Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci. 16Q - Ecology of the Mid-Western North America: Course Detail

(2 unit - approx. 54 hrs. min.)

Catalog Description: Introduction to the ecology / biology of the major, mid-western biomes and life zones emphasizing high desert, forests and grasslands. The biology of characteristic animals and plants will be highlighted and contrast to native California species. Variety of biomes: their composition, distribution, relationships, abiotic factors and long-term changes (due to climate and geological factors) will be investigated. Fossil and evidence of past environments will be compared to present communities.

(typical class outline might include:)

Specific Topics:

Fossil investigation and discovery techniques; Biome biology - major patterns of plants and animals on a continent; Man's use of the natural resources of the North American Continent; Comparisons and contrast between communities of California with the Mid-Western biomes; Prime examples of outstanding geological and biological features - selection and establishment of parks.

General Concepts and Topics to be emphasized:

Kingdom Animalia - Review of specific phyla; Animal Functional Anatomy; Alternation of generations - life cycles; Food chains and webs (trophic levels); Air currents, Climate Patterns, global; Formation/ Rocks and minerals; Fossilization / Ancient Environments; Geological time frames; Weathering, (chemical, biomechanical); Elevation relationships; Vegetation types - classification; Forest, Grassland, Desert environments; Biosphere, Biomes /; Biogeographic Regions; Succession and time/space; Responses to stimuli (photoperiod, chemical, etc.); Social behaviors & pathology; Evolution theory, convergent evolution (mammal evolution); Reciprocal evolution (coevolution); Soil erosion / conservation; Parks and Wilderness system

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