Environmental Biology

The courses below are offered through the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.

For questions about specific courses, contact the department:

Departmental Offices: 10th floor, Schermerhorn Extension
212-854-9987

Web: www.columbia.edu/cu/e3b

EEEB G4030 Phylogenomics:A Hands-On Course Exploring Phylogeny and Genomics. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

A hands on course in genome level evolutionary approaches.  The course will examine the approaches and technology involved in genome level data collection and analysis. Whole genome scans for population genetics and whole genome phylogenetics are two of the major subjects to be covered.  The course will include a session in each class studying computer programs that are commonly used in both population genetics and phylogenetics at the genome level.

EEEB G4086 Ethnobotany: the Study of People and Plants. 3 points.

Priority given to students with backgrounds in ecology or plant systematics.

A survey of the relationships between people and plants in a variety of cultural settings. Sustainability of resource use, human nutrition, intellectual property rights, and field methodologies are investigated.

EEEB G4100 Forest Ecology. 4 points.

Lab Required

Prerequisites: one year of college biology.

EEEB G4100 Forest Ecology focuses on interpreting and understanding pattern and process in forested ecosystems. These ecosystems include the assemblages of trees and the biological communities and environments in which they exist.  The complex interactions among the organisms and the physical environment are a major focus of this course. The course involves lecture, literature discussion, and field laboratory conponents, with an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of student-collected data.

EEEB G4127 Disease Ecology. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 25.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Introduction to the ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases of humans and wildlife.

EEEB G4134 Behavioral Ecology. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: graduate students: EEEB 6110 and the instructor's permission. Undergraduate students: PSYCH W2420 or BIOL BC3280 and the instructor's permission.

An examination of evolutionary and behavioral ecological theory. The course will focus on natural selection, kin selection, and sexual selection, as well as related topics including cooperation, conflict, cooperative breeding, signaling, sex allocation, reproductive skew, and alternative mating strategies among others.  Emphasis will be placed on understanding the theoretical bases of these theories, as well as empirical tests of these concepts.  The course is writing intensive and written assignments will encourage critical assessment of theory, experimental design, and data analysis.

EEEB G4135 Urban Ecology and Design. 3 points.

Prerequisites: One year of introductory biology or permission from the instuctor

Urban Ecology and Design will explore and evaluate the ecological potential of the designed urban environment.  Students will work in interdisciplinary groups to study and evaluate the relationships between urban design and ecological performance through a series of case studies, field explorations, and studio visits.  New York City will be used as a test site for analysis and students will work together to evaluate urban systems with regards to vegetation, wildlife, sediment management, water, energy, and pollution using techniques of visual mapping and the application of quantitative scientific criteria over multiple scales.  The course offers a deeper understanding of the relationships that drive urban ecosystems, a critical evaluation of commonly used urban design techniques, and insights into how to better design functional ecosystems within the urban context.

EEEB G4138 Molecular Ecology. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: courses in genetics, cell/molecular biology, evolutionary biology, an the instructor's permission.

This course will explore various methods of statistical inference of ecological patterns and processes using molecular data. Students will learn the foundations for the molecular identification of populations to species, and apply various analytical methods to real data sets. The course will use real data for the inference of population structure and migration, growth and decline, detection of demographic bottlenecks and natural selection. Species-level issues will focus on issues of divergence and diversity. We will end up with a view of the future techniques and approaches in the field.

EEEB G4140 Ornithology. 3 points.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001, EEEB W2002, or equivalent.

This basic ornithology class lays the foundation for more in-depth study as it presents an overview of avian evolution, ecology, and current conservation issues.

EEEB G4165 Pathogen Evolution: Genes, Organisms, Populations, & Ecosystems. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

A seminar-based course aimed at examining the pathogenic virulence, emergence in new host species, co-evolution of pathogens and multi-host disease dynamics from an evolutionary perspective.

EEEB G4180 The Other Greenhouse Gases. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: graduate standing in E3B or DEES or the instructor's permission.

Methane and nitrous oxide trap ~25 and ~300 times as much heat per molecule as carbon dioxide, and their atmospheric concentrations have risen sharply due to anthropogenic activity, yet they have received much less attention than carbon dioxide in the popular press as well as the scientific literature. In this seminar course we will learn about the current state of ecological knowledge and explore cutting-edge ecological questions surrounding these fascinating gases. By the end of the course, students will have a current understanding of the ecology and biogeochemistry of methane and nitrous oxide, and will hopefully have some ideas about where the field should head.

EEEB G4200 Natural History of the Mammals. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: introductory course in Biology or Evolution.

