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Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Spring 2012

BIOLOGY

BIOLOGY 180 - Concepts of Biology
(5 credits)
Collier, Matthew and Yoder, Jay

Pre-Requisites: None
A survey of concepts common to most areas of the biological sciences. Topics including the scientific method, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, energy flow, flowering plant and animal biology, and the evolution of diversity will be covered.

BIOLOGY 258 - Extended Field Studies - Ecology
(1 credit)
Phillips, Richard

Prerequisite: Must take concurrently with Biology 346
Four-day winter field trip to northern lower Michigan to study the ecology of the area.  

BIOLOGY 346 - Ecology
(5 credits)
Phillips, Richard

Prerequisites: A Biology group 2, 3, or 4 course and Math Placement 22
Ecology as a body of scientific knowledge includes many subjects, both within and beyond biology. This course will focus on four levels of ecological inquiry: ecology of the individual organism, ecology of populations, ecology of communities, and ecology of ecosystems. We will draw heavily on ethology, physiology, genetics, and evolution to understand the interactions of organisms and groups of organisms.

The goal of this course is to examine the basic subject material of ecology, providing a foundation on which a student can pursue terrestrial ecology of limnology at Wittenberg, or advanced courses in graduate school. Another goal of this course is to introduce the student to the ecological literature and to ecological field techniques and analytical methods. There will be four exams, a research report, lab reports, and a lab exam. The final will not be a comprehensive exam. 
Labs will be outside, rain, snow, or sunshine. Only lightning will keep us inside. At least one lab will be well into the evening, perhaps as late at 9 p.m. There will be an optional four-day trip to northern Lower Michigan with an approximate cost of $30. 

 

GEOGRAPHY

GEOG 120S 01W - Human Ecology
(4 Credits)
Scholl, Andrew

Pre-requisites: None
The purpose of this course is to make you aware of the inter-relationships between people and the environment around us. One of the fundamental aspects of geography is a focus on the intersection between people and the environment: both on how the environment influences us, and how we utilize and alter the environment around us. We will explore some of the central issues of concern in the world today, as well as some of the concepts and methods they use to study them. Major topics will include: geographic perspectives on human-environment interactions, the changing human population, water resources, energy issues, food resources, the role technology plays in our interaction with the environment, and environmental ethics and policy. These general topics will often be explored through a detailed examination of case studies. An underlying theme throughout the course is the issue of sustainability and the impacts of today’s decisions on future society. The overall aim of the course is to provide the student with the analytical skills necessary to think critically about contemporary nature-society relationships, their geographical patterns and processes, while also cultivating the student’s own geographical imagination. The course will involve a semester long research paper on an environmental issue of the students choosing. In addition, the class will perform a detailed energy audit of the University’s energy consumption. WRITING INTENSIVE.

GEOG 222B - Weather and Climate
(5 Credits)
Lenz, Ralph

Pre-requisites: Minimum Math Placement 22
Climate patterns pose fundamental limits to ecosystem development, and therefore control the ways people can interact with the environment. Global climate patterns are the focus of this course, and there are two main goals. In the first part of the course, we will seek an understanding of the processes responsible for climate through study of atmospheric dynamics that create weather patterns across the globe. Then we will consider climatic classifications, and relate them to real-world responses of vegetation regimes to global climate patterns. Laboratory work is scheduled for Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Ten lab exercises and five exams will be the basis for evaluation.

GEOG 292S/SOCI 292 - Population Geography
(4 Credits)
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites: None
From now until the middle of the 21st century, in only fifty years, the world's population will increase by 50% from 6 billion at the end of 1999 to close to 9 billion in 2050. October 12, 1999 has been chosen as the official date marking the advent of a planet with 6 billion inhabitants. On October 5, 2005, the total population of the World had reached 6,470,751,717; an increase by almost half a billion in just six years. Between 1995 and 2005, the growth rate was 78 million people per year, the equivalent of a new Egypt added every year. In 2050, Africa and Asia will be home to 20 and 60% of the world's population respectively. Developed nations will have twice as many elderly people as youth and the population of many in between will be in decline. The world's productive land is a constantly changing resource. Climatic variations, natural disasters, and human intervention are constantly at work changing the boundaries of productive land. Arable land covers 3% of the world's surface. Despite the fact that this land is continually being lost to urbanization, the total area under cultivation is rising because of deforestation. During this course we would look at demographic data, population distribution and composition, theories of population growth and change. We will focus on basic demographic processes, as mortality, fertility, and migration. This class will be helpful in understanding the demographic processes in different cultural, social, and political settings. Cross-listed as SOCI 292; you may enroll in either SOCI 292 or GEOG 292.

GEOG 390 - Geographical Information System 
(5 Credits)
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites GEOG 230, GEOG 290 or GEOG 304, or an instructor’s permission.
GIS is an advanced course in spatial analysis and computer mapping which is targeted to majors in Geography, but also benefits majors in Biology, Geology, Management, Political Science, and others disciplines. The period since the mid-1980s has seen massive growth in the field of the GIS – computer based systems for the handling of geographically referenced information. Geographic Information systems have been confined mostly to public sector agencies until recently. Now they are becoming as widely used as spreadsheet analysis to a broad spectrum of applications from urban and regional planning and environmental management to homeland security and sustainable development. GIS mapping cuts across many disciplines, provides a common language for discussion, and acts as a means to bring people together in the decision making process. MAP IT OUT! Visualization is a great tool to analyze large data bases. During this course students work in a computer lab environment (new GIS Lab), learning GIS concepts and technology and applying them to real life situations while doing projects for local community. Student will gain skills in digitizing, data base management, multilayer computer mapping, and spatial analysis.

GEOLOGY

GEOLOGY 110B - Introduction to Geology
(4 credits)
Miller, David

Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B, 150B, or
160B. A math placement score of 22 or above is recommended.
This course provides students with a topical view of Physical Geology and how it relates to the human race. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry, geological processes, and geological issues. Much of the material we will treat consists of items covered by the media and is intended to give students practical knowledge that they can apply to everyday life and to other disciplines.

A Math Placement score of 22 or above is strongly recommended, as many lab exercises incorporate basic math skills. This course has both lecture and lab periods that each student must attend. Note the required Saturday field trip to Ohio Caverns and Cedar Bog September 27.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

POLI 221S 01 State and Local Government
(4 credits)
Baker, Rob

Pre-requisites: none
The course focuses on important contemporary problems and trends affecting state and local politics, and the role of states and localities in the federal system. Using a comparative approach, attention is given to general intergovernmental, social, economic, and cultural influences that shape state and local politics in America. Additionally, a mock state legislature is conducted providing the student with a "hands-on" experience in one of the key political processes of state government. 9/07

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