2014-15 Course Offerings for EES Degree

Physiological Ecology

BIOE 532 Physiological Plant Ecology  Outlines the plant's Hutchinsonian niche through review of energy, material (water, nutrients and toxins) and mechanical (including animal) factors. Computer modeling of plant function in the environment is discussed.
ENTO 520 Insect Physiology The course focuses on a systems physiology approach, emphasizing the principles of insect physiology and insect physiological ecology. Material covered will include the digestive, respiratory, excretory, and circulatory processes, neurophysiology and communication, endocrinology, reproductive systems, muscular systems and locomotion, defensive mechanisms, and water balance. The basic course goal is to provide a strong fundamental understanding of insect physiological function as it relates to the environment. Emphasis will be placed on process comprehension.
ARNR 541 Range Ecophysiology  Lectures and selected readings on the response of range plants and animals to daily and seasonal changes in their environment, including physiology, animal behavior, and plant population biology.

Microbial Ecology

LRES 515 Microbial Ecology Critical review of literature on the distribution and activity of microorganisms in natural microbial communities based on microbial adaption and physical, chemical and biological features of the microenvironment. A critical discussion of literature and approaches.
LRES 552 Advanced Soil and Environmental Microbiology Advanced laboratory course. Microorganisms are targeted for isolation and characterization, emphasizing those not normally encountered in general microbiology laboratory. Biogeochemical cycling, contaminant biodegradation, extremophiles, and plant-microbe interactions are typical topics investigated. Students employ classic and novel cultivation approaches, identifying microbes based morphology, physiology, and phylogeny

Animal Population Ecology

WILD 501 Applied Population Ecology An in-depth review of (1) animal population ecology and (2) the application of theory in contemporary population management. Computer lab.
WILD 502 Population & Habitat Data Study of the theory and methods of sampling and analyzing population data for vertebrates.  Estimation of population size, survival, and recruitment using competing models that relate population states and rates to habitat conditions and other covariates of interest.
WILD 504 Wildlife-Habitat Relationships This course will help students develop a conceptual and practical understanding of wildlife-habitat relationships and the use, application, and limitations of the analytical tools used to analyze these data.  Course will be a blend of discussion and lecture; students will be responsible for written assignments based on readings and data sets.
WILD 510 Fisheries Science An in-depth review of fisheries data types and the analysis and interpretation of those data as it relates to freshwater fisheries research and management.
WILD 513 Fisheries Habitat Management Graduate standing or consent of instructor.  Assessment and application of ecological principles and methods used to protect and restore stream, lake, and reservoir habitats for management of fisheries and other aquatic organisms.

Behavioral Ecology

ENTO 510 Insect Ecology Physiological ecology of insects. Influence of biotic and abiotic factors on insect population and community dynamics. Emphasis on seasonal adaptations, dispersion, life table analysis, r and k-selection, ecological methods, and insect-plant interactions.
ENTO 514 Behavioral Ecology Functional and evolutionary aspects of the behavior of insects and vertebrates, concentrating on the structure and tests of present-day theory; optimal foraging theory, habitat selection, mating systems, parental investment, game theory and social behavior.

Conservation Biology

BIOE 521 Conservation Biology A broad survey of conservation biology, emphasizing approaches related to demography/population dynamics and evolution.  Less extensively considered approaches related to community/ecosystem/landscape ecology.  Approaches include empirical field studies, mathematical models, using R for modeling and empirical analysis, reading primary literature, writing a research paper and presenting a research talk.
BIOE 548 Conservation Genetics Introduction to the application of genetics for the conservation of plant an animal populations.  Emphasis will be placed on case studies from the primary literature and analyzing genetic data using mathematical models developed in class.

Community Ecology

BIOE 534  Vegetation Ecology Considers the composition, structure, function, distribution in time and space, ecology and classification of communities. Emphasizes universal methods, current studies and Rocky Mountain systems.
BIOE 542  Community Ecology Focuses on the origin, maintenance, and consequences of biological diversity within local communities by examining studies of natural patterns, explorations of mathematical models and direct experimentation.  The complexities of species interactions are explored in multispecies assemblages.
LRES 543  Agroecology/ Applied Plant Ecology Focus on the principles and theories of population and community ecology as they relate to invasive plant species in natural and agroecosystems. Measuring plant interference and assessing population interactions and dynamics through empirical and theoretical models. Review theory and methodology concerning plant population demographics, dispersal , and natural trait selection. Examine the role of biodiversity and evolution in determining sustainable management of ecosystems.
LRES 569 Ecology of Invasive Plants in Greater Yellowstone Area Current theories on what makes species invasive and what ecosystem conditions invite or resist non-indigenous plant species will be considered. Direct involvement in field research associated with testing methodology for monitoring the invasive potential of several exotic species in the otherwise pristine mountain environments.

