Global Change Ecology
PBIO 275 (3 credits)


23 May to 17 June 2022; Asynchronous
Instructor: Brian Beckage (Brian.Beckage@uvm.edu)



Course Description

Course Goals

Grading

Readings

Media

Schedule


----> CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED <----



Course Description

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Global Change Ecology will provide an introductory survey of climate change and its ecological impacts. We will examine the drivers and mechanisms of climate change and its impacts on the distribution and abundance of species and ecological communities. We will use a systems approach that places global change ecology in the context of the Earth system, emphasizing the interactions and feedbacks within and between the ecological and climate systems.


Course Goals

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    Course objectives

  1. The student will be able to describe the natural and human drivers of climate change.
  2. The student will be able to describe the primary impacts of climate change on species and ecological communities.
  3. The student will be able to discuss the ecological system as a component of the Earth system.
  4. The student will apply a systems perspective to describing the relationships between the ecological, climate, and human components of the Earth system.

Class Structure. Students will achieve course objectives through readings, other media, and online discussions. The class will be divided up into modules, with the student completing each module before moving on to the next module. There are a total of 8 modules with the student completing 2 modules per week for each of the 4 weeks of the course.


  1. Readings. Students will complete assigned readings from course texts and other assigned sources.

  2. Media. Students will watch a variety of videos and other media that reinforce and supplement the assigned readings. These will include full length documentaries, shorter video presentations, and podcasts. The online discussions and learning assessments will integrate material from all media.

  3. Online discussions. Students will participate in online discussions that examine and analyze the concepts presented in the readings and assigned media for each course module.

  4. Learning Assessments. Quizzes will assess student understanding of assigned readings and videos for each course module, while a cumulative final exam will assess student understanding of content across modules.


Grading

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Student grades will be based on the following components:

Grading for Undergraduate students

Grading for Graduate students

  1. Analysis and discussion (on Yellowdig) of assigned materials: 40% of course grade.
  2. Learning assessments on assigned materials: 30% of course grade. More information.
  3. Final exam: 30% of course grade.
  1. Analysis and discussion (on Yellowdig) of assigned materials: 40% of course grade.
  2. Learning assessments on assigned materials: 25% of course grade. More information.
  3. Final exam: 25% of course grade.
  4. Graduate Research paper: 10% of course grade.

Readings

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Students will also be assigned readings from the following set of books (below). These books will be required for this class and are available as ebooks from the publisher or other online sources (e.g., Amazon, etc.) or in the university bookstore.

  1. Thomas E. Lovejoy (Editor) & Lee Hannah (Editor). 2019. Biodiversity and Climate Change: Transforming the Biosphere. Link to book.
  2. Emanuel, K., 2018. What we know about climate change. MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262535915. Link to book.


Media

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We will watch a variety of documentaries, video lectures, and podcasts. I try to find free sources of these media, but you may have to rent, purchase, or find them through a subscription service (e.g., Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV, etc.). These media include the following:

  1. An Inconvenient Truth (97 mins)
  2. A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (83 mins)
  3. Seaspiriacy (89 mins)
  4. Planet of the Humans (100 mins)

GETTING STARTED

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  1. Watch these introductory videos:
    1. In Introductory Video 1 (7 mins), you'll learn a little about me and my approach to teaching this course, receive an orientation to the course objectives, and learn about the grading schema.
    2. In Introductory Video 2 (8 mins), you'll learn about our course readings and videos, how to get started, and an overview of the Module structure of our course.
  2. Review the course objectives and course texts above.
  3. Log onto Blackboard class page and click on the Yellowdig link on the left sidebar and make a post introducing yourself. Here is a short youtube video (3 mins) describing how to use Yellowdig and here is a video (4 mins) specific to using Yellowdig in our class.
  4. Go to the course Schedule.
  5. Start Module 1 by watching the introductory video, then complete the assigned tasks for that module, moving from left to right, ending with a quiz.
  6. Complete 2 modules per week. After completing module 8 at the end of week 4, take the final exam. If you are taking the class for graduate credit, then you must turn in a research paper in addition to the final exam.