Ecology and Evolution
Ecology is the study of the relationships between organisms and their environments. This course will acquaint students with the basic ecological principles that govern the natural world. The more we learn, the more we realize that the interactions among different components of the environment are many and complex. Understanding how changes to one component may affect other places and other organisms is essential to managing environmental problems and improving the world in which we live.
Evolution goes hand in hand with ecology because it is the interactions between species and their environments that drive change. Evolution is a biological phenomenon common to all living things. Life evolved just once (probably), and the process of natural selection has led to the amazing diversity of life on Earth today.
There is much benefit, both personal and academic, to studying ecology. Students will learn where life came from and how it has changed over time, do some citizen science, and discuss what it would take to terraform Mars.
Live Classes: Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, from January 13th to May 12th. Students unable to attend a live class will be able to access a recording of the class.
Assignments: Assignments will vary by class. In addition, students will write brief papers on topics of their choosing.
Student Support: The instructor is available via email.
Materials: All reading materials will be available on the internet.