlet). We will conduct a survey of Budd Inlet using the Evergreen sailboats and samples collected during this cruise will be analyzed for dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll. Students will apply statistical tools and their knowledge of biogeochemical cycles to analyze and interpret the data. In Week 7 there will be a lab to examine the absorption properties of various atmospheric gases using an infrared (IR) spectrophotometer. For both Gerardošs and Jackšs field and laboratory work, the class will be divided into 10 teams of 5 students each.


Mid-term and Final Exam: These will be comprehensive, in-class exams, based on lecture material, seminar topics, and all field/laboratory exercises.

Seminar Presentation: You will be evaluated on the general preparation of your group to lead the seminar, and on your individual oral presentation.

Ecological Diversity Assignment: The class will be provided with a species x sample dataset for analysis. You will be asked to produce various graphical representations of ecological diversity, and to answer a number of questions that will rely on the analysis of diversity statistics. Each team will produce a written report with the results.

Eutrophication Assignment. Students in teams will be given assignments to organize, analyze and interpret data collected in the Budd Inlet field survey and the associated labs.

Participation: You will be evaluated on general participation in class, seminar, field trips, and laboratory excercises.


Tuesday, 1-4 PM, Longhouse, Lecture.

Thursday, 9-noon, Lab I 1050, Lecture.

Thursday, 1-3 PM, Seminar.

Friday, 9 AM - 4 PM, Laboratory.

Week 1, 28 Sep to 2 Oct

Tue: Program business, Field trip preparation, Lecture - Introduction to biodiversity and global change.

Thu-Fri: Overnight field trip to Brown Creek; 7:30AM departure, 5:30PM return.

Biodiversity Reading: Gaston 1, Magurran 1.

Global Change Reading: Horel and Geisler Ch 1, 2

Week 2, 5-9 Oct

Tue: Lecture - Climate change: cause and evidence. Geologic and contemporary cycles of change.

Thu: Lecture - Ecological diversity statistics, part 1. Afternoon: Field lab, setting pitfall trap transects on campus.

Fri: Harvest traps before lab; 9 AM - 4 PM: meet in lab to process specimens, enter data.

Biodiversity Reading: Magurran 2,3.

Global Change Reading: Horel and Geiser Ch 3, 4

Week 3, 12-16 Oct.

Tue: Lecture - Ecology and biogeogchemistry: cycles of matter, energy flow.

Thu: Lecture - Ecological diversity statistics, part 2. Seminar: Introduction to primary literature.

Fri: Fieldwork in boats, Budd Inlet: Sample collection.

Biodiversity Reading: Magurran 4,5,6.

Global Change Reading: Horel and Geiser Ch 5, Gates Ch 1

Week 4, 19-23 Oct

Tue: Lecture - Global change in aquatic ecosystems: cultural eutrophication.

Thu: Lecture - Biodiversity: genes to ecosystems. Seminar: Topic 1, Biodiversity.

Fri: Lab work on Budd Inlet plankton and nutrients (N, P).

Global Change Reading: Gates Ch 2

Week 5, 26-30 Oct

Tue: Mid-term review

Thu: MID-TERM EXAM. Seminar: Topic 2, Global Change.

Fri: Computer lab - Ecological diversity statistics. Morning and afternoon sections.

Global Change Reading: Horel and Geisler Ch 6 C Cycle

Week 6, 2-6 Nov

Tue: Lecture - Global warming: cause and evidence.

Thu: Lecture - Global warming: role of the oceans; solutions? Seminar: Topic 3, Biodiversity (Longino seminar may meet on Tuesday).

Fri: Computer lab - Statistics excercises.

Global Change Reading: Horel and Geisler Ch 7, 8

Week 7, 9-13 Nov

Tue: Lecture - Ozone depletion, acid rain.

Thu: Lecture - Biodiversity in time and space. Seminar: Topic 4, Global Change.

Fri: Laboratory (Chlorophyll or Gas). Morning and afternoon sections.

Biodiversity Reading: Gaston 2,3.

Global Change Reading: Horel and Geisler Ch 9.

Week 8, 16-20 Nov

Tue: Lecture - El Niño.

Thu: Lecture - Biodiversity and global change. Seminar: Topic 5, Biodiversity.

Fri: Computer Lab - Analysis and summary of carabid data. Morning and afternoon sections. ECOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ASSIGNMENT DUE ON FRIDAY.

Global Change Reading: Gates Ch 3, 4, 5


Week 9, 30 Nov - 4 Dec

Tue: Lecture - Role of biota in global change; Gaia.

Thu: Lecture - Biodiversity value and conservation. Seminar: Topic 6, Global Change.

Fri: Laboratory (GCL, TBA).

Biodiveristy Reading: Gaston 4,5.

Global Change Reading: Gates Ch 6, 7

Week 10, 7-11 Dec

Tue: Final exam review

Thu: FINAL EXAM. No seminar or lab.

Eval week, 14-18 Dec

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John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.

Last modified: 26 October 1998