TROPICAL ECOLOGY PCB 3374 SPRING 2012
|Jan 10:||First Meeting -Syllabus*, Course Overview, Requirements, comportment|
|Jan 12:||Introduction and Overview of Tropical Ecology - Homework 1 due (email) Page 1-17|
|Jan 17:||Q Tropical Climatology Page 1-17|
|Jan 19:||Q Tropical Seas not covered in text|
|Jan 24:||Q Tropical Seas pg 321-348|
|Jan 26:||Research Lecture: Coral reef ecology|
|Jan 31:||Tropical Mangroves Page 299-319|
|Feb 2:||Q Mangroves/Estuaries|
|Feb 7||Research Lecture: - Mangrove Ecology, Homework 2 due (on coral reef paper, hardcopy)|
|Feb 9:||Q Tropical Rivers Page 186-220|
|Feb 14||Q Tropical Rivers- Homework 3 due (hardcopy)|
|Feb 16:||Research Lecture Tropical Rivers
|Feb 21:||Tropical Lakes & Wetlands Page 128-168|
|Feb 23:||Q Tropical Lakes and Wetlands Page 221-237, Homework 4 due, hard copy|
|Feb 28 :||MID TERM 1|
|Mar 1:||Research Lecture: - Ecology of Tropical Wetlands|
|Mar 6:||Tropical Lowlands DRAFT OF WHITE PAPER DUE (hardcopy) Page 238-279 (white paper format, white paper example)|
|Mar 8:||Research Lecture: Lowland forest ecology, Homework 5 due (hardcopy)|
|Mar 13:||Spring Break|
|Mar 15||Spring Break|
|Mar 20:||Q (from March 6 material) Tropical Lowlands -|
|Mar 22:||Tropical savannahs Page 72-86, 50-55|
|Mar 27||Q Tropical Deserts - Homework 6 Due (hardcopy) Page 18-49|
|Mar 29:||Research Lecture: Tropical Desert Ecology|
|Apr 3:||Tropical Mountains and plateaus Page 64-71, 280-298|
|Apr 5:||Q Tropical Mountains and plateaus|
|Apr 10:||Research Lecture: Tropical Mountain Ecology, Homework 7 Due (hardcopy), WHITE PAPER DUE (hardcopy)|
|Apr 12:||Issues in Tropical Conservation - TROPICAL SCRAPBOOK DUE|
|Apr 17||Q Issues in Tropical Conservation - Homework 8 Due, CRITIQUES DUE|
|Apr 19||MIDTERM 2|
|Apr 26||Tropical Summit 2:15-4:45 PM WC 130.|
*This syllabus is subject to change in response to unforeseen factors.
TEXTBOOK: Tropical Ecosystems and Ecological Concepts.
Patrick L. Osborne, 2000. Cambridge University Press.
GRADING: Grades will be assessed on in-class activities (homework assignments, quizzes, scrapbook), writing assignments (2 page critiques), group projects, and two exams. Grades are based on a percentage of points: A: 100-90% B: 89.9-80%, C: 79.9-70% D:69.9-60%, F: < 59.9%.
POINTS: Each midterm exam is worth 50 points, quizzes (best 10 of 11 = 100 points, given each class meeting except for exams and research lecture) homework assignments (6, 5 points each = 30 points total), and a Tropical Ecology Scrapbook = 50 points), the 2-page critiques are worth 30 points (15 points/critique; you must critique two of the seven assigned readings and guest lectures), the group project involves preparation of a white paper (40 points) and an oral presentation (40 points). Groups of two/three will be assigned randomly; a country will be selected for each group to report on in the white paper and during the tropical summit held during the final exam periood (using Powerpoint). We will provide a format for the white paper. Each team will submit a draft of the white paper on March 6 (25 points) and the final version is due April 10 (15 points). The oral Powerpoint presentations will involve all team members and will be given during the tropical summit during the final exam period Tuesday April 24 5:00-8:00 PM.
COMPORTMENT: Each student is expected to follow the FIU codes of conduct. Violations of the codes of conduct (including language specific to plagiarism and cheating) will be reported. Plagiarism is using the text of someone elses writing without citation giving the impression that it is your own.
1. What was the purpose of
the paper, that is, what was the paper testing or what was its real objective?
HOMEWORK (#2-7): For each research paper review, read the assigned paper and answer the following questions: Be sure to answer all questions. Grading of these is primarily based on questions 1, 5, and 6.
These homework assignments are due by 8:00 AM on the dates indicated, submit them as hardcopy. We will describe Homework #1 on Jan 4.
TROPICAL SCRAPBOOK: During the course of the semester, collect electronic news articles concerning the tropics. Provide the date you found the article, the full url and write a one paragraph synopsis of the article. There are several sources (Yahoo News, Google News, the New York Times, NPR, Sciencedaily). Your scrapbook will be graded based on the number of articles included, semester-long activity, and the quality of your synopses. Last year students had as many as 120 articles.
CRITIQUES: During the semester you will submit two 2-PAGE critiques on the assigned papers associated with our research scientists (we will send PDFs to you over email or place then on CE6). Critiques should be written in paragraph format with topic sentence, body and conclusion sentence. For each critique you must include:
your name, panthersoft number (line 1)
full citation of the paper in the same format used in the references of the assigned paper.
the purpose of the study
the basic scientific approach
the most important result
the most interesting thing you learned from the paper
a one paragraph summary of the presentation made by the associated research scientist.
The format to follow is: 1 inch margins all around, use 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Points will be deducted for failure to follow the correct format.
EXAMS. Exams will include material from the lectures, research lectures, and the book. Test format may include short answer, multiple choice, true false, graphic interpretation, and essays.
GROUP PROJECTS: The group project involves written and oral components that we will describe in detail following the drop/add period.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of this course, you should be able to locate the tropics, describe basic climatological patterns and the phenomenon responsible for them; describe tropical ecosystems and how they function, and understand some of the conservation issues that impact these biologically diverse ecosystems. We will use active-learning approaches to help reinforce the learning experience. These activities are designed to draw you into the educational process. While this approach reduces lecture time, it does reinforce learning of key concepts and will help you develop critical thinking skills. Exposure to a variety of research scientists and their work will help you grasp the importance of the research process. The research activities involved in the course are designed to help you learn how to work with primary scientific literature using the world wide web and the library. Regardless of career goals, this course will help you gain useful research and presentation skills you can use in the future.
Important University dates
Tuesday Jan 17th: Drop/Add Period ends; last day to drop courses or withdraw from the University without incurring financial liability.
February 3 Friday : Last day to apply for graduation at the end of Spring 2012 term. Last day to withdraw from the University with 25% refund of tuition.
March 19 Monday: Last day to drop a course with a DR grade. Last day to withdraw from the University with a WI grade