Ecology

Oceans and Health

Students will gain a grounding in marine sciences which will help them to evaluate impacts of anthropogenic activities on both marine ecosystems and the humans that rely on them. After developing an understanding of the issues facing environmental and human health and well-being in marine systems, students will travel to Duke Kunshan University in China, to better understand environmental challenges facing a rapidly developing economy.

Ecology of Human Health

Humans are the dominant species on Earth and ecology is key to understanding the multiple feedbacks through which their activities affect human health. Fundamental principles of ecology, from population to ecosystem levels, will be examined through the lens of human health. Topics include human population growth and carrying capacity, why we age, infectious disease dynamics, the microbiome and human health, sustainable agriculture and food security, sustainable harvest of wild foods, dynamics of pollutants in food webs, ecosystem services to humans, and human impacts of climate change.

Marine Ecology of the Pacific

Ecology of the rocky intertidal, kelp forest, and mud flat habitats. Introduction to marine mammals, fish and other large West Coast vertebrates. Taught in Beaufort, with preparation for fieldwork before and analysis and presentation of projects after required one-week intensive field experience on the coast of Northern California. Prerequisite: Introductory course in Biology or Environmental Science and consent of instructor. Instructor: Johnson

Deep-Sea Science and Environmental Management

Explores ecosystems in the deep sea, including fundamental aspects of geology, chemistry, and biodiversity;behavioral, physiological, and biochemical adaptations of organisms (primarily invertebrate, but may include microbial and vertebrate components) to deep-sea benthic and bentho-paelagic environments will be introduced. Students will gain an understanding of the ecosystem services of the deep sea; issues in deep-sea environmental management arising from exploitation of deep-sea resources will be discussed. For undergraduates only.

Tropical Disease, Environmental Change and Human Health

The biology, ecology, and evolution of tropical diseases and how emerging diseases are expanding their range and virulence. Environmental changes in the tropics such as climate change and land conversion impacting ecosystem and human health including: diseases, cultural medicinal practices, and changes in ecosystem functions. Based at the three OTS biological field stations in Costa Rica and surrounding landscapes. Intact and altered ecosystems impacts on human health, including assessments of insect and water-borne disease vectors.

Biodiversity of Alaska

Ecology/biodiversity and conservation in Alaska: identification and natural history of native plants and animals including both terrestrial and marine species, biogeographic history and patterns, native American cultures, conservation issues surrounding Alaskan natural resources. Regional, national, and geopolitical issues surrounding development and conservation in Alaska and elsewhere in the arctic.

Biogeochemistry

Processes controlling the circulation of carbon and biochemical elements in natural ecosystems and at the global level, with emphasis on soil and surficial processes. Topics include human impact on and social consequences of greenhouse gases, ozone, and heavy metals in the environment. Prerequisite: Chemistry 101DL or equivalent; Recommended: Chemistry 210DL. One course. 3 graduate units.

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