Wednesday 2-4th Period (8:30-11:30am) BAR 110
Thursday 7th Period (1:55-2:45pm) BAR 110
We will explore a maturing body of theory, concepts, methods and examples that is contributing to the development of a science of biosphere change. The critical theories and concepts come from recent understanding of hierarchical organization, of thermodynamics, of dynamic chaotic behavior and of patch dynamics. The critical methods include emerging techniques for spatial analysis as well as more traditional methods of time series analysis and simulation modelling. The critical examples are providing understanding of the way biophysical processes affect the establishment, regulation and disturbance of forests, grasslands, wetlands and crops at different scales in space and time. Particular emphasis will be given to spatial processes - not only fire, water and wind, but those mediated by animal movements as well.
We will develop a class project applying cross-scale analysis to biodiversity - the function of different kinds of diversity and the significance of loss of biodiversity.
The course will operate as an interdisciplinary effort to integrate knowledge. It is not a methods course. Hence students from a variety of disciplines are encouraged to participate - e.g. botany, engineering, geography, geology, mathematics, any of the resource sciences, zoology etc. A quantitative background is useful but not essential. Simply bring the skills and knowledge of your own discipline. The course will be organized as a series of lectures and discussions in the first third of the course, seminars and research planning in the second third and student seminars and small-group projects in the last third.
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