Course Information


Dr. Daniel Hocking, Compton 309,, 301-687-4343

Meeting Times and Locations

Lecture: Tuesday/Thursday 8:00-8:50 am; Compton 327


  • Section 1: Tuesday 2:00-5:50 pm; Compton 321
  • Section 2: Wednesday 2:00-5:50 pm; Compton 321

Office Hours: Compton 309; Tuesday & Wednesday 9:00-10:30 am, Thursday 1:00-2:00 pm, Friday 8:00-9:00 am, or by appointment


Environmental relationships of plants and animals. Field laboratory experience. Measuring environmental variables in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Two hrs. lecture, one 4-hr. lab. Every semester.


BIOL 150, 160 or 161; CHEM 202 (or CHEM 201 and permission of the instructor); MATH 109/209.


Task Percent
Lab Reports & Practicals 20%
Literature Review Paper 10%
Literature Review Presentation 5%

Learning Outcomes

The primary objective of the lab section is to provide you with experience collecting real, relevant ecological data. Specifically you will:

  1. become familiar with ecological data collection for various taxa and in a variety of ecosystems.
  2. be able to analyze data and interpret results.
  3. practice and improve writtn and oral communication skills.



Lab handouts that include relevant background information, instructions, and data sheets will be available on blackboard before each lab. Late lab reports will not be accepted.

Please note that many of our labs will be conducted at local field sites. These labs will be conducted outside so you are expected to use common sense in deciding what to wear and what to bring. You will get dirty and you will get wet during these labs. Be prepared to spend 4 hours in areas without restrooms, if you have questions about outdoor restroom etiquette please consult leave-no-trace (lnt) principles:, or ask the instructor if you have specific questions. You must notify the instructor during the first week of class if you are allergic to bees or have never been stung by a bee.

Literature Review

The purpose of this exercise is two-fold. First, it is designed to illustrate the problems that a researcher in ecology has when he/she must submit a grant proposal or manuscript for publication. In both of these cases the author must demonstrate that he/she has found and considered all important references to previous work on the subject. Additionally, this assignment will force you to read some of the primary literature to see how actual research is done and presented before it is synthesized by textbooks. Specific instructions will be provided in class.