Introduction to Ecology
Dr. James Danoff-Burg
CERC Certificate Program in Conservation Biology

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Lecture Notes
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1 - Intro Eco (html, PPT)
2 - Pop Eco (html, PPT)
3 - Comm Eco (html, PPT)
4 - Ecosys Eco (html, PPT)
5 - Cons Eco (html, PPT)
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1 - Ecol Footprint
2 - Population Growth
3 - Forensic Entomology
4 - Invasion Biology
Ecology is the study of the interaction between the living components of the earth with the environment.  Ecologists study the factors that explain the distribution and abundance of plants and animals. More and more we explore the impact of human activities on these distributions.  Understanding the ecological foundation of a system enables the ecologist to predict how future changes may affect the system.  Ecology, for example, is critical for understanding conservation, biodiversity issues, global climate change, human alterations of the environment, and the impact of pollutants on ecological systems.
In this Introductory Ecology Module, we will begin by looking at the hierarchical structure of ecology—species, populations, communities, and ecosystems.  Each lecture will focus on a key ecological principle then provide applied examples to further demonstrate the concept.  These examples will be both classical ecological studies as well as current issues in ecology.  Ultimately, students will be provided the tools to evaluate the importance of ecological issues that they daily encounter.
I am certain that the course will serve to equip you with at least a passing familiarity of the major theories in ecology. It will be an excellent opportunity to begin to fill in the gaps in your knowledge of ecology and allow you to further explore these issues in other Certificate Program modules and, hopefully in your day-to-day life.
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Last updated by J. Danoff-Burg, 21 Feb 05