This course provides students with a broad background in the principles of ecology. It covers ecology at different levels of organization including behavioral, physiological, evolutionary, population & community, and ecosystem ecology. Some other specialized topics are also discussed.
Lectures generally follow a textbook, but materials not covered in the textbook are also covered in lectures. Students are responsible for all the materials covered in lectures --- attendance is essential for a satisfactory completion of the course.
Lectures are mostly done using PowerPoint slides although some concepts are explained using the blackboard. The slide file of a lecture may be available before the lecture (I will try to upload the file by Wednesday night for the lecture given in the following day).
There are three exams. These exams account for 100% of the course grade. We do not curve exam scores regardless of the average score.
Attendance (including class participation) will affect bonus points. By asking questions and expressing ideas in class, students may gain bonus points. Poor attendance (e.g., absence and tardiness) as well as poor participation (e.g., sleeping, chatting, playing with an electronic device) would reduce bonus points. Poor participation is equivalent to missing a lecture or worse. Your bonus points may become negative, but the minimum bonus point you will get for your final grade is 0. You should not expect to receive any bonus point after missing three or more lectures.
Unannounced quizzes may be given. Quizzes and assignments (if any are given --- no assignments were given last year) count only for bonus points. Because of this, even if a student misses a quiz with a legitimate reason, no make-up quiz will be given. Quizzes and assignments count for bonus points only when attendance and participation are satisfactory.
The maximum possible bonus point is 10% in the final grade. Students who get 100% on the exams and have good attendance can earn more than 100% in the course, but the maximum possible grade is 100%. The detail about the value of bonus points may change. If it changes, it can only increase, but students should not expect a change to take place.
If any questions, including potential grading errors, arise for your grade on an exam, an assignment or a quiz, submit a written request with your rationale for a regrade. Requests must be made within one week of the return of a graded material, otherwise the grade is final. This one week starts from the day an exam is first returned in a class even if a student does not receive it by missing the class.
If you miss a class and do not receive a graded material, you can pick it up at the instructor's office. The instructor will not bring it to a class again unless an arrangement is made.
If your grade based on the three exams is less than 60%, the maximum obtainable grade (with bonus points) is 60% (C-). Master's students whose grade is less than 70% based on the three exams can get at most 70% with bonus points. Doctoral students will not receive bonus points. Exam scores completely determine the grade.
The schedule (described in the content section of this website) is subject to change throughout the semester. The dates on which the exams are scheduled can also change.
Calculus is a prerequisite for this course.