Ecosystem Ecology

LRES 528 Sustainable Cropping Systems (1 credit) The course goal is to elevate agricultural students' awareness of peer-reviewed literature that demonstrates application of principles to address issues of sustainability in cropping systems. The course will use a student-lead discussion format to highlight issues and principles in a series of papers that the class will read. The course will emphasize the practical interaction among agronomy, ecology, economics, and sociology to create an awareness of the interdisciplinary issues associated with sustainability in agriculture.
LRES 529 Sustainable Cropping Systems (3 credits) The course goal is to elevate agricultural students' awareness of peer-reviewed literature that demonstrates application of principles to address issues of sustainability in agriculture. The course will use a student-lead discussion format to highlight issues and principles in review of a series of papers that the class will read. The course will focus on the interaction among agronomy, ecology, economics, and sociology to create an awareness of the interdisciplinary issues associated with sustainability in agriculture. Topical issues associated with climate change impacts, system resilience and thresholds and ways to understand complex interactions will be considered for discussion.
LRES 561 Belowground Plant Ecology Application of basic ecological principles to belowground interactions of plant communities. Topics include plant competition, belowground herbivory, plant-microbe interactions including mycorrhizae, and diversity/productivity links in soil systems. Case studies will include invasive species, plants growing on metal-contaminated substrates, and grassland species interactions.
LRES 562 Land Rehab Field Problems Extended field trip to numerous drastically disturbed sites across the Northern Plains. On-site review of land rehabilitation problems, solutions, and methodologies. Participation by industry, regulatory agency staff, and rehabilitation professionals will occur at most sites.
LRES 563 Restoration Ecology Review of ecosystem structure and function, and community and population processes in intact systems, along with the effects of major disturbances on natural systems. Restoration amendments will be discussed in terms of their effects on ecosystem structure and function. The course includes case studies, and focuses on plant and soil systems.
LRES 565 Environmental Biophysics The study of physical relationships between organisms, ecosystems, and their environment. Basic principles of Micrometeorology, Biometeorology, Ecological Climatology, and Biophysical Ecology as applied to contemporary ecological challenges. Laboratory sessions will focus on computer exercises using ecosystem models and field observations.
LRES 567 Biogeochem Analy Synthesis The course is meant to serve as an introduction to the study of biogeochemical dynamics from an Earth-systems perspective. The course will consist mostly of readings from primary literature and student-lead discussion. We will choose a problem/question, work together to survey relevant literature through a meta-analysis, and strive to produce a manuscript for publication.
LRES 568 Ecosystem Biogeochem Introduction to the study of biogeochemistry and ecosystem dynamics from an Earth-systems perspective. Discussion will emphasize factors governing the "grand elemental cycles" of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous of Earth's major ecosystems and how modern human activities are affecting these cycles.

General Ecology

BIOE 554 Foundations of Ecology and Management This course explores the origin, maturation, and application of core principles in ecology.  Students gain an appreciation for the scope of ecology, how theory and application are linked, and how big ideas in ecology have matured (or not) over time.
WILD 548 Research Perspectives An introduction to the philosophical underpinnings of resource science and management, with the goal of helping students to develop their own ideological perspective.  A broad array of interdisciplinary readings is used to survey philosophical worldviews and explore their influence on science.

Landscape Ecology

BIOE 515 Landscape Ecology and Management Principles on landscape pattern, change, and function. Application of theory to conservation including population viability, reserve design, multiple-use landscapes. Lab introduces GIS, GPS, and simulation models
BIOE 524 Frontiers in Landscape Ecology Students and instructor will write a scientific paper for publication that synthesizes an important question in landscape ecology. Students will select the topic, review and synthesize current knowledge on the topic, and write a scientific manuscript.

Paleoecology

GPHY 505

Bioclimatography

The distribution of plants, as controlled by climate, geologic history and geographic location. Changes over time in distribution patterns as related to climate change and other human activities.
GEO 581 Quaternary Environments The last two million years of earth history as interpreted from geologic, biologic, and pedologic proxy data. Includes both global and regional analyses of changing climates and their effects on earth surface processes and land forms.
ERTH 582 Quaternary Paleoecology and Vegetation History Examination of the history and development of modern biomes and the causes and consequences of long-term environmental change; introduction to the principles of paleoecology and the data used to reconstruct past vegetation.
ERTH 583 Topics in Paleoecology (not offered in 2009) Focus on topics of special concern in the field of paleoecology through discussion of literature and individual investigation. Topics in the past have included: Geography of Natural Disturbance, Humans and Fire, and Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future.
ERTH 584 Quaternary environments of the western U.S Examines the history of the western U.S. over the last 2 million years to provide information on past climatic, environmental, and biotic changes and their role in shaping the current landscape.

