Course #: SCI-06241-00


Mon 10:00-11:30 Gund 518; Wed 2:30-5:30 Gund 518


Peter Del Tredici, Thomas Ryan, Erle Ellis, Laura Solano

Course Description

Fall term, four units, open to MLA students taking the third LA core-studio.

Mondays: 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM. Lectures
Wednesdays: 2:30-5:30 PM. Lectures or field trips
One required all-day field trip (8 to 5) on Friday, September 26

Note: The first module of the course consists of two parts: Wednesdays (2:30 to 5:30) with Erle Ellis (both MLA 1s and MLA APs) and Mondays (10 to 11:30) with Laura Solano and Tom Ryan (MLA 1s only); the second module of the course with Del Tredici meets on Mondays & Wednesdays (both MLA 1s and MLA APs)

Course Description. As part of the “core sequence,” this course introduces the science of ecology through the lenses of local sites, urban regions, and broad landscapes. Key themes during the course will cover basic ecological principles, spatial patterns and field observations, as well as the practical application of these principles to real world situations. Understanding how spatial patterns link to functional flows and movements is critically important to ecological studies, as is the study of how ecosystems change over time. The functional biology of plants and their dynamic interaction with animals and people in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems will receive special emphasis. A separate subsection of the course taught by Tom Ryan and Laura Solano will cover the hydrological issues associated with built landscapes with a focus on storm water management using integrated open and closed systems that are responsive to design storm rates of flow and conveyance strategies, storage and infiltration techniques, water quality mitigation, and the design impact of these systems on specific places.
Pedagogic Goals. The overarching goal of this course is for students to develop a solid understanding of the basic principles of ecology, especially those that are directly relevant to the practice of landscape architecture. Emphasis is placed on direct observation, analysis and application of the ecological principles at different spatial scales to all types of habitats. In the storm water subsection there will be a focused study of alternate methods of dealing with storm water; developing grading, drainage and planting plans for a specific site to look at the impacts of different storm water management approaches on site design. There will also be a focus on recognizing distinct spatial, functional and change patterns at the landscape scale.

Basis of grades. Each faculty member will set their own standards for the grades in their portion of the curriculum which will be pooled to produce a single grade for the course.

Dr. Peter Del Tredici. Associate Professor in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design. Office hours: Weds. 10-2, or email for appointment. Gund Hall Room 405A.

Dr. Erle C. Ellis. Associate Professor of Geography & Environmental Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Office hours: Wednesdays, times TBA, or email for an appointment.

Laura Solano

Tom Ryan

Academics: Courses: Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies III: Introduction to Ecology /Fall 2014

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