Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio Sci. 14 - Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation: Course Detail

(4 units / lect. & lab. combined)

Full-Time Faculty Lead: Joe Medeiros

Catalog Description: Introduction to environmental concepts and observational biology including an ecological survey of the animals and plants of selected local and Western U.S. biotic communities. Human influence on the environment, and the relationships between biotic communities and environmental conditions. Lab activities include microscopic studies, ecological field investigations, identification of plants and wildlife, computer simulation exercises, and experiments in photosynthesis, respiration and digestion. Lab time partially fulfilled by field trips to be assigned.

Additional Info.: Bio. Sci. 14 Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation emphasizes the general concepts of ecology, diversity of living forms, conservation concepts and practices and the natural history view of the living world. It serves as a very practical, everyday concepts class in which students can easily relate their daily lives and activities to the general concepts of biology. It also serves as a "non-animal dissection," laboratory class which meets the general education graduation requirements. Some of the laboratory work is done outside, in the field, which serves to provide Bio. Sci. 14 students with classroom laboratory experiences and first hand field laboratory experiences with local environments. Students should be available to participate in overnight field study trips as needed to complete laboratory assignments - consult current class schedule and specific instructors for more information.

Typical class outline might include:

Intro. to Basic Concepts of Biology, Ecology & Conservation, Chemistry & Physics of Life, Ecology, Ecosystems & The Biosphere, The Natural History Approach, Abiotic Environment, Earth Processes (Geology), History and Provinces, Id. of Rocks, Minerals, & Fossils, Ecosystem Structure & Function, Soils, Dynamics of Conservation & Pollution, Bioaccumulation, The Politics of Toxic Materials, Ecological Concepts Emphasizing the Individual, Ecological Concepts Emphasizing the Population, Diversity & the Kingdoms, Learning to See (observational techniques and methods), Theory of Evolution, Specific Ecosystems, Communities, Biomes, Conservation, National & Regional Parks, Endangered Species, Extinction, Environmental Sampling, Modeling, Natural History of Special Places (Example: Yosemite, Mono Lake, Galapagos)

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(For official course listings, please consult the Sierra College online course catalog.)

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