Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci. 16H - Ecology of the Mendocino Coast: Course Detail

(1 unit - approx. 30 hrs. min.)

Catalog Description: This field class explores the coastal terrestrial environments in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area as an example of the Northern California Coast. Investigates coastal communities: Redwood (Riparian), Pygmy, Mixed Evergreen and Closed-cone Pine Forests; Tidepool, Sandy beach & Dune, Prairie & Scrub shoreline communities. Plants, animals, natural relationships, environmental factors and man's influence is accessed for each ecological community examined.

(typical class outline might include:)

Specific Topics:

Historical aspects of the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area.; Comparison of ecological communities (environmental factors, plants, animals, special relationships); Special adaptations and evolutionary relationships of tidepool organisms.

General Concepts and Topics to be emphasized:

Kingdom Animalia - Review of specific phyla; Animal Functional Anatomy; Development - embryonic forms (larva); Alternation of generations - life cycles; Asexual reproduction - special methods; Capturing light (chlorophyll and other pigments; Xeric, Mesic, Hydro - plant adaptations; Ecosystem - basic parts / examples; Food chains and webs (trophic levels); Climate, wind, weather, circulation patterns; Upwelling and Tides - cause, effects; Zonation; Geological processes - beach/shore; Special soil types (serpentine, etc.); Soil - Podsolization, Laterization, Calcification; Community - alternate views on the concept; Community as a Functional Unit; Succession and time/space; Competition in animal populations; Seasonal cycles - aquatic environments; Coastal Conservation - Problems / solutions

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

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