This taxon-based course provides students with a basic understanding of the diverstiy and natural history of the mammals. Broad coverage of mammalian biology includes: morphological adaptations, evolutionary history, ecology, social behavior, biogeography, and conservation.

EEEB G4250 Understanding Nature Through Observation and Experiment. 3 points.

Discussion Section Required
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: statistics, core E3B graduate courses, or the instructor's permission.

An exploration of how contemporary scientific research in the natural sciences uses observation, experiment, and statistics to evaluate ecological ad evolutionary theory.

EEEB G4645 Cultural and Biological Diversity. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 20.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This course examines the articulation of biological, linguistic, and cultural diversity.

EEEB G4650 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: E3B courses in ecology, evolution and/or biodiversity or the instructor's permission.

Survey of current advances in scientific research that focuses on the role biodiversity plays in governing ecological processes (e.g., biogeochemistry, resisting invasion by exotic species, or stabilizing communities) and ecosystem services (e.g., soil fertility, water quality, climate regulation).

EEEB G4655 Biodiversity, Natural Resources and Conflict. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Environmental programs worldwide are fraught with disputes between groups of people over natural resources.  Such conflict can be highly complex, may undermine or deter environmental conservation efforts, and may even foster violence. These conflicts often involve disagreements between different human parties that are divided by culture, social values, and perceptions about the ethics and appropriatemess of how resources should be allocated or used. Combining specific case studies, ecological and social theory, and a complex systems approach, this course will enhance the proficiency of participants to understand, study, and manage natural resource-based conflicts. The course is designed for conservation scientists, environmental policymakers, rural development specialists, political ecologists, and conflict/peace workers.

EEEB G4666 Insect Diversity. 4 points.

Lab Required
Enrollment limited to 25. Priority given to undergraduate environmental biology majors.

Introduction to phylogenetic relationships, evolution, and ecology of the major groups of arthropods, with emphasis on insects. Lab: indentification of common families of spiders and insects of the northeastern United States.

EEEB G5010 Statistical Modeling in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 6 points.

Lab Required
Enrollment limited to 12.

Prerequisites: basic statistics (e.g., STAT W1111 and STAT W1211), core E3B grad courses (EEEB G6110, EEEB G6112, or EEEB G6990), or the instructor's permission.

An exploration of data-based models as tools for inference in ecological research. Emphasis on the formulation and development of scientific models, modern statistical and computational methods for estimating model parameters, and evaluation of alternate models using strength of evidence. Laboratory exeercises challenge students to apply these methods to real ecological data, including their own research. The course also explores the philosophical underpinnings of different statistical schools f thought including frequentist, likelihoodist, and Bayesian approaches.

EEEB G5022 Experimental Methods in Ecology. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 or equivalent.

Students in this course will gain a thorough understanding of the principles of sampling in ecological research, from the initiation of a research question, through to sampling procedures, analysis options and presentation and communication of research results. They will gain experience in experimental and survey design and implementation through participating in small research projects throughout the semester, done within the classroom, laboratory and local riparian, coastal and terrestrial field environments.

EEEB G6005 Introduction to Statistics for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 3 points.

Prerequisites: some background in ecology, evolutionary biology, and/or statistics is recommended.

An introduction to the theoretical principles and practical application of statistical methods in ecology and evolutionary biology. The course will cover the conceptual basis for a range of statistical techniques through a series of lectures using examples from the primary literature. The application of these techniques will be taught through the use of statistical software in computer-based laboratory sessions.

EEEB G6011 Inference in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 4.5 points.

Prerequisites: Basic statistis (e.g STAT W1111 and STAT W1211), core E3B grad courses (EEEB G6110, EEEB G6112, or EEEB G6990), or permission of the instructor.
An exploration of data-based models as tools for inference in ecological research.  Emphasis on the formulation and development  of scientific models, modern statistical and computational methods for estimating model parameters, and evaluation of alternate models using strength of evidence.  Laboratory exercises challenge students to apply these methods to real ecological data, including their own research.  The course also explores the philosophical underpinnings of different statistical schools of thought including frequentist, likelihoodist, and Bayesian approaches. Maximum enrollment, 12

EEEB G6020 Fundamentals of GIS In Ecology and Conservation. 4 points.

Lab Required
Enrollment limited to 15. Priority given to E3B graduate students.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Covers data structures, input, storage, analysis, and display. Laboratory exercises accompanying the lectures are designed to illustrate the applications of GIS in ecology and conservation research, as well as to provide hands on experience with Arc/Info and ArcView GIS software.

EEEB G6022 Experimental Methods in Ecology. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 or equivalent.

Students in this course will gain a thorough understanding of the principles of sampling in ecological research, from the initiation of a research question, through to sampling procedures, analysis options and presentation and communication of research results. They will gain experience in experimental and survey design and implementation through participating in small research projects throughout the semester, done within the classroom, laboratory and local riparian, coastal and terrestrial field environments.

