Adaptive Strategies & Climate Change Capstone Course offering for Spring 2018

SPRING SEMESTER 2018

BIOL 4983 SEC 005

SENIOR SEMINAR (CAPSTONE)

ADAPTIVE STRATEGIES AND CLIMATE CHANGE

INSTRUCTOR: DR. LAWRENCE J. WEIDER, Dept. of Biology

CLASS TIME: MON 2:30-5:20 PM, SUTTON HALL 312

3 CREDIT HOURS:

This section of Senior Seminar (a.k.a. Capstone) will be offered for Spring 2018 and will cover the broad topic of Adaptation and Climate Change.  This course is timely, especially given the rapid rate of environmental change that has been observed over the past several decades with respective to species distributions, timing of seasonal events (e.g. plant phenology/bud-burst), and major glacio-morphological events (e.g. ice-sheet disruption; rapid glacial retreats, thinning of arctic sea ice). Some basic topics will include: environmental genomics of adaptation; genotype x environment interactions related to climate change; species range expansions/contractions (what’s moving where and how fast?); polar ecosystems as sentinels of climate change, host-pathogen-parasite dynamics under various climate change scenarios; using “resurrection ecology”/environmental DNA methods to examine adaptive changes; human adaptation and mitigation to climate change, among other topics.

The course will meet once a week (2 hr 50 min time block) with some lecture/background material being provided, as needed, during the first portion of each weekly meeting. The second (main portion) of each weekly meeting will focus on 1 or 2 topical papers from the primary literature, with student-led discussions/analyses.  Individual and group projects will also be part of the course. No tests are planned; however several relatively short (3-5 single-spaced pages) “mini”-term papers will be assigned throughout the semester.  One possible outcome/product/exercise from the course would be a group review paper that, with enough effort, might be suitable for submission for publication to a scientific journal. Critical thinking and critical writing will be highlighted in this course. For further information, please contact L.J. Weider at ljweider@ou.edu.

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