Summary: Syllabus for Biol 3061/5261 Communities and Ecosystems
Biology 3061: Communities and Ecosystems
(Cross-listed with Biology 5261)
Room 236 in Life Sciences Center
Tuesday/Thursday Mornings: 1135-1255 hrs.
Ecosystems are communities of living organisms and their physical-chemical
environments that interact together within the biosphere. With few exceptions, all life,
including human life, exists in ecosystems. The class is divided into two parts. In the first
part of the course, applied aspects of ecosystem management will be studied. The
Ecosystem Approach and Resilience Thinking will be discussed. The Ecosystem Approach
relates to how people's use of an ecosystem affects its functioning and productivity.
Resilience Thinking emphasizes understanding whole systems that view the ecological-social
interactions as an indivisible system while embracing change rather than opposing it as a key
factor in environmental management. The need for the Ecosystem Approach and Resilience
Thinking has been driven by many global trends simultaneously. Clearly, for many seeking
sustainability in an ecologically deteriorating world, these are concepts whose `time has
come'. Related concepts like ecosystem health and ecosystem integrity will be explored.
Other topics such as environmental indicators, environmental impact assessment, ecological