EEEB G6148 Primate Behavior and Ecology. 3 points.

Core course for students in Evolutionary Primatology Ph.D. program but open to others.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Broad coverage of the fundamentals and recent developments in the field of primate behavior and ecology.

EEEB G6150 Advances in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology. 3 points.

Survey of recent advances in the ecological, evolutionary, and environmental sciences. Enrollment limited to 20.

EEEB G6200 Professionalism In Science. 1 point.

Enrollment limited to 25.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: graduate standing or the instructor's permission.

This seminar provides an introduction to important ethical, professional, and general methodological issues encountered by professionals in conservation biology and conservation policy.

EEEB G6260 Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Latin America: The Scientific, Political and Regulatory Framework for the Andean Region. 6 points.

Enrollment limited to 20.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

A year-long seminar focusing on the scientific, regulatory, and political (policy) context of climate change in the Andean Region. The seminar will take advantage of the technical-scientific information and the socio-political initiatives that have emerged before, during, and after the Kyoto Protocol. Students must commit to both semesters.

EEEB G6261 Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Latin America: The Scientific, Political and Regulatory Framework for the Andean Region. 6 points.

Enrollment limited to 20.

A year-long seminar focusing on the scientific, regulatory, and political (policy) context of climate change in the Andean Region. The seminar will take advantage of the technical-scientific information and the socio-political initiatives that have emerged before, during, and after the Kyoto Protocol. Students must commit to both semesters.

EEEB G6330 Conservation Psychology. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Real conservation can only be achieved by changing how people act toward the environment.  This course introduces students to the human dimensions that influence conservation and how the scientific study of cognitive, affective and behavioral processes informs conservation strategies.  Students will be introduced to the basic constructs informing conservation psychology and how to apply the framework to conservation challenges around the world.

EEEB G6400 Amazonia Seminar. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Course addresses the assumptions upon which community-based conservation and development projects are based, their successes and shortcomings within the context of history and the environment.

EEEB G6440 Special Topics In Animal Social Behavior. 3 points.

Seminar on animal social behavior with emphasis on detailed, critical readings of recent literature. Topics change year to year.

EEEB G6445 Research Methods In Animal Behavior. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

How to carry out a research project on animal behavior, from formulating research hypotheses, choosing an analytical design, collecting and analyzing data, to presenting those data formally in both written and oral form. The course also covers more philosophical issues, such as the scientific method, the dichotomy between field and lab study, and ethical issues that arise in real life. Students undertake individual observational projects on local animal species.

EEEB G6900 Case Studies In Conservation Genetics. 3 points.

This is an upper division course for individuals with significant experience in conservation biology.

Prerequisites: introductory course in conservation biology and the instructor's permission.

Since its inception as a formal field of study in the 1970's Conservation Biology has thrived by appropriating ideas, techniques and technologies from across the natural and social sciences. For instance, island biogeography, metapopulation  theory and modeling, molecular genetics, remote sensing and the availability of cheap and accurate GPS technologies have all changed the way conservation biologists address core issues of population growth, decline, expansion and extinction. In this course we will look over the horizon (or at least at issues currently peeking up above the horizon) to investigate how new technologies, statistical methods, and intellectual developments in conservation and other sciences will change the way we think about and implement conservation of species, ecosystems and landscapes, and about the relationship between biodiversity and human social and cultural systems.

EEEB G6990 Topics In Conservation Biology. 3 points.

This is an upper division graduate course for individuals with significant experience in conservation biology.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Since its inception as a formal field of study in the 1970's Conservation Biology has thrived by appropriating ideas, techniques and technologies from across the natural and social sciences. For instance, island biogeography, metapopulation  theory and modeling, molecular genetics, remote sensing and the availability of cheap and accurate GPS technologies have all changed the way conservation biologists address core issues of population growth, decline, expansion and extinction. In this course we will look over the horizon (or at least at issues currently peeking up above the horizon) to investigate how new technologies, statistical methods, and intellectual developments in conservation and other sciences will change the way we think about and implement conservation of species, ecosystems and landscapes, and about the relationship between biodiversity and human social and cultural systems.

EEEB GR5005 Introduction to Statistics for Ecology and Environmental Biology. 3 points.

Lab Required

Prerequisites: some background in ecology, evolutionary biology, and/or statistics is recommended.

An introduction to the theoretical principles and practical application of statistical methods in ecology and evolutionary biology. The course will cover the conceptual basis for a range of statistical techniques through a series of lectures using examples from the primary literature. The application of these techniques will be taught through the use of statistical software in computer-based laboratory sessions.

