SRJC Course Outlines

6/9/2023 6:55:42 AMBIO 31 Course Outline as of Fall 2022

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  BIO 31Title:  TROPICAL BIODIVERSITY  
Full Title:  Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation
Last Reviewed:10/11/2021

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum2.00Lecture Scheduled1.5017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled26.25
Minimum2.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR1.50 Contact DHR26.25
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  52.50Total Student Learning Hours: 105.00 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
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In this course, students will explore the ecology, evolution, flora, and fauna of tropical rainforests, cloud forests, and dry forests. Typically taught abroad. Countries such as Costa Rica are used to illustrate both the current biodiversity crisis and conservation efforts.


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
In this course, students will explore the ecology, evolution, flora, and fauna of tropical rainforests, cloud forests, and dry forests. Typically taught abroad. Countries such as Costa Rica are used to illustrate both the current biodiversity crisis and conservation efforts.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 2016
Natural Sciences
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 B2Life ScienceFall 2016
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 5BBiological SciencesFall 2016
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Summer 2007Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Summer 2007Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course


Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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1. Integrate knowledge of ecology and evolution as it applies to tropical biomes in general, and to the biodiversity of one country in particular.
2. Evaluate the impacts of human population growth and resource use on tropical forests.
3. Describe the values of tropical forests and evaluate efforts to conserve their biodiversity.

Objectives: Untitled document
In order to achieve these learning outcomes, during the course students will:
1. Explain the principles of evolution, including natural selection and speciation, relate them to genetics, and differentiate these principles from faith-based belief systems and pseudoscience.
2. Describe the geological history, climate, principle weather features, and biota of tropical forests.
3. Explain the patterns of biodiversity and species interaction found in tropical biomes and compare them to other biomes.
4. Identify common species of flora and fauna found in the tropical forests of a particular country.
5. Contrast the historical and contemporary rates of tropical forest disturbance and deforestation.
6. Evaluate the immediate and underlying causes of tropical forest disturbance and deforestation.
7. Explain the economic, political, cultural, and ecological values of intact tropical forests.
8. Use case studies of conservation programs to describe potential solutions to the loss of tropical biodiversity.

Topics and Scope
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Topics will include but not be limited to:
I. Scientific Method
    A. Definition of science and scientific method
     B. Compare to other methods of processing knowledge and making decisions
    C. Science versus pseudoscience
II. Principles of Evolution
    A. Natural selection and other mechanisms of evolution
    B. Speciation
    C. Adaptations
    D. Relationship to biodiversity and the current extinction crisis
III. Tropical Forest Ecology
    A. Geological history
    B. Climate and weather patterns
    C. Biomes, ecosystems, and habitats
    D. Rainforests, cloud forests, and dry forests
IV. Biodiversity
    A. Species richness and measurements of diversity
    B. Tropical forests compared to other biomes and ecosystems
    C. Carrying capacity
V. Species Interactions
    A. Niche partitioning
    B. Competitive exclusion
    C. Trophic relationships
    D. Pollination and dispersion
    E. Co-evolution
    F. Keystone species
VI. Threats and Changes to Tropical Forests
    A. Historical, contemporary, and projected rates of disturbance and deforestation
    B. Extinction
    C. Succession
    D. Causes and processes of disturbance and deforestation
VII. Value of Intact Tropical Forests and Costs of Disturbance and Deforestation
    A. Ways to assign value
    B. Loss of biodiversity, resources, and environmental services
    C. Local, regional, and global change
VIII. Indigenous Cultures
    A. Tribal forest populations
    B. Threats and pressures
    C. Impact on biodiversity
IX. Potential Solutions to Ecological Challenges
    A. Immediate action
    B. Constraints
    C. Protection and conservation
    D. Restoration and reforestation
    E. Sustainable use
    F. Debt for nature swaps
    G. Emerging ideas
Contact DHR Related Topics:
I. Preparation of a Field Notebook - Structure and Organization
II. Ecosystem and Habitat Identification
III. Species Identification
    A. Dominant plants
    B. Common animals

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Lecture Related Assignments:
1. Assigned reading from texts and other sources, 20-30 pages per class meeting
2. Response papers and other written homework
3. Oral presentation(s)
4. Participation in class discussions
5. Formal assessment: 2-4 quizzes and 2-4 exams
Contact DHR Related Assignments:
1. Field notebook
2. Participation in field trips

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
20 - 40%
Response papers, written homework, and field notebook
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
50 - 70%
Quizzes and exams
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
5 - 20%
Participation in class discussions and field trips, oral presentation(s)

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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The Diversity of Life. Wilson, Edward O. W.W. Norton and Company. 2010 (classic)
The Mammals of Costa Rica: A Natural History and Field Guide. Wainwright, Mark. Zona Tropical, Comstock Publishing Associates, Cornell University Press. 2007 (classic)
Travellers' Wildlife Guides: Costa Rica. Beletsky, Les. Interlink Publishing. 2005 (classic)
Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology. Chazdon, R.L. and Whitmore, T.C. University of Chicago Press. 2001 (classic)
Tropical Ecology. Kricher, John. Princeton University Press. 2011 (classic)
An Introduction to Tropical Rain Forests. 2nd ed. Whitmore, T.C. Oxford University Press. 1998 (classic)
Breakfast of Biodiversity: The Political Ecology of Rainforest Destruction. Vandermeer, John and Perfecto, Ivette. Institute for Food and Development Policy. 2005 (classic)
The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction. Quammen, David. Touchstone. 1996 (classic)
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Kolbert, Elizabeth. Harry Holt and Company. 2014 (classic)
Instructor-prepared materials

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