Currently Available 290s - Winter 2019

  • ECL 290 – Scales in Ecology
    • Instructors: Xiaoli Dong & Vadim Karatayev
    • CRN - 30871
    • Meeting Place/Time: TBD
    • Contact:
    • Description: 

      The biggest advancements happen when we can attribute pattern to a few predominant processes rather than a multicausal mess of drivers. This typically requires a separation of scales that allows us to ignore factors on scales much smaller than that of the pattern. But how do such distinct scales arise in ecology, and what types of processes propagate to govern emergent features at larger scales?

      We would like to explore these questions by surveying how they are addressed in physics, evolution, geomorphology, and behavioral science in addition to reviewing ecology’s longstanding fascination with scales of time, space, and organization.

      Please drop  a line to if you're interested in participating so we can figure out a good time to meet. Please see this link for more course information including a schedule.

  • ECL 290 – Ecological Epistemology
    • Instructors: James Griesemer & Adam Pepi
    • CRN - 30872
    • Contact:
    • Meeting Place/Time: 220 Veihmeyer at 2-3:30 pm on Thursdays
    • Description:  Do you wonder if your research means anything? So do we! Us ecologists probably agree that science is a uniquely valid tool to learn about nature, but why? Where does science fail? We’ll take a step back and look at the field of ecology to ask questions about what we do, the development of the field, and the kind of knowledge we produce. In this seminar, we’ll think about how these topics can give context to our own research. How? With epistemology! A branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and justification of knowledge. These ideas will strengthen our research by helping us build edifices of knowledge, as opposed to collections of disparate facts.
           Class meetings will consist of short faculty presentations followed by discussions facilitated by students. All participating graduate students will need to make a 20 minute presentation. Dr. James Griesemer, Chair of the UCD Philosophy Department will be advising the class.

  • ECL/ESM 290: Principles and Practices of Estimating Ecosystem Metabolic Rates
    • Instructors: Steve Sadro, Adrianne Smits, & Luke Loken
    • CRN - 30874
    • Meeting Place/Time: TBD
    • Description: 

      The total energy processed by organisms within an ecosystem refers to ecosystem metabolism and is a fundamental attribute of ecosystems. Quantifying ecosystem metabolic rates—namely primary production, respiration, and their net balance —is a goal of ecology, but remains challenging due to heterogeneity at multiple spatial and temporal scales. This graduate student seminar focuses on the methods associated with different approaches of estimating metabolic rates in aquatic ecosystems. We will: 1 discuss the history of measuring primary production and respiration in streams, lakes, and estuaries, and explore the range of different passive (e.g., free-water) and destructive (e.g., incubations) methods commonly used; 2) develop a working understanding of different modeling approaches, including mass balance, Likelihood, and Bayesian approaches; and 3) evaluate and discuss model outputs using sample datasets from the Sacramento – San Joaquin delta and Sierra Nevada lakes. An operational understanding of Matlab or R is recommended if you’re interested in applying these techniques to your own datasets.

      All students will be expected to lead a discussion on one of our readings. Meeting time and place will be determined the first week of winter quarter.

  • SSC 290: Methods in Applied Soil Microbiome
    • Instructors: Jorge Rodrigues & Alexandre Rosado
    • CRN - 52506
    • Contact:,
    • Meeting Place/Time: Thursdays from 12:10 - 1:00pm in PES 1147
    • Description: The focus of this course is to enable graduate students to discuss current literature, theory, methods and research applications related to soil microbiology (e.g. bioremediation, bioindicators, microbiome manipulation, etc…). Although focused on terrestrial systems, some case studies will include coastal and marine systems as examples will be discussed. Our weekly meetings (1 hour/week) will consist of paper presentations conducted by students, followed by a discussion organized by a moderator. There will be an opportunity for students to discuss and review their research plans (NSF and USDA proposals, current and
      future experiences, etc…). Each student will be asked to attend seminar meetings, participate in the discussion, and provide feedback as well as lead one or more sections. Invited research
      experts will attend some of the discussions. Student course outcomes: The course is designed to provide a basic overview of the current high throughput methods, technical needs, and potential approaches being used in microbiome studies and microbiome engineering. Students will be able to read the current literature and
      understand the reasons for using a specific method. We invite students to think “outside the box” and learn about microbiome methods being applied to different research questions.

Courses Required for all Students

  • ECL 200AN— Principles and Applications of Ecology
  • ECL 200BN— Principles and Applications of Ecology 
  • ECL 296— Topics in Ecology and Evolution (must be taken 3 quarters)
  • EVE 100— Introduction to Evolution

One field course such as:

  • ECL/ENT 225— Terrestrial Field Ecology   
  • ENT 109— Field Taxonomy and Ecology     
  • ESP 123— Intro Field & Lab Meth in Ecology       
  • ESP 124— Marine & Coastal Field Ecology                                               
  • WFC 101L— Field Research in Wildlife Ecology
  • WFC 102 — Field Studies in Fish Biology
  • Other (appeal may be submitted with Guidance Committee Form)

Ecology 290 Seminars (3 required for PhD students, 1 for MS students)

AoE Core Courses

  • Agricultural Ecology
    • ECL216 — Ecology and Agriculture
  • Conservation Ecology
    • ECL 208 — Conservation Biology
  • Ecological Genomics & Genetics (one of the following)
    • ECL 242 — Ecological Genetics 
    • ECL 243 — Ecological Genomics 
  • Ecosystems & Landscape Ecology (one of the following)
    • ECL 219 — Ecosystem Biogeochemistry  
    • PLS 163 — Ecosystems & Landscape Ecology
  • Ecotoxicology & Physiological Ecology (one of the following)
    • WFC 230 — Physiological Ecology
    • ETX 240 — Ecotoxicology 
  • Environmental Policy & Human Ecology (one of the following)
    • ECL 290 — EPHE Seminar
    • ECL 298 — EPHE Core Course
    • ESP 278 — Research Design (with new section on ethnographic methods); this counts as the ecology field course if you have not fulfilled that requirement beforehand.
  • Integrative Ecology
    • Since Integrative Ecology is so highly individualized, the student and guidance committee must work together to choose a curriculum. A course will be selected from ECL graduate courses, or with the approval of the AOE Advisor, a non-GGE, ecology relevant graduate courses.
  • Marine Ecology 
    • ECL 214 — Marine Ecology: Concepts & Practice
  • Restoration Ecology (one of the following)
    • ENH 160 — Restoration Ecology (to be taken if you have no previous restoration course experience)
    • ECL 290 — Restoration Ecology Seminar