Biology 386 Freshwater Biology- Spring 2004
Text: Water, Rivers, and Creeks, by Luna B. Leopold.
Readings on Reserve: pp629-640 lentic ecosystems, 640-653 lotic ecosystems, and 653-664 wetlands.
Lab: A guide to the study of fresh-water biology, by Needham and Needham.
Handouts will be distributed.
Lecture Notes: access via Wofford intranet at ftp://biology2/bio386
The objectives of this course are to:
-introduce students to the physical and biological components of freshwater systems.
-stimulate students to think about the complexities of freshwater habitats.
-to learn, understand and appreciate the vast species richness of freshwater environments.
-to explore the intricacies of freshwater habitats and their associated biota.
-to understand how and why freshwater environments are sensitive to disturbance and contamination.
-to gain hands-on experience in: field sampling /data collection, the evaluation of biological samples and water chemistry, and assessing the physical structure of aquatic habitats.
In Class Literature Discussions; (Journal article discussions)
Over the course of the semester, each student pair will lead a (5-7 min.) discussion of a freshwater topic they have chosen.
To prepare, each pair of students will use the internet, Wofford library biological search databases, etc., to identify current scientific literature (e.g., primary review or research articles) that pertain to the subject.
Next, pairs will obtain these references via interlibrary loan, off the internet, etc.
Prepare a 5-7 minute Powerpoint presentation
During the class discussion, you should present:
1. An Introduction (or background) of the subject.
2. Current research studies and findings.
3. Illustrate our understanding of the topic and what areas or questions remain to be explored.
To make this an educational exercise for us all, everyone will be expected to ask questions, and present ideas and opinions. (Exam questions may be selected from the presented information)
Tentative Course Schedule
Week of Lecture Topics
Feb. 2 & 9 Introduction and hydrology
Feb. 16 The structure of aquatic ecosystems
Feb. 23 Lake regions or zonation (light, temperature, chemical, biological)
Feb. 27 Exam 1
March 1 Introduction to the chemistry of natural waters
March 8 Organisms in lakes, streams and estuaries,
Phytoplankton and periphyton
March 15 Zooplankton and zoobenthos
March 19 Exam 2
March 22 Fish
March 29 Streams and rivers, wetlands
April 23 Exam 3
April 16 Estuaries
April 16-17 Coast Field Trip
May 3 Origins of lakes
May 13 Final Exam Thursday 09:00-12:00
Leopold Reading: First 