CCOG for BI 141 Fall 2023
- Course Number:
- BI 141
- Course Title:
- Habitats: Life of the Forest
- Credit Hours:
- Lecture Hours:
- Lecture/Lab Hours:
- Lab Hours:
Addendum to Course Description
1. Fieldwork Statement
Fieldwork is a professional competence in many areas of Biology. Standard field practices include measurements of abiotic and biotic components. Fieldwork includes use of all the senses to make observations in natural and built environments. Field training may include developing skills in site characterization, measurement and data collection, application of key terms and concepts, species identification, and observation. Certain protocols may require use of equipment, chemicals, and expensive gear. Field training is experiential often leading to unique sets of observations/data in particular locations. Fieldwork may include inherent risks (uneven terrain, off-trail work with map & compass, variable weather, insects, environmental irritants, travel, stress, etc.). Fieldwork can be physically challenging and may require overland travel on foot or unusual means to field points, carrying field equipment (as well as food, water, and safety equipment), taking measurements under duress (learning new protocols, requiring remaining in an unusual posture or position for a length of time, timing pressures for certain procedures, holding organisms, variable weather, etc.), survival skills, orienteering, and so on.
2. Evolution Statement
To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Science Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.
A. Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, a dogma, nor a myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
B. The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation “science” is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation “science” is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).
Science instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.
Intended Outcomes for the course
Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
- Apply basic ecological principles to describe forest structure and function.
- Use key characteristics to identify organisms common to Pacific Northwest forests and understand their natural history.
- Apply an understanding of the complex interactions between humans and forest ecosystems and how those interactions influence forest management practices.
- Work individually and in groups to effectively collect and analyze data related to biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of forests.
Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to analyze questions or problems that impact the community and/or environment using quantitative information.
General education philosophy statement
Forests are essential to life on earth, and these ecosystems are under great pressure. This class investigates the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of these systems, as well as the complex relationships between humans and forest resources. Students will spend time outside in forests, deepen their understanding of the natural environment, and develop their ability to reason quantitatively by performing data collection and interpretation. Students explore the biodiversity and complexity of forest communities, as well as human societies’ dependence and impact on forest ecosystems.
Develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of forests that translates into action that supports healthy forest ecosystems.
Course Activities and Design
Course activities may include:
- Field trips
- Active learning approaches such as relevant case studies
- Laboratory sections may include fieldwork and laboratory skills such as: proper use of equipment, sampling techniques, data collection in the field, data analysis, use of dichotomous keys to identify common forest species, and soil analysis
- Written lab reports
- Written papers
- Oral presentations
Outcome Assessment Strategies
- Exams and quizzes which may include multiple choice, matching, true-or-false, short-answer, identification, and essay questions
- Written lab reports and/or lab notebooks
- Written assignments
- Oral presentations
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)
Concepts and Themes:
Fundamentals of ecology
Energy relationships and biogeochemical cycles
Biodiversity of forest ecosystems
Forest land, soil, watershed, and atmospheric systems
Human impacts on forests
Identify common PNW forest organisms
- Urban forests
Use dichotomous keys to identify common organisms
Perform field sampling
Use equipment to collect data related to environmental parameters
Analyze data related to environmental parameters and present conclusions
Practice scientific literacy by locating and accessing reliable information and use this information to draw logical conclusions
Collaborate with peers and work effectively within groups
Clear written and oral presentation of information and data