אקולוגיה של שינוי אקלים (0455.3082)

שם הקורס באנגלית: Climate Change Ecology

 

 

סוג: שיעור ומעבדה

 

ימים ושעות הקורס

מספר קורס סמסטר יום משעה עד שעה בניין חדר
0455.3082.01 ב ד 15:00 17:00 שרמן 003

 

מועדי הסיורים:

27/03/2020

08/05/2020

 

 הקורס ינתן באנגלית.

Field trip dates:

27/03/2020

08/05/2020

 

Target students: 2nd - 3rd year undergraduate Biology students, open to graduate students.

Course Prerequisites: Ecology (0455.1809.01 – Life Sciences faculty) or Introduction to Ecology (0910.1500.01 – Porter School)  

Course Language: English

 

Syllabus

While global climate change is of increasing concerns worldwide, the rapidly‐emerging field of Climate Change Ecology is just beginning to address how organisms and ecosystems will respond. This course will focus on the physical science perspectives on global environmental change by discussing the causes, mechanisms, and impacts of major types of global changes (climate and land-use changes) on ecosystem structure and functions. The course will emphasize how integrating ecology, physiology, behavior, and evolution is enabling understanding past responses and predicting future responses at various scales. The course will consist of lectures, student presentations and discussion of readings, and two field trips to visit climate change research stations and laboratories in Israel. Emphasis will be placed on the recent literature, but will also include readings from various sources and guest lectures.
No similar course is being given at any university in Israel.

This course will rely on both frontal lectures, reading of primary scientific literature, group participation and discussion. Efforts will be made to provide students with some important “fundamentals” and generally deepen our understanding of climate change ecology.

Course Learning Goals:

The goal of the course is to critically evaluate information about the causes and biological

consequences of the major types of global change as a result of human activities.

 

  1. To gain a broad understanding of the mechanisms by which microorganisms, plants, animals, communities, and ecosystems are responding to climate and land-use change
  2. To directly engage with the primary literature and identify topics at the frontier of global change research
  3. To enhance skills in communicating science and to become acquainted with methods and tools for predicting future responses to global climate change.
  4. To gain knowledge on what changes would be needed to stabilize or reverse current trends and how science is (or is not) translated into policy.

 

 

Activities

Course meetings will consist of frontal lectures and discussing the motivations, methods, results, of recent papers. Debates of hot topics of current interest in global change ecology will be discussed in class. Guest lecturers will be invited to present their research in climate change ecology related topics.

Attendance at the course is compulsory with minimal of 80% of classes presence.

 

Background reading will be assigned before the class. Students will sign up on the course moodle website. Text and reading materials will include: articles, chapters and online reading materials that will be assigned and distributed on the course moodle site.  The course textbook is “Climate Change Biology” by Lee Hannah (2nd edition, 2015). The readings from this textbook are meant to supplement the lectures and cover topics that we may not have time to discuss in class. Additional peer-reviewed papers will be given for reading and class discussion.

 

Research Presentations on Primary Literature (student talks)

Each student will give one 10’ presentation to the class. Each presentation will be on a

paper chosen from the primary literature by the student on a relevant topic of particular

interest to him/her. Papers will be also suggested by the lecturer. More details will be given in class on how to prepare the presentation and how it will be graded. Presentations will be modeled on the format of a scientific conference (10’ presentation – 3’ questions). * Number of papers presented at each lecture/week will be a function of numbers of students enrolled. It is expected that each student will present a different peer-reviewed paper.

 

Invited lecturers

Two leading researchers on climate change biology will be invited to introduce their research to the students. Emphasis will be made on methodological and experimental design challenges when planning a climate change experiment.

 

Field trips:

Two field trips are planned. One will focus on climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. It will include a visit the Matta LTER research station in the Judean Hills and the Yatir forest in the northern Negev. The second field trip will focus on marine and aquatic ecosystems. It will include a visit to the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research and the Kinneret Limnological Laboratory. Students will be exposed to real climate change experiments both in terrestrial and marine ecosystems will meet researchers working at these stations. Issues about climate change along environmental gradients will be discussed while travelling in the bus. Introduction to main vegetation and soil types will be discussed at each field trip stop while considering climatic gradients. A field report with questions will be requested from each student and will be graded accordingly. The field trips are planned on Fridays in order to prevent attendance conflict with other courses and it will last around seven hours (from 7:00 to 14:00). Attendance is compulsory.

 

Examination

There will be two exams that will cover material from lectures, readings, guest presentations and field trips. The Final will be cumulative. The mid-term exam and final will be composed of

mostly short-answer essay questions, but may also include some true/false, matching or

multiple-choice questions. Questions based on paper readings during the class will be included in the exams.

 

 

Student performance in the course will be evaluated as follows:

Mid-term exam………………………………… 30%

Research paper presentation….……….….……. 15%

Field trip reports……………………………….. 10% (5 points each report)

Contribution to class discussions………………  5%

Final exam    ………………….……………….. 40%

 
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