Ecology: Man and His Environment

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The course presents basic ecological concepts and principles and their application and practice in our present environment.  Topics include fossil fuel energy sources, nuclear energy, ecosystems, and agricultural chemicals and their effects on the environment.



  • Describing and discussing what is meant by a sustainable society.
  • Defining what is meant by an ecosystem approach to environmental issues.
  • Defining the following ecological items: abiotic and biotic factors, commensalism, community, competition, consumer, decomposer, environment, food chain, food web, limiting factor, niche, range of tolerance, and trophic level.
  • Discussing selected major human population growth issues.
  • Describing the environmental impact of the fossil fuel energy sources commonly used by industrialized nations.
  • Identifying the benefits and risks of nuclear energy.
  • Identifying the basic components of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Defining succession and distinguishing between primary and secondary successions.
  • Describing predator-prey, parasite-host, competitive, mutualistic, and commensalistic relationships.
  • Comparing the differences between a community and an ecosystem.
  • Listing several conservation organizations that are dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and other natural resources.
  • Listing the major biomes of North America and identifying major characteristics of each.
  • Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of agricultural chemicals used to increase food production.
  • Comparing succession in a pond to that in an old field.
  • Comparing the components of a freshwater ecosystem with those of a marine ecosystem.
  • Discussing the causes and consequences of pollutants on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

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