SRJC Course Outlines

12/10/2023 6:47:39 AMBIO 15 Course Outline as of Spring 2007

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  BIO 15Title:  FUTURE OF RAINFORESTS  
Full Title:  The Future of Rainforests
Last Reviewed:9/11/2006

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled017.5 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

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:
Untitled document
A broad overview of the biodiversity and ecology of tropical rainforests, including their distribution, causes and effects of their destruction and the analysis of conservation strategies. Case studies from different countries are presented to examine the integration of conservation solutions with human well-being and the site-specific circumstances of history, culture, poverty, land use, politics and economics.


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
The ecology and conservation of tropical rain forests. Case studies will bring into focus the unique solutions needed in different forests to protect biodiversity and sustain human well-being.
(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 2001
Inactive:Summer 2011
Natural Sciences
Global Perspective and Environmental Literacy
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 B2Life ScienceSpring 2007Summer 2011
 ELifelong Learning and Self Development  
 ELifelong Learning and Self DevelopmentFall 2001Spring 2007
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 5BBiological SciencesSpring 2007Summer 2011
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2001Inactive:Summer 2011
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2001Inactive:Summer 2011

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course


Outcomes and Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
Untitled document
Upon completion students will be able to:
1.  Critically evaluate what they read, write and hear in scientific
   literature as well as popular media.
2.  Apply the scientific method to solving ecological problems.
3.  Analyze the basic principles and assumptions of ecology, including the
   cellular nature of life, correlation of structure and function,
   energy transformation, evolution, and characteristics of systems.
4.  Describe the tropical rainforest ecosystem.
5.  Explain the effect of climate on the distribution of biodiversity.
6.  Describe the complexity of plant-animal interconnections in tropical
   rainforests and compare this to other biomes.
7.  Discuss the social political and economic forces that threaten
   rainforests and propose amelioration.
8.  Compare the site-specific conservation solutions and assess their
   probable outcomes.
9.  Explain how rainforest destruction has local, regional and global
10  Describe the effects on rainforests of distant human activities.

Topics and Scope
Untitled document
1.  Ecology as science
   a. Course introduction
   b. Scientific approaches to problems- scientific method
2.  Foundational principles
   a. Cellular nature of life
   b. Structure and function; physiological and anatomical adaptors
   c. Evolution: species adaptations, speciation, evolution of
   d. Characteristics of an ecosystem
3.  What are tropical rainforests?
   a.  Tropical moist forests and their climates
   b.  Forest formations
   c.  Growth cycle
4.  Plant life
   a.  Climbers and epiphytes
   b.  Trees
5.  Rainforest animals
   a.  Richness and diversity of animals
   b.  Modes of coexistence
   c.  Carrying capacity
6.  Interconnections between plants and animals
   a.  Animals as pollinators
   b.  Animals as dispersers
   c.  Food webs and keystone species
   d.  Co-evolution
7.  Tropical forests through time
   a.  Paleogeography
   b.  Paleoclimates
   c.  Pleistocene refugia
8.  Forest dynamics
   a.  Forest microclimates
   b.  Pioneer and climax species
   c.  Seed and seedling ecology
   d.  Species richness
9.  Nutrients and their cycles
   a.  Shifting agriculture
   b.  Nutrient pools and cycles
10. The tropical rainforest yesterday and today
   a.  Indigenous cultures
   b.  Colonial era
   c.  Post-Colonial era
11. Destruction of rainforests; rates of loss
   a.  Past rates
   b.  Present rates
   c.  Future prospects
12. Causes and processes of clearance
   a.  Fuel/wood gathering
   b.  Shifting cultivation
   c.  Land distribution and population
   d.  Resettlement
   e.  Commercial logging
   f.  Plantations and cash-cropping
   g.  Cattle ranching
   h.  Development projects
13. Impacts and costs of destruction
   a.  Loss of biodiversity
   b.  Loss of resources
   c.  Loss of environmental services
   d.  Local and regional climate change
   e.  Global climate change
14. Forest peoples
   a.  Tribal people and the rainforest
   b.  Decline and fall
   c.  Threats and pressures
15. Possible solutions
   a.  The need for action
   b.  Constraints
   c.  Protection and conservation
   d.  Restoration and reforestation
   e.  Sustainable use
   f.  Tropical timber trade
   g.  Debt for nature swaps

Untitled document
1.  Read text and other assigned readings, 30-40 pages per week.
2.  Homework: written responses to scientific journal articles and
   written analysis of websites that address rainforest issues
   relevant to the class.
3.  Preparation of group project to design a conservation plan for an
   assigned rainforest site.
4.  In class work: exercises, presentations, class discussions.
5.  4-14 Quizzes and 3-5 Exams.

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%
Written homework, Group conservation plan
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
40 - 60%
Multiple choice, True/false, Matching items, Completion, Essay
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
0 - 20%
Class participation and attendance at field trips.

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
Untitled document
Oxford University Press, 1998.
TROPICAL RAINFORESTS, by Chris C. Park, Routledge Publishing, 1994.
THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE, by Edward O. Wilson, W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.,
Whitmore, University of Chicago Press, 2001

Print PDF