Fundamental and Applied Ecology
Instructor: Dr. Jurek Kolasa (LS 340)
Office hours: by appointment via email.
Course Coordinator: Mr. Marvin Gunderman (LS 116)
Instructor Contact: For all lab section changes, permission for missing
coursework/midterms, contact Mr. Gunderman via email.
Calendar Description: An introduction to fundamental ecological principles and
illustration of these are applied to current environmental
problems at the level of organisms, populations and
Course Objective: Understand basic ecological concepts and current problems in
biodiversityloss, explore reasons that threaten biodiversityin
Canada and in the world, and become familiar with possible
solutions; develop communication (lab discussions) and
independent analytic skills by completing independent computer
Required Resources: “Ecology: Concepts and Applications” by Molles and Cahill
(2011) and two Simbio software modules (“Population Growth”,
“The Barnacle Zone”).
Lectures: Monday, Wednesday , Thursday 17:30-18:20 CNH-104
Labs: Bi-weekly 3-h Field Trip or Lab Discussions.
Grading Scheme: Participation 10%
Leading lab discussions 15%
Assignments (7.5% each) 15%
Midterm test 25%
CumulativeFinal Exam 35%
There will not be any deferred midterms or presentations. The final mark will be based on
the final exam and any additional work or components completed. The calculation of all
completed work that leads to the highest mark will be used. Thus, except for the final
exam, tests and assignments can be seen as optional. It is in the student interest to
participate in all course work to increase the chance of receiving a high mark. Note that the
final exam will have about one-third of the questions based on the labs (discussions and
computer exercises). Biology 2F03 Important Information:
1. Avenue to Learn (http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/)will be used to communicate with
students in this course and lecture handouts or supplements may be downloaded
from Avenue. Please consult this regularly (minimum once each week) to keep up
with updates and last-minute instructions regarding meeting instructions. You are
also encouraged to use this to further your class discussions with classmates and
myself. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components
of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the
McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all
other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the
technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this
disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please
discuss this with the course instructor.
3. Academic dishonesty. You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical
behavior in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are
rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to
knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic
credit or advantage. This behavior can lead to serious consequences, e.g. a grade of
zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation
reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or
expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For
information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the
Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
• Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which
other credit has been obtained.
• Improper collaboration in group-work.
• Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
The following are some pitfalls experienced by previous students:
• If you use any information from the internet, verbatim or paraphrased, and
you do not acknowledge the source, then you have plagiarized.
• If you work with a classmate and have an identical written answer (i.e.
sentences or phrases have the identical wording or phrasing)