Fall 2017: EEEB GR5005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 5005 001/19547 M 6:10pm - 7:25pm
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
3 6/25

EEEB GR5015 Introduction to Statistics for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 3 points.

Lab Required

Prerequisites: some background in ecology, evolutionary biology, and/or statistics is recommended.

An introduction to the theoretical principles and practical application of statistical methods in ecology and evolutionary biology. The course will cover the conceptual basis for a range of statistical techniques through a series of lectures using examples from the primary literature. The application of these techniques will be taught through the use of statistical software in computer-based laboratory sessions.

Fall 2017: EEEB GR5015
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 5015 001/62806 M 7:40pm - 8:55pm
558 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
3 3/10
EEEB 5015 002/72339 W 7:10pm - 8:25pm
558 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
3 1/10

EEEB GR6112 Fundamentals of Ecology. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Required course for first year Ph.D. students and second year M.A. students on academic track.

Covers foundational topics and developments in many branches of ecology, including population, community, and ecosystems ecology.

Spring 2017: EEEB GR6112
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 6112 001/11908 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Duncan Menge, Maria Diuk-Wasser 3 23/25

EEEB GU4111 Ecosystem Ecology and Global Change. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Discussion Section Required

This course will provide an introduction to ecosystem ecology. Topics include primary production carbon storage, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem feedbacks to climate change. By the end of the course, students will be well versed in the basics of ecosystem ecology and have exposure to some current areas of research. Topics covered will include some aspects that are well established and others that are hotly debated among scientists. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to think independently and act like research scientists. 

Fall 2017: EEEB GU4111
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4111 001/61091 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Duncan Menge 3 15/20

EEEB GU4112 Ichthyology. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Fish are an incredibly diverse group with upwards of 27,000 named species. They are important ecologically, represent one of the major vertebrate lineages and face numerous conservation threats. This course will provide students with the tools to understand how the evolution, systematics, anatomy, and diversity of fishes influence their conservation status. 

Fall 2017: EEEB GU4112
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4112 001/68152 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Joshua Drew 3 15/25

EEEB GU4160 Landscape Ecology. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Introductory background in ecology (EEEB W2001, EEEB W2002 or similar course, e.g. EEEB 4110, BC2272)or permission from the instructor. Basic knowledge of R statistical software.

Landscape ecology is a sub-discipline of ecology that examines the development, causes and attributes of spatial patterns of landscapes and their implications for ecological processes.  By its nature, landscape ecology draws from many other areas within ecology. The course will consider ecological processes at the individual, population, community, and ecosystem level. The ecology of landscapes is also critical to the development of management and restoration schemes that take into account biodiversity conservation, provision of ecosystem services, and human land use.  The course will cover the conceptual underpinnings of landscape ecology and will introduce students to some of the tools used to analyze the structure and dynamics of landscapes.  Students will also examine consequences of landscape patterns and dynamics for organisms and for the management and sustainability of landscapes.  These skills prepare students to ask questions from a landscape perspective.

Fall 2017: EEEB GU4160
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4160 001/71896 T 10:00am - 12:00pm
558 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Maria Uriarte 3 8/20
EEEB 4160 001/71896 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Maria Uriarte 3 8/20

EEEB GU4260 Food, Ecology, and Globalization. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 30.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This class examines the social, ecological, and political economic roles of what and how we eat from a global perspective.

Fall 2017: EEEB GU4260
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4260 001/62816 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Eleanor Sterling 3 10/25

EEEB GU4321 Human Nature: DNA, Race & Identity. 4 points.

The course focuses on human identity, beginning with the individual and progressing to communal and global viewpoints using a framework of perspectives from biology, genetics, medicine, psychiatry, religion and the law.

Spring 2017: EEEB GU4321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4321 001/66234 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
316 Hamilton Hall
Robert Pollack, Marya Pollack 4 15/20
Fall 2017: EEEB GU4321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4321 001/63566 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Robert Pollack, Marya Pollack 4 20/20

EEEB GU4910 Field Botany and Plant Systematics. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Lab Required
Course fee: $50. Enrollment limited to 14. Priority given to E3B graduate students.

Prerequisites: introductory biology sequence, including organismal biology.

A survey of vascular plants with emphasis on features of greatest utility in identifying plants in the field to the family level. This will be coupled with a survey of the major plant communities of northeastern North America and the characteristic species found in each. The course will consist of one lecture and one laboratory per week with several lab sessions extended to accommodate field trips to local and regional natural areas.

Fall 2017: EEEB GU4910
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4910 001/13322 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Matthew Palmer 4 12/14
EEEB 4910 001/13322 F 9:00am - 1:00pm
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Matthew Palmer 4 12/14

EEEB UN1005 First Year Seminar in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology. 1 point.

