Fall Quarter 2017

*All courses listed below are ECL 290s or 290 equivalent courses

ECL 271: Behavioural, Ecological, and Evolutionary Responses to Extreme Climate Events

Instructor: Tom Schoener

CRN: 39409

Time & Location: Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00pm in Storer 2342

At least four kinds of extreme climatic events -- drought, floods, fire and hurricanes – are prominent in today’s news, and these have biological implications. What are all the ways organisms adjust and adapt to climatic extremes, and is in fact the climate becoming more extreme, and how can we measure these things?

ECL 290: Science Translation and Boundary Spanning in Ecology

Instructor(s): Hugh Safford & Jesse Miller

CRN: 39413

Time & Location: 10:00-11:00am on Wednesdays in 2148 Wickson

This seminar will explore the role of boundary spanners in developing and delivering translational ecology. The 10 seminar meetings will be evenly split between guest speakers from important boundary-spanning organizations located in central California (e.g., Point Blue Conservation Science, USDA Climate Hub, UC Cooperative Extension, California Fire Science Consortium, US Forest Service Region 5 Ecology Program) and group presentations by seminar participants. 

ECL 290: “Writing Science” for Ecologists

Instructor(s): Andrea Schreier

CRN: 39481

Time & Location: Mondays from 4:00-5:00 pm. Time may be extended to 5:30 based on student interest.

This course is focused on helping students improve their written communication skills so they can produce clear and interesting papers and proposals. Throughout the quarter we will be working our way through the book “Writing Science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded,” by Joshua Schimel, a microbial ecologist at UC Santa Barbara.  Schimel approaches academic writing as scientific story-telling and his book provides instruction on how to craft a paper that will hold an audience’s interest in addition to clearly communicating data.  In this course, students will apply Schimel’s writing principles to either a short research summary produced for the course or a writing piece such as a proposal or paper that they happen to be working on (e.g. GGE Fellowship). Students will be paired at the beginning of the course and asked to provide feedback on the writing piece of their partner, promoting deadline accountability and providing editing experience. In addition to the writing exercises, we will analyze examples from the ecological peer reviewed literature for style, structure, and effectiveness at communicating ideas.  Each class period, a student will make a short presentation reviewing the main points of the book chapters assigned for that week and lead a discussion about the ideas presented. Following the presentation there will be time for students to share and discuss particular challenges that they are facing in their writing projects.  

ECL 290: Camera Trapping for Wildlife Research

Instructor(s): Rahel Sollmann

CRN: 39423

Time & Location: Mondays from 4:00-5:00 pm. Time may be extended to 5:30 based on student interest.

In this graduate seminar we will discuss applications, methods, and analyses for camera trap monitoring of wildlife. Students will focus on potential uses for camera trap data (behavioral studies, individual ID, etc.), sampling design, data analysis (i.e., count data, abundance and diversity estimation, spatial mark-recapture), pitfalls and limitations. Topics will be supplemented with guest speakers and live data. The course is open to anyone interested in learning about camera trap application for wildlife. The objective of this course is for students to learn ways to initiate and produce a successful camera trapping study for their study organism or study area. Discussions will focus on how to develop an effective study question, study design, timelines, and sampling strategies, as well as data analyses tailored towards a specific objective. Each week, a group of students will lead a discussion on the aforementioned camera trapping topics, have the option to invite a guest speaker, and provide useful readings to supplement. All students will be required to participate in at least 30 minutes of cumulative presentations (or leading course discussion). Classroom discussion will also emphasize how camera trapping can be useful for conservation and management of wildlife.