Courses Taught

I teach a variety of courses at Birmingham-Southern College. Most are related to ecology and conservation biology.

UES 150 Introduction to Environmental Studies

An interdisciplinary introduction to the complexities of environmental problems. The course provides an overview of scientific knowledge on ecology and environmental management and examines political, economic, and ethical issues involved in the attainment of a sustainable future. The course explores how an understanding of the natural and social sciences is necessary to address and solve environmental problems. Selected topics, including population growth, food shortages, pollution containment, and energy resources, are addressed. Two lectures and one threehour laboratory per week. Fall.

BI 101 Explorations in Biology

A course for non-science majors designed to provide an understanding of selected fundamental biological principles and processes. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. This course may not be counted towards the biology major. [Note that when I teach the course, the focus is on Alabama’s biodiversity.]

BI 225 Evolutionary Ecology

A study of the basic concepts of evolution and ecology as a gateway to upper-level coursework in ecology and organismal biology. Emphasis is placed on an understanding of natural selection and how it shapes speciation, population dynamics, and community interactions and composition. Prerequisites: either BI 115 and 125, or UES 150, and at least sophomore standing. Fall, Spring.

BI 314 Conservation Biology

A study of population and ecosystem level processes required to understand and conserve biodiversity. Emphasis is placed upon the genetics and demographics of populations, the implications of species interactions and community influences on conservation, and management and sustainable development case studies. Prerequisite: BI 225. Fall of even-numbered years.

BI 411 General Ecology

A study of organisms at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization. Emphasis is placed on organism-environment and organism-organism interactions. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BI 225 and at least junior standing. Fall of odd-numbered years.

BI 470, 472, 499 Directed Research

An advanced exploration of the practices and techniques of biological research focusing on the design, execution, and presentation of experiments, data analysis, and information retrieval. Two units are required, one of which may be in the Exploration or summer terms.

Exploration Term: Field Ornithology

Explore the forests, lakes, rivers, fields and coast of Alabama while tracking down and studying Alabama’s bird life. Much of the course will be spent outdoors finding, identifying, and studying different species of birds. No experience necessary – this course is designed for beginners! We will visit local birding hotspots, but also more distant locations such as Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, and Talladega National Forest. An overnight trip to Dauphin Island is planned to study coastal birds. Field trips will involve hiking in rough terrain and being outdoors in cold weather. Grades are based on attendance, participation, field notebooks, and exams. Binoculars will be available for check-out.