Functional ecosystems are the basis for our health, social, and economic wellbeing. This course focuses on current environmental issues and introduces fundamental knowledge about ecosystem functioning to better understand the underlying reasons for the challenges our growing world population is facing. Understanding ecosystem functioning and the factors limiting their development and resilience when disturbed by human activities is essential for their sustainable use and appropriate management. In-class discussions and case studies will be used to directly apply learned concepts. This course includes a half-day field trip to an area near Calgary.
Formerly: Environmental Systems, Ecosystems: From Impact to Ethics
By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:
- Describe basic components of ecosystems and their ecological role;
- Explain in general terms how climate impacts ecosystem formation and distribution;
- Describe the value of biodiversity and inter-species connectivity;
- Compare ecological constraints for different ecosystems in terms of their responsible utilization and sustainable management;
- Explain common principles of ecology; and
- Apply those principles to current environmental issues.