Spring 2009

SCIE 609
Invasive Species Biology and Management

Poulos,Helen Mills

01/29/2009 - 05/07/2009
Thursday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Science Tower 137

Invasive species account for 39 percent of the known species extinctions on Earth, and they are responsible for environmental damages totaling greater than $138 billion per year. However, the general population has little knowledge of what invasive species are or what threats they pose to society. In this course, we will explore the biological, economic, political, and social impacts of invasive species. We will begin by defining an invasive species and looking at the life history characteristics which make them likely to become pest. Then, we will consider the effects of invasive species expansion on the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem function, as well as their global environmental and political impacts. Finally, we will explore the potential future changes in invasive species distributions under a changing climate. There will be one full-day and one half-day field trip (one urban-centered; one to Southbury, CT).

There is no single text. Scientific papers, chapters from several books and other supplemental readings will be assigned. These will be provided as PDF files. Readings will be discussed in class, following a short lecture or other exercise on the topic.

There will be two exams—a take home midterm and a comprehensive final exam—that will test students' understanding of key concepts and familiarity with the literature. Students will also write a synthesis paper on a specific topic, using a review of the scientific literature as a basis. Each student will do a short class presentation that summarizes their review and critique—as if they were presenting to policy makers. Class participation is essential as this is a seminar format.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Helen Poulos (B.A., B.S., Pepperdine University; M.S., Penn State; Ph.D., Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) is a postdoctoral teaching fellow, Mellon Environmental Studies Program. Click here for more information about Helen Poulos.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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