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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: BIOL 320L
Course Title: *Ecology Laboratory
Number of:
Credit Hours 2
Lecture Hours 0
Lab Hours 3
Catalog Description: Laboratory experiences to complement BIOL/ENVS 320. Cross-listed as ENVS 320L. Prerequisite: BIOL 112L; BIOL/ENVS 320 or concurrent enrollment.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): BIOL 112L; BIOL/ENVS 320 or concurrent enrollment.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

General Ecology Laboratory Manual
By Cox, G.W. (McGraw Hill)
Field and Laboratory Methods for General Ecology
By Bower, J.E., J.H. Zar and C.N. van Ende (McGraw Hill)
Course Objectives
  • To explain the relationship between ecology and evolution.
  • To understand the factors that limit the distribution of organisms.
  • To use demographic techniques for analyzing populations.
  • To demonstrate how species interact through competition and predation.
  • To describe how communities are structured and how they change over time.
  • To explain the basics of ecosystem structure and function including nutrient cycling.
    Measurable Learning
  • Provide descriptions and examples of microhabitats.
  • Measure environmental factors which regulate growth and habitat selection.
  • Explain how environmental factors affect organisms.
  • Discuss factors that determine the distribution of individuals.
  • Describe methods to estimate diversity.
  • Apply scientific method to ecological problems.
  • Write a properly formatted written report.
  • Use appropriate primary literature.
    Topical Outline:
  • Data gathering and instrumentation
  • Microhabitats
  • Dispersion
  • Community Ecology
  • Productivity
  • Biogeography
  • Nutrients and growth
  • Aquatic environments
  • Succession

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 24

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Frank Somer Date: April 7, 2015
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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