BIOL 316 Freshwater Ecology with Lab

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Aquatic ecosystems range broadly in scale: from small stormwater ponds to the Great Lakes, and from headwater streams to the Mississippi River. This course focuses on different aspects of each of those environments, with particular attention paid to the biology of freshwater systems, including biodiversity, biogeochemistry, and food webs. We will cover carbon and nutrient cycling in streams and lakes, relationships between watersheds and characteristics of inland waters, and the role of environmental change in shaping physical, chemical, and biological traits of freshwater ecosystems. Additionally, we will cover ecological interactions of organisms living in aquatic environments and the role that humans have played in influencing how our aquatic ecosystems behave. Laboratories will involve skill building in field, lab, and computer settings, including study design and implementation, field sampling, organism identification, data analysis, and mathematical and ecosystem modeling. The course will also build skills in communication through presentations and class discussions, as well as a continued focus on reading and interpreting peer-reviewed literature.