Service-Learning and field practica outputs
Mission of the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve. The Preserve permanently protects the undeveloped lands along the shore of Lake Mendota where members of the campus community have long experienced the intellectual and aesthetic benefits of interacting with the natural world. The Preserve shelters biologically significant plant and animal communities for teaching, research, outreach, and environmentally sensitive use, and safeguards beloved cultural landscapes. It contributes to a powerful sense of place and fosters an ethic of stewardship to promote mutually beneficial relationships between humans and the rest of nature.
This course is aimed at first- and second-year students who are considering a natural science major and at older students majoring in other fields who want experience with an interdisciplinary course in the natural sciences. The primary goal of this course is to place ecological thought in an interdisciplinary framework that encompasses the ecology of humans as another unique species evolving and interacting within Earth's ecosystems. We focus on the biosphere (i.e., only superficial treatment of the ecology of water, energy, chemical cycling, inorganic substrates, etc.), and introduce major branches of ecology from community ecology and ecosystems to population ecology to behavioral ecology. In particular, we focus on global sustainability issues and conservation science. We use gray wolf recolonization of Wisconsin as a lens to examine conservation of ecosystems and endangered species worldwide. This course will provide students with a foundation in ecology. After completing this course students will be ready for more advanced work in ecology or ready to apply ecological principles to public policy debates as consumers, voters, and professionals. To integrate human behavior and ecology, and to fully understand ecosystem function and change, we will compare Wisconsin and U.S. ecosystems to ecosystems in several other countries using case studies and discussion sessions. This course has the following desired learning outcomes:
- Develop a conceptual framework for understanding ecosystem process and pattern with humans integral to it.
- Explore how ecological science can help resolve modern environmental problems.
- Enhance your understanding of how humans interact with nonhuman ecosystem elements.
- Integrate new ideas from international and interdisciplinary perspectives on the environment.
- Increase interest in environmental studies and ecology.