This course focuses on the natural history, taxonomy, and ecology of woody plant species that make up forest communities in the Upper Great Lakes Region. Lectures are complimented by weekly field trips to various plant communities.
Lectures – MWF 8-8:50; Field Trips/Labs – T7:30-10:50 a.m.
The aims for this course are for students to:
- recognize and interpret major plant communities in the upper Great Lakes region
- learn the identifying characteristics of the major woody plant families in the region
- identify 90-100+ trees and shrubs in all seasons (by scientific and common name)
- know how to key out unknown species using a dichotomous key
- become familiar with the natural history of woody plants in the region
- be aware of natural and anthropogenic disturbances influencing plant communities
- observe patterns in the vegetation and think critically about the underlying factors driving these patterns
- learn field methods & analytical techniques used by community ecologists
- be able to apply all of these skills to begin making environmental assessments of land parcels in the region
- become more aware of your surroundings and develop a stronger sense of place in the Great Lakes Region, and for you to be able to apply this knowledge to the interpretation of the natural history of the eco-regions that you have or will call ‘home’