This course provides a brief introduction to ecology, evolution and environmental biology with an emphasis on key concepts, current research, and opportunities for undergraduates.  The course is taught jointly by the faculty in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B), with each session covering a different aspect of research and/or teaching in the department.  Students are expected to complete weekly readings and participate in discussion both in class and online.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN1005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 1005 001/23360 T 2:40pm - 3:30pm
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Jill Shapiro, Matthew Palmer 1 13/30

EEEB UN2001 Environmental Biology I: Elements to Organisms. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Introductory biology course for majors in biology or environmental biology, emphasizing the ecological and evolutionary context of modern biology. 

Fall 2017: EEEB UN2001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 2001 001/20378 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Julio Soto-Centeno, Shahid Naeem 3 21/60

EEEB UN3011 Behavioral Biology of the Living Primates. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Discussion Section Required

Prerequisites: introductory biology course in organismal biology and the instructor's permission.
Corequisites: EEEB W3111.

Survey of non-human primate behavior from the perspective of phylogeny, adaptation, physiology and anatomy, and life history. Focus on the four main problems primates face: finding appropriate food, avoid being eaten themselves, reproducing in the face of competition, and dealing with social partners.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3011 001/20384 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
301m Fayerweather
Marina Cords 3 5/10

EEEB UN3208 Explorations in Primate Anatomy. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Taught every other year. Enrollment limited to 14.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 or EEEB W1011 or the instructor's permission.

Introductory laboratory course in primate skeletal anatomy. From tarsiers to talapoins, guenons to gibbons, through hands-on expertise students explore the amazing range and diversity of the living members of this order.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN3208
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3208 001/26222 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
865 Schermerhorn Hall
Jill Shapiro 3 6/14

EEEB UN3220 The Evolution of Human Growth and Development. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Taught intermittently.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 or ANTH V1007 or the instructor's permission.

This course explores central issues in human growth and development from birth through senescence. Emphasis will be placed on the factors responsible for the variability in current human growth patterns as well as the evolutionary divergence of a uniquely human pattern from our closest living and fossil relatives.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN3220
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3220 001/12362 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
558 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Jessica Manser 3 12/20

EEEB UN3919 Trading Nature: A Conservaton Biology Perspective. 4 points.

This course explores the scientific and theoretical conceptualization of nature as a market commodity, through the lens of conservation biology.  Students will engage in critical analysis of the 'traditional' forms in which biodiversity has been appropriated as inputs into markets such as fisheries, resource extraction, bushmeat and medicine, as well as new market environmentalism.

Fall 2017: EEEB UN3919
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3919 001/64674 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Mary Blair 4 13/12

EEEB UN3921 Agriculture and the Environment. 4 points.

Course consists of 6 separate modules, offered in rotation of four, each worth 4 points.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 and EEEB W2002 Environmental Biology I and II, or the instructor's permission.

Students will compare productivity, diversity, and ecological processes in the diverse farming systems of Kenya which include highland and lowland, large and small-scale systems, monoculture cereal crops, mixed farming with crops and livestock, pastoral systems, diverse tree crop systems from plantations to multispecies agroforests, and intensive horticulture.  Students spend their time in Kenya learning state of the art techniques for characterizing soils, agricultural landscapes, and ecosystem services.  They will use these methods across the range of farming systems to develop projects comparing various aspects of these systems, and explore sustainability issues from the ecological, agricultural, and livelihood disciplines. This course is part of a semester abroad program in Tropical Biology and Sustainability based in Kenya and cannot be taken separately on campus.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN3921
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3921 001/28467  
Dustin Rubenstein 4 0/10

EEEB UN3923 Savanna Ecology and Conservation. 4 points.

Course consists of 6 separate modules, offered in rotation of four, each worth 4 points.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 and EEEB W2002 Environmental Biology I and II, or the instructor's permission.

Only six percent of Africa's land is protected, and these areas are rarely large enough to sustain wildlife populations.  Mostly, wildlife must share land with people who also face survival challenges.  This course will explore how wildlife and people interact in Kenya, where new approaches to conservation are being developed and implemented.  Lectures will cover the ecology of tropical grasslands and first principles underlying conservation and management of these landscapes.  Field trips and projects will examine the dynamics between human actions and biodiversity conservation. This course is part of the study abroad program in Kenya on Tropical Biology and Sustainability and cannot be taken separately n campus.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN3923
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3923 001/14809  
Dustin Rubenstein 4 0/10

EEEB UN3924 Natural History of African Mammals. 4 points.

