Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies III: Introduction to Ecology

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 (Friday Oct 4)

Note: The first half of the course meets on Wednesdays only; the second half meets on both Mondays and Wednesdays

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 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 dynamic interaction plants and animals found in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems will receive special emphasis.

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 in all types of habitats. There will also be a focus on recognizing distinct spatial, functional and change patterns at the landscape scale.

Basis of grades. 40% four short exercises; 40% final exams (2 parts); 20% attendance, participation, and other evidence of learning.