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Susan Schwinning's Course information

Course Information

General Ecology (BIO 4416)


This 4-unit undergraduate course is taught every spring and fall semster with a lecture and lab section. This course familiarizes students with fundamental concepts of ecology and the methods and focus areas of contemporary ecological research. Topics span the range from population ecology, species intercations, behavioral, community and ecosystems ecology to global change ecology. The course emphasizes quantitative analysis and the discussion of case studies.

Introduction to Ecological Modeling (BIO 7368)


This 4-unit graduate course is taught in the fall semester of odd-numbered years. Through a variety of hands-on activities, students develop a foundation in ecological modeling that enables them to critically read modeling papers and develop their own modeling projects. Students will attain a working knowledge of the C/C++ programming language, learn the fundamentals of dynamical systems, and explore some classic and contemporary ecological models in the primary literature. During the second half of the course students develop a modeling project to address a genuine research question of their interest.

Plant Water Relations (Ecohydrology) (BIO 7355)


This 3-unit graduate course is taught in the spring semster of even-numbered years. It teaches the fundamentals of plant water relations from  the scale of cells to whole ecosystems, as well as vegetation-climate feedbacks. Emphasis is given to recent research advances in ecohydrology and climate research. Meetings alternate between one-hour lectures and two-hour practicals, in which students learn to use ecophysiological tools or read and discuss the primary literature. Students will conduct a semester-long field project relevant to plant water relations.