Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies III: Introduction to Ecology

The science of ecology is introduced through the lenses of local sites, urban areas, and broad landscapes and regions. Key motifs during the course include basic ecological principles, spatial patterns, plants, and field observations. The ecology of plants in landscape architecture, as well as analysis of ecosystems and vegetation, receives special emphasis. Spatial patterns are commonly linked to functional flows and movements, as well as to change over time. Field studies highlight ecological and horticultural perspectives, in addition to familiarity with urban plants and Southern New England ecosystems. The overarching goal is for students to develop a solid understanding of the basic principles of ecology, the study of how organisms interact with the environment, that are especially useful for landscape architecture. Emphasis is also placed on direct observation and analysis of the ecological principles at different spatial scales in both natural and urban habitats. Students learn to identify a basic palette of native, cultivated, and spontaneous plants. In addition, recognition of distinctive spatial, functional, and change patterns in the landscape is highlighted.Basis of grades. 50% two main exercises; 40% short exercises; 10% attendance, participation, and other evidence of learningOne required Friday-&-Saturday field-study trip (In 2010, September 24-25)Open to MLA students taking the third LA core-studio