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General Course Information for BIO330: Ecology

Course: BIO330 - Ecology
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description: A study of the relationship of plants and animals to their environment and to one another. Emphasizes populations, the population-community interface and community structure and interactions within the ecosystem.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Discuss the basic concepts of the scientific method.
  • Design and conduct field-based research in ecology.
  • Describe adaptations of organisms to the environment, especially with respect to temperature and water.
  • Discuss fundamental concepts of population ecology (eg. population structure and growth).
  • Describe the major interactions between species (eg. competition, feeding, parasitism).
  • Explain the basic ideas of ecological community structure, succession and stability.
  • Explain the flow of energy in ecosystems and the cycling of matter and nutrients.
  • Discuss spatial distribution of populations and species.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply state of the art scientific and environmental concepts to solve environmental problems.
  • Apply the scientific method in laboratory-based and field-based inquiry.
  • Create and model interdisciplinary learning environments that reflect team building and problem based learning using technology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of natural resource policy, environmental regulations, and resource management.
  • Demonstrate computer and technology literacy, including the ability to access databases within the context of course research and project development.
  • Demonstrate effective oral, visual, and written communication and quantitative skills, including the critical analysis of data and scientific literature.
  • Demonstrate how to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to meet the needs of all learners
  • Describe cell structure and physiological functioning of microbes and macroscopic organisms, including plants and animals.
  • Describe ecological interactions at the levels of the population, community, and ecosystem.
  • Describe the structure and function of Earth's organisms, as well as their roles in the natural world.
  • Discuss biodiversity and evolutionary history of Earth’s organisms.
  • Discuss biological processes at all of levels of organization: molecular, cellular and microbial, organismal, population, and ecosystem.
  • Discuss biological processes at all of levels of organization: molecular, cellular and microbial, organismal, population, and ecosystem.
  • Discuss fundamental concepts of natural and physical science including methods of scientific inquiry, ethics, and environmental processes.
  • Evaluate historical developments and research in biology, as well as current and contemporary research and challenges.
  • Examine individual impacts on global resources and the patterns of unequal distribution of such resources.
  • Explain the importance of unifying concepts in biology, including cell theory, genetics, and evolution.
  • Explain the integration of knowledge in a global contact and engage in collaborative research across disciplines.
  • Identify and appreciate the cultural perspectives of world view.
  • Identify major human organ systems, and the roles of their constituent organs.
  • Recognize the important effects of political, economical, social, and educational forces on environmental protection.
  • Recognize the link between healthy ecosystems and healthy human populations.
  • Recognize the major components of the earth's systems and how they function.
  • Use information communications technology for knowledge sharing and the interdisciplinary approach.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures