Fundamentals of Ecology explores the basic concepts of ecology. Students will investigate the many different systems in the environment that make up the world around us. Habitats, biomes, and energy resources are among the topics of discussion. Current case studies and online activities are used to bring the subject matter to life. Fundamentals of Ecology will touch upon ways that humans can influence the environment, which makes it a great precursor to the Environmental Science course.
Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills
- Analyze population density and genetic diversity through a case study on the Florida Panthers.
- Compare habitats and the factors that allow specific species to survive in different habitats.
- Observe the dynamics involved with populations growing and changing.
- Identify the ways that the human population is affecting the ecosystem.
- Read a case study on an invasive species and how these types of pests are affecting native species.
Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills
- Explore a case study involving the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
- Examine and compare energy and nutrients cycling through an ecosystem.
- Analyze the different biomes that exist around the globe and determine why they are different.
- Explore succession of a forest and the resources forests provide.
- Read about fisheries and how overfishing is impacting society.
- Explore different methods of farming, and identify Rachel Carson’s importance in the anti-pesticide movement.
Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills
- Read a case about Love Canal, New York, and the toxic waste that caused problems there.
- Examine the layers of soil.
- Determine how to reduce household waste and how to treat the waste that is produced.
- Compare types of hazardous waste and ways to remediate Superfund Sites.
- Examine the layers of the atmosphere.
- Explore the issues surrounding global warming and other types of air pollution.
Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills
- Discover where our water comes from and how much is available.
- Compare different types of water pollution.
- Determine how wastewater is treated.
- Compare and contrast the four types of non-renewable energy.
- Explore clean ways of producing energy.
- Explore green building and determine ways to make homes more energy efficient.
- This course is textbook free.