Quantitative Ecology

WILD 502 Population & Habitat Data Study of the theory and methods of sampling and analyzing population data for vertebrates.  Estimation of population size, survival, and recruitment using competing models that relate population states and rates to habitat conditions and other covariates of interest.
WILD 504 Wildlife-Habitat Relationships This course will help students develop a conceptual and practical understanding of the wildlife-habitat relationships and the use, application, and limitations of the analytical tools used to analyze these data.  Course will be a blend of discussion and lecture; students will be responsible for written assignments based on readings and data sets.
WILD 510 Fisheries Sciences An in-depth review of fisheries data types and the analysis and interpretation of those data as it relates to freshwater fisheries research and management.
BIOE 540 Analysis of Ecological Communities Multivariate statistical analysis of data from terrestrial or aquatic, plant or animal communities. Classification, ordination, and predictive modeling of species and communities, emphasizing a hands-on approach and practical problem solving in community ecology.
LRES 507 Environmental Risk Assessment Principles of risk analysis, including risk assessment, perception, communication, and management. Emphasis on human toxicology, ecotoxicology, dose-response relationships, exposure analysis, environmental fate, and deterministic and probabilistic risk assessment. Case studies will include examples from pesticides, biotechnology, and invasive species.
LRES 510 Biodiversity Methods Biodiversity survey and monitoring designs, sampling methods, and data evaluation techniques are introduced. Emphasis is on plants but other taxa are addressed for agricultural, rehabilitation and wildland systems. One week of fieldwork required prior to semester; course completion early October.
LRES 511 Environmental Data Management Introduces graduate students in the natural sciences to concepts of designing data models and creation of associated databases. Database development project during the course is intended to facilitate proper management of data for each student's graduate research project.
LRES 545 Watershed Analysis Conceptual and quantitative analysis of watershed processes with an emphasis on modeling surface water hydrology and water resources management. Watershed modeling concepts including analysis of time series, spatially variable data, model calibration, and uncertainty analysis will be studied and demonstrated. The course will emphasize critical analysis of current hydrologic computational methods and hands-on use of watershed models.
LRES 546 Quant Methods Environment Introduction and application of numerical skills desirable for watershed and environmental modelers, including applied time series analysis, applied spatial statistics, probabilistic approaches to data analysis, uncertainty analysis and introductory programming skills. The course will focus on the use of real life and relevant environmental/watershed case studies and examples to illustrate theory.
LRES 558 Isotope Biogeochemistry Fundamentals and applications of isotope systems useful in the environmental sciences, including light elements such as carbon, mid-mass elements such as iron, and heavy elements such as uranium. Measurement techniques will be discussed, and application to student inspired questions explored.

Remote Sensing

LRES 525 Applied Remote Sensing Applications of remote sensing for graduate students, including advanced studies of multispectral and hyperspectal sensors and image processing algorithms. Emphasis is on using remote sensing technologies for solving applied land resource issues. Students will participate in discussions of current remote sensing literature.

Geobiology

ERTH 505 Geomicrobiology he course will examine geochemical and microbial interactions that control earth surface processes and ultimately major bigeochemical cycles. The course will study integrated approaches to research problems using geochemistry, stable isotope geochemistry, culture-based and molecular microbial techniques
ERTH 585 Advances in Geobiology Weekly seminar to discuss current literature and other "hot topics" in the fields of paleontology, paleoecology, geomicrobiology, and biogeography.
LRES 555 Aqueous Geochemistry Advanced coverage of aqueous geochemistry in terrestrial and aquatic systems including chemical processes such as complexation, precipitation-dissolution, sorption-desorption, partitioning, oxidation-reduction and gas-water equilibria. Applications of these principles will be demonstrated in subject areas including biogeochemical cycling, bioremediation, contaminant fate and transport, salt-affected soils and wetland processes. Recitation will focus on current literature, applied problems, and case studies.

Social & Political Sciences

WILD 525 Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife Management This course provides fisheries and wildlife management graduate students with an understanding of how social, cultural, behavioral, and demographic characteristics of humans affect fisheries and wildlife management.
LRES 521 Holistic Thought & Management Students will be able to use holistic, systems thinking approaches and Holistic Management process, for problem solving and decision making for complex issues in natural resource management, policy, ethics, research. Students will apply holistic and reductionist thought to their lives.
LRES 530 Natural Resource Law The course examines major natural resources laws, emphasizing the federal model. A modified case study approach is used to review legislation and related court cases governing natural resources, including water, minerals, timber, range, wildlife, recreation, and wilderness.