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In this course students wll come to understand the general ideas and concepts of ecology, to be able to integrate information, formulate solutions, and solve ecological problems in modern life. We will emphasize connections with mathematical, physical, and chemical processes, as well the application of ecology to conservation and global change issues.
*Read past student evaluations: numerical scores, comments: 2011, 2012, 2013
Plants are the basis of life as we know it. Unfortunately many of our activities, from eating to driving, are adversely affecting plants worldwide. Each spring, Dr. Ken Feeley of FIU's Department of Biological Sciences (http://www.fiu.edu/~kfeeley/) will teach a course on Plant Conservation Biology in which students will critically examine some of the many threats to plant diversity and the possible mechanisms for mitigating these threats. The course will be based on reading from the primary and popular scientific literature and will combine lectures, presentations and student-led discussions of current conservation events. Some example lecture topics include: "plant responses to global climate change", "why some of the wettest places on earth are at risk of burning down", "how fish farming could save Africa's rainforests", and "the costs and benefits of biofuels".
*Read past student evaluations: numerical scores, comments: 2012, 2013
Advanced Plant Conservation Biology
Species Distribution Modeling Workshop (syllabus)(course website)
Species Distribution Models (SDMs) are a general suite of models that can estimate the geographic ranges of species on the basis of relationships between the known occurrences of the species and underlying environmental factors such as temperature, precipitation, seasonality, and soil type, among others (Franklin 2009). SDMs have rapidly increased in popularity and are in widespread use by ecologists, biogeographers and conservation scientists as a result of the low cost and ease of acquiring data and generating predicted distributions, along with their many potentially important applications. Among the potential applications of SDMs is included conservation planning for the protection of rare and endangered species, prediction of invasive species propagation, estimates of niche evolution, reserve selection and design, and predictions of species’ distributions under different past and future climate change scenarios (Peterson 2003, Martinez-Meyer 2005, Powell et al. 2005, Guisan et al. 2006, Peterson 2006, Thuiller et al. 2006, Peterson and Nakazawa 2008, Feeley and Silman 2010, Araújo and Peterson 2012).
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