Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci. 16Z - Ecology of the American River: Course Detail

(1/2 unit - approx. 13 hrs. min.)

Catalog Description: Emphasizes the aquatic habitat and the surrounding hillsides as a interlocked ecological community using the American River System as a typical Sierran stream and riparian system. Relationships between the stream, its bank, flood plain and surrounding terrestrial ecosystems will be stressed. Community investigations will include: identification of plants and animals, introduction to stream geology / geography, nutrient cycles and soil interrelationships, stream hydrology and food webs, and man's current and historical influence.

(typical class outline might include:)

Specific Topics:

Stream geology / hydrology - providing variations in habitat for stream organisms; Sampling identification of stream plants and animals; Interdependence of terrestrial ecosystems on nearby water areas.; Historical changes in the riparian and steam communities.

General Concepts and Topics to be emphasized:

Plant & Animal Kingdom - Review of specific phyla; Diffusion, Osmosis, Bulk flow, Active Transport; Cell Theory - organelles, metabolism (photosynthesis); Water - use and loss by biol. systems; Water /Transpiration relationships; Xeric, Mesic, Hydro - plant adaptations; Biotic environmental factors; Ecosystem - basic parts / examples; Temperature relationships (production); Biogeochemical cycles - general concept; Climate, water cycle, watersheds, water chemistry; Geological processes - rivers; Topographic influences; River and stream biology; Seasonal cycles - aquatic environments; Human Population Growth; Soil erosion / conservation; Cost of regulation - river control and alteration; Urban Problems / Needs - water; Resource utilization - types, energy; Community Planning / low cost alternatives

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

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