Geography 223 Seminar on the Humid Tropics:
Global Change and Anthropogenic Effects on Tropical Ecosystems
This is a reading and discussion seminar focused on responses of humid tropical ecosystems to global, regional and local change factors. The objectives of
this class are to: 1) provide a broad understanding of the suite of global change factors influencing tropical ecosystems; 2) discuss how tropical
ecosystem responses are likely to vary from other ecosystem types from ecological and social perspectives; 3) consider spatial variability among humid
tropical ecosystems and responses to human pressures;
4) identify research and policy priorities for the humid tropics in the context of global change.
Geography/Biology M117/M131: Ecosystem Ecology
This course develops the principles of ecosystem ecology, with an emphasis on their application to terrestrial ecosystems around the world. The course
aims to provide students with: 1) an understanding of ecosystem distributions around the world, 2) a basis in the scientific theory of ecosystem function,
and 3) familiarity with scientific methods used to study ecosystems. Ecosystem ecology involves the study of energy and material flows through both the
living (plants, animals, microbes) and non-living (soils, atmosphere) components of ecological systems. We study the major element cycles
(carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) and patterns of energy flow through ecosystems, including how those fluxes and their controls differ for different
ecosystems. Our goal is to develop a solid understanding of the links between ecosystem structure and function, and examine how global change factors
affect these links. We focus on the logical connections among ideas so that complex processes can be
understood from some basic concepts.
Geography/Environmental Sci. M107/M114: Soil and Water Conservation
This course develops the principles of soil and water conservation, with an emphasis on global change. The course is designed for juniors and seniors
with a background in Earth sciences and environmental studies. We conduct a systematic study of processes of and hazards posed by erosion,
sedimentation, and runoff. We emphasize techniques needed to conserve soil and water quality. The scope of the course includes agriculture, forestry, and
mining, as well as broader effects of climate change and pollution. The course aims to provide students with: 1) an understanding of causes of soil and
water degradation, 2) a basis in the scientific theory of ecosystem function for addressing these problems, and 3) familiarity with scientific methods
used to measure soil health and water quality. Our goal is to develop a solid understanding of the links between ecosystem structure and function,
and examine how land use and global change factors impact soil and water. We will focus on the logical connections among ideas so that complex
processes can be understood from some basic concepts.
Geography 111: Forest Ecosystems
This class focuses on the distribution, dynamics and natural history of forests. The course aims to provide students with: 1) an understanding of forest ecosystem distributions around the world, 2) a basis in the scientific theory of forest stand dynamics, including succession, competition and disturbance, 3) familiarity with scientific methods used to study forests, 4) an overview of the utility and conservation of forest ecosystems,
5) ability to identify tree species on UCLA campus.
Geography 2: Biogeography
This course provides an introduction to the field of Biogeography for science and non-science students alike. Biogeography is one of the most exciting subdisciplines of the natural sciences and bridges the fields of geography and biology. Biogeography is the scientific study of the past, present and future geographic distributions of animals, plants and other organisms. Biogeographers seek to describe and map the geographic distributions of different species, but more importantly, they attempt to understand the physical, biological and historical factors that control these distributions. Of particular interest to biogeographers is how the actions of humans impact species and their distributions in the past, today, and in the future.
In this course you will be introduced to ecological biogeography (the study of how present conditions control geographic distributions), historical biogeography (how distributions have changed in the past and species have evolved and gone extinct) and analytical biogeography (the development of general rules that relate the distribution of life to geography). Throughout the course you will study interesting examples from the natural world and also consider how humans have been impacted by biogeographic processes and have altered the biosphere. Finally, we will consider conservation biogeography where biogeographic principles aid in understanding and conserving endangered species and general biodiversity.