** As of end of Summer 2019, I am no longer teaching this class. Stay tuned for the continuation of the class with a dynamic new instructor in 2020! **
This course focuses on the ecology and natural history of southern California coastal ecosystems including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodland, freshwater stream, riparian, rocky intertidal, salt marsh, and sandy beach. We also discuss the interactions of humans with these ecosystems. The class mostly consists of field trips and involves getting wet and/or dirty, having fun and learning as much as possible about the plants and animals around us. Mini-lectures and discussions of the various ecosystems and of basic principles of ecology and natural history are held both in the classroom and in the field.
By the end of this class students are familiar with:
- The major ecosystems of coastal San Diego County, their common inhabitants and interactions among inhabitants
- Broad- and fine-scale controls on species distributions within coastal systems
- How to observe and study natural ecosystems
- The interactions of humans with these systems, and the consequences of interactions
- How to communicate scientific information