Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies III: Introduction to Ecology

The science of ecology is introduced through the lenses of local sites, urban areas, and broad landscapes. Key motifs during the course include basic ecological principles, spatial patterns and field observations, as well as the practical application of these principles to real world problems. Understanding how spatial patterns are linked to functional flows and movements is critically important to ecological studies, as is the study of how ecosystems change over time. The ecology of plants and animals found in both urban and natural ecosystems receive special emphasis and field studies highlight ecological as well as horticultural perspectives.

Pedagogic goals. The overarching goal is for students to develop a solid understanding of the basic principles of ecology, i.e., the study of how organisms interact with the environment, that are especially useful in the practice of landscape architecture. Emphasis is also placed on direct observation, analysis, and application of the ecological principles at different spatial scales in both natural and urban habitats. In addition, recognition of distinctive spatial, functional, and change patterns in the landscape is highlighted.

Basis of grades. 40% four short exercises; 30% final main exercise (2 parts); 30% attendance, participation, and other evidence of learning (15% class; 15% field studies)