Students in Stream Ecology learn about: 1) the biological, chemical, physical, and geological processes controlling the structure and function of stream ecosystems; 2) theories which unite these features into system-scale models of stream ecosystem function; and, 3) conservation and management of stream ecosystems. I integrate readings, lectures, and in-class exercises so that students will develop a strong comprehension of the physical structure and biological functioning of stream ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide and further develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze complex scientific and societal problems related to stream ecosystems and their management.
Students in Ecology and Management of Aquatic Invasive Species expand the basic concepts they acquired in undergraduate ecology courses to investigate the theoretical and social dimensions of the three primary phases of species invasion: introduction, establishment, and spread. Relying on this foundation, we explore how and why invasive species alter the ecological function of invaded ecosystems, interact with and harm native species, and evolve in their new environment. Finally, the students are tasked with developing solutions for specific case studies (many are ongoing or recent invasions) where an ecological rationale is developed to justify the implementation of a control program. During this section, we consider whether current human decision-making frameworks are sufficient to address an evolving and complex issue.