Experimental Ecology Laboratory


The goal of this course is to provide skills in the design, interpretation, and written presentation of ecological and evolutionary experiments, with emphasis on sampling methodology, hypothesis testing, and data analysis. A key objective of this course is to familiarize students with the importance of statistics and experimental design as unified tool, rather than two separate processes. We will practice how to abstract theories, hypotheses, and predictions mathematically, how to contrast them with data, and how to interpret the results. The course does not seek to be exhaustive of all experimental designs or statistical techniques, nor intensive in any given one. Rather, its focus is on providing the tools and concepts for the critical evaluation, choice, interpretation and further independent learning of the experimental and statistical tools needed for research. Practical analysis of data will be taught in SPSS, but no prior knowledge is required. The first half of the semester will be based on weekly ecological studies that will vary in system, scope, question, method, and complexity and will showcase different statistical concepts. You, as the student, will take part in planning the design, data collection, and analytical methods. Friday's will be spent at Tyson Research Center or Shaw Nature Reserve in between the field and the lab. Monday discussion will be held at Danforth Campus. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN COMPUTERS BOTH DAYS, as we will need them to enter data, visualize it, and analyze it. The second half of the semester will be devoted to your own projects. You will work in groups, and closely with the instructor, to develop a project. Ideally, your experiences in the first half of the semester will inform the development of your project, and the execution of your project should benefit from these earlier experiences. This is a writing intensive course and grades are based on written assignments, including final projects, and in-class, field, and lab partici
Course Attributes: FA NSM; AR NSM; AS NSM; AS WI I

Section 01

Experimental Ecology Laboratory
INSTRUCTOR: Manteuffel
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