In addition to the Core Courses, SES students take one elective which meets twice a week. The elective is intended to deepen understanding in a specific sub-discipline of ecosystems science. Only two electives are offered per semester.

Aquatic ChemistryEcosystems Dynamics | Global Ecology | Human-dominated Ecosystems  
Mathematical ModelingMicrobial Methods
Aquatic Chemistry: An Equilibrium Approach
Instructor: Anne Giblin [profile]
Prerequisites: General Chemistry I and II (required) Physical chemistry I (recommended)

Summary: The distribution and cycling of elements and compounds in the environment is controlled by both biotic and abiotic factors. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to theoretical basis for predicting the chemistry of natural waters and soil solutions at equilibrium so that they may better understand how abiotic and biotic processes interact to control element cycling. Complete course description >>

The Role of Animals in Ecosystems Dynamics
Instructor: Linda Deegan [profile]

Summary: A growing number of ecologists are now working at the interface of population/community ecology and ecosystem ecology as we have begun to understand that the species that make up ecosystems have important effects on ecosystem functions. This course covers in depth some of the important roles that animals play in organizing and controlling ecosystem processes, structure and function. Complete course description >>

Global Ecology
Instructor: Jerry Melillo [profile]

Summary: All organisms modify their environment, and humans are no exception. As the human population has grown and the power of technology has expanded, the scope and nature of this modification has changed drastically. Until recently, the term “human-dominated ecosystems” would have elicited images of agricultural fields, pastures, or urban landscapes; now it applies with greater or lesser force to all of Earth. Many ecosystems are dominated directly by humanity, and no ecosystem on Earth’s surface is free of pervasive human influence. Complete course description >>

Human-dominated  Ecosystems
Instructor: Chris Neill [profile]

Summary: This course will introduce students to major concepts in ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry as they apply to the study of areas of the earth's land surface where land use has been modified extensively by people. The course will be structured around discussions of ideas and papers from the scientific literature on human dominated systems. The course will meet twice a week for 1.5 hours. It will be divided into four units of approximately 2.5 weeks (5 class periods) each. Complete course description >>

Mathematical Modeling
Instructor: Ed Rastetter [profile]

SummaryEcology is a relatively young science that grew from the largely descriptive discipline of Natural History. As the science has matured, it has begun to develop a firm quantitative foundation. For the most part, this foundation has been statistical (Regression, Correlation, Analysis of Variance, Ordination). The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the other component of this quantitative foundation, dynamic simulation modeling of ecological processes.
Complete course description >>

Microbial Methods for Ecoystems Studies
Instructor: Joe Vallino [profile]

Summary: Microbes are important parts of ecosystems and are responsible for most of the cycling of carbon and nitrogen that control ecosystem functioning (Hobbie 1993, Hobbie and Fletcher 1988). Most ecologists tend to ignore microbes and concentrate instead on measuring the changes and products from microbial processes. This approach is adequate for some questions but is inadequate for others. For example, a measurement of the net release of methane from a forest soil may be adequate for questions about flux of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. On the other hand, to predict what might happen to the methane flux in the future when the soils are drier may require information about the types of microbes present, their abundance, and the factors controlling their activity. Complete course description >>