Course consists of 6 separate modules, offered in rotation of four, each worth 4 points.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 and EEEB W2002 Environmental Biology I and II, or the instructor's permission.

Introduction to concepts, methods, and material of comparative natural history, with African mammals as focal organisms.  Perspectives include morphology, identification, evolution, ecology, behavior and conservation.  Observations and experiments on a variety of species in different habitats and at a range of scales will provide insights into the adaptive value and underlying mechanistic function of mammalian adaptations. This course is based in Laikipia, but may travel to other sites across Kenya, which might include other conservancies and pastoral group ranches. This course is part of a semester abroad program in Tropical Biology and Sustainability based in Kenya and cannot be taken separately on campus.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN3924
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3924 001/16853  
Dustin Rubenstein 4 0/10

EEEB UN3925 Sustainable Development in Practice. 4 points.

Course consists of 6 separate modules, offered in rotation of four, each worth 4 points.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 and EEEB W2002 Environmental Biology I and II, or the instructor's permission.

Students will study the theory and practical application of sustainable development, touching on urban and rural issues in Kenya and other diverse agro-ecological zones in East Africa.  They will begin at the Columbia Global Centers/Africa in Nairobi by learning about the administrative and socio-political structures that govern Kenya and East Africa followed by an emersion in the history of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Students will then spend time studying agriculture, education, infrastructure, water, and health issues in other urban and rural areas in Kenya and East Africa to understand the need for an integrated approach to sustainable development.  Discussions with communities, field work, practical problem solving, GIS tools, e-tools, modeling, and understanding of the local constraints will form the foundation for this course.  This course is part of a semester abroad program in Tropical Biology and Sustainability based in Kenya and cannot be taken separately on campus.

Spring 2017: EEEB UN3925
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3925 001/25136  
Dustin Rubenstein 4 0/10

EEEB UN3940 Current Controversies in Primate Behavior and Ecology. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Taught every two years. Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1011 or the equivalent.

Critical in-depth evaluation of selected issues in primate socioecology, including adaptationism, sociality, sexual competition, communication, kinship, dominance, cognition, and politics. Emphasizes readings from original literature.

Fall 2017: EEEB UN3940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 3940 001/70141 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
1015 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Marina Cords 4 11/14

EEEB W1001 Biodiversity. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Recitation Section Required
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

In this course we will use genetics, evolutionary biology, and ecology to address three simple questions: What is biological diversity? Where can we find it? How can we conserve it? No previous knowledge of science or mathematics is assumed. 

EEEB W3030 The Biology, Systematics, and Evolutionary History of the 'Apes'. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Usually taught every other year. Enrollment limited to 25.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: open to undergraduates who have had EEEB W1010, EEEB W1011, or the equivalent. Other students who are interested should speak with the instructor.

This course focuses on our closest relatives, the extant apes of Africa and Asia. We will explore the nature and extent of the morphological, genetic, and behavioral variability within and among these forms. Using this framework, we will then analyze questions of systematics and trace the evolutionary development of the hominiods during the Miocene, the epoch that saw the last common ancestor of today's gibbons, orang utans, gorillas, chimpanzees and humans. Timing note:  The course meets for 2 hours twice a week. Films are screened during the last 30 minute of each class and students must be able to stay for the entire time if they want to take the class.

EEEB W3204 Dynamics of Human Evolution. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Enrollment limited to 13. Priority is given to EBHS majors/concentrators.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 Human Species/HO&E, ANTH V1007 Origins of Human Society, or the equivalent.

Seminar focusing on recent advances in the study of human evolution. Topics include changing views of human evolution with respect to early hominin behavior, morphology, culture and evolution. [Either Dynamics of Human Evolution or Neandertals is taught every other year.]

EEEB W3215 Forensic Osteology. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Taught every other year. Enrollment limited to 15. Priority given at first class session to EBHS majors/concentrators.

Prerequisites: no prior experience with skeletal anatomy required. Not appropriate for students who have already taken either EEEB G4147 or EEEB G4148.

An exploration of the hidden clues in your skeleton. Students learn the techniques of aging, sexing, assessing ancestry, and the effects of disease, trauma and culture on human bone.

EEEB W3230 Late Pleistocene Paleoanthropology of Southeast Asia and Australia. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Taught intermittently.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 or ANTH V1007 or the instructor's permission.

Given recent intriguing insights into Southeast Asian and Australian human evolution, this course presents a topical and comprehensive analysis of the region’s paleoanthropological record. Issues of origins, isolation and extinctions are explored using evidence from morphology, archaeology, and genetics.

EEEB W3250 Method and Theory in Biological Anthropology. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Taught intermittently. Enrollment limited to 13.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 Human Species or EEEB W1011 Behavioral Biology of Living Primates.

This course examines what it means to do scientific research, using the three main foci of the field of biological anthropology–paleoanthropology, primate behavioral biology, and human variation/adaptation–to understand how questions are developed and how different methods are used to examine hypotheses. Through structured discussion and critical analysis of primary literature, students will move beyond learning the facts of biological anthropology to an understanding of the process of developing and interpreting research.

EEEB W3656 Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity and Conservation. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 12.

Prerequisites: there are no prerequisites, but a basic understanding of the principles of conservation biology and some experience in the R programming environment and/or ArcGIS are recommended.

This course will introduce students to a suite of quantitative approaches essential to managing our dwindling resources and will provide students with a toolbox of quantitative methods geared toward scientists and managers that are applicable within a wide range of systems. The course will cover the theory behind and practice of several key components of quantitative analysis in the field of conservation biology, including measuring biodiversity and abundance, population density analysis, detecting trends and extinctions from sighting data, population viability analysis, remote sensing, species distribution modeling, spatial conservation prioritization, conservation trade-offs and co-benefits on the landscape; corridors, and spatial network processes on the landscape.

EEEB W3910 The Neandertals. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Offered every other year/rotating with Dynamics of Human Evolution. Enrollment limited to 13. Priority given at first class session to EBHS majors/concentrators.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 Human Species or ANTH V1007.

One hundred and fifty years after discovery Neandertals remain one of the most enigmatic hominin taxa. What do we understand today about their biology, subsistence, culture, cognitive abilities and eventual fate? Are they simply extinct relatives or do their genes continue in many of us today? In this seminar students critically examine the primary research as we attempt to find answers to some of these questions.

EEEB W3915 Comparative Social Evolution. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission

This collaborative course co-taught with experts from four universities will explore the diversity of social life on earth. Weekly course meetings will connect undergraduate students from around the country to explore social evolution in a comparative context. Through a combination of primary literature, lectures by leaders in the field, inter-collegiate discussions using social media, and student-led data analysis and comparative projects, students will gain different perspectives on social evolution from some of the world's leaders in the field.

EEEB W3920 Biology of African Animals and Ecosystems. 4 points.

Course consists of 6 separate modules, offered in rotation of four, each worth 4 points.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 and EEEB W2002 Environmental Biology I and II, or the instructor's permission.

This course offers a small group of students the unique opportunity to study the ecology, evolution, and behavior of African animals and ecosystems in one of the world's most biologically spectacular settings, the wildlife-rich savannas of Kenya.  In addition to gaining sophisticated training in fieldwork, hypothesis-driven biological research, statistics, and scientific writing and presentation, the course gives participants many opportunities to observe and study a diversity of plants, animals and their interactions. Lectures include core topics in ecology and evolution with emphasis on the African animals and ecosystems that students will see in Kenya. This course is part of a semester abroad program in Tropical Biology and Sustainability based in Kenya and cannot be taken separately on campus.

EEEB W3922 Water, Energy and Ecosystems. 4 points.

Course consists of 6 separate modules, offered in rotation of four, each worth 4 points.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 and EEEB W2002 Environmental Biology I and II, or the instructor's permission.

The course will provide an introduction to the principles of hydrological sciences and their application to ecological sciences, with a focus on instrumentation methods for characterizing surface, subsurface, and biological hydrological dynamics in field settings. Lectures and field activities will address the theories of operation, design, and implementation of methods used to quantify hydrological patterns and processes with particular emphasis on characterizing the biological signature and ecological impact of landscape hydrological dynamics.  Emphasis will be placed on applications of hydrological science to issues of sustainable landscape use, water resource conservation, and prevention/reversal of land degradation in dryland ecosystems. This course is part of a semester abroad program in Tropical Biology and Sustainability based in Kenya and cannot be taken separately on campus.

EEEB W4001 Society and Nature in the Amazon. 4 points.

The Amazon Basin is one of the largest equatorial forests on earth.  Far from being an untouched bioma the Amazon has a rich and instigating sociobiodiversity that can be apprehended in its uniqueness since pre-colombian times.  History, culture, politics correlated with hydrology, climate and ecology are elements for the understanding of contemporary dynamics in the Amazon.  The course aims towards an interdisciplinary approach of the Amazon as a unique ecosystem in Latin America which reflects a myrad of questions crucial for the understanding not only of South America but of nature and society in modern times.

EEEB W4010 The Evolutionary Basis of Human Behavior. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Offered intermittently.

Prerequisites: introductory course in evolutionary biology, e.g., EEEB W1010, EEEB W1011 or EEEB W2001, or the instructor's permission.

This course addresses the role of evolution in contemporary human social behavior, including such topics as kin selection, sexual selection, parenting, altruism, and conflict. Populations explored will include both industrialized and traditional societies, with an emphasis on the interaction between evolutionarily-influenced behavior and the local ecological context.

EEEB W4015 Animal Communication: A Primate Perspective. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Offered intermittently. Enrollment limited to 20. Priority given to EBHS students.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 Human Species or EEEB W1011 Behavioral Biology of Living Primates or Animal Behavior or the instructor's permission.

Animals employ a staggering diversity of sounds, gestures, and chemicals to communicate. This course examines the four primary signal systems--vocal, visual, chemical, and tactile--used by primates and the various ecological, social, and physiological factors that relate to their evolution. Using current research, historical perspectives, and hands-on lab exercises, students will explore the central issues of animal communication as they relate to primates.

EEEB W4060 Invasion Biology. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: a course in Environmental Biology or the instructor's permission.

This course examines the spread of non-indigenous species to habitats and areas outside their home range, and the effects, both negative and positive, that establishment of new species may have in different environments. Using lectures, class discussions and student presentations, we will examine the processes and major vectors that can lead to the introduction of non-indigenous species, the interaction between species' and habitat characteristics in determining the success of a potential invader, and the political and economic consequences of invasive species management actions. Two proposed day trips will also expose students to some practical methods that aim to limit the introduction and spread of potentially damaging invasive species in local terrestrial and marine environments.

EEEB W4110 Coastal and Estuarine Ecology. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: Environmental Biology I or the equivalent.

Environments close to shore are hugely ecologically important, not least in terms of their contributions to biodiversity, primary and secondary productivity. Coastal and Estuarine Ecology introduces students to a range of nearshore habitats and biota, the processes that operate in these environments, and potential threats through, for example, habitat destruction and alteration, overfishing, and climate change. Field research makes up a large component of the course and its assessment, with students given the opportunity to build proficiency in field observation and enquiry through either several short field trips or a week-long trip to a dedicated marine station. The specific structure of the trip(s) will be determined during the fall, with more details and regular updates listed on the Courseworks site. Please note: occasional field trips on Fridays and Saturdays are required for this course.

EEEB W4122 Fundamentals of Ecology and Evolution. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: EEEB W2001 and EEEB W2002 or equivalent or the instructor's permission.

An advanced survey of the basic concepts and theories of ecology and evolution, with particular emphasis on topics relevant to conservation biology. By the end of the course students will have (1) gained a thorough knowledge of the intellectual history and intersections of these two disciplines, (2) forged some clear links between conservation, ecology, and evolution, and (3) gained quantitative confidence in the use of some basic models in ecology and evolution.

EEEB W4192 Introduction to Landscape Analysis. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Lab Required

Prerequisites: SDEV W3390 or EESC W4050 or the instructor's permission.

This class provides basic theory in landscape analysis and training in methods for analyzing landscapes, focusing on interpretation of satellite images. The class covers approaches and definitions in landscape analysis, data sources, land cover classification, change detection, accuracy assessment, projections of future land cover change, and techniques to interpret results of these analyses. Students will obtain hands-on experience working with data from a landscape related to his/her research or a landscape chosen by the instructors.

EEEB W4195 Marine Conservation Ecology. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: EEEB G6110, EEEB G6112, or EEEB G6990, basic statistics, or the instructor's permission.

This course provides an overview of marine ecology, introducing processes and systems from which the marine environment is formed and the issues and challenges which surround its future conservation. Coursework will be evaluated using debates, oral presentations and more traditional metrics. Topics to be covered include fisheries, invasive species, habitat alteration, climate change. While we will focus on general threats there will be special emphasis placed on coral reef ecosystems.  

EEEB W4240 Animal Migration in Theory and Practice. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Enrollment limited to 25. Field trips will be scheduled.

This course presents an overview of migration, from the selective pressures animals face in migrating to the mechanisms of navigation and orientation. We will explore migration in a variety of animal taxa. Bird migration will be studied in-depth, as birds exhibit some of the most spectacular long distance migrations and are the most well-studied of animal migrators. The challenges of global climate change and changing land use patterns, and how species are coping with them, will also be explored.

EEEB W4340 Human Adaptation. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: EEEB W1010 Human Species or ANTH V1007 Origins of Human Society or the instructor's permission.

This course explores human adaptation from a biological, ecological and evolutionary perspective. From our earliest hominin ancestors in Africa to our own species' subsequent dispersal throughout the world, our lineage has encountered innumerable environmental pressures. Using morphological, physiological and behavioral/cultural evidence, we will examine the responses to these pressures that helped shape our unique lineage and allowed it to adapt to a diverse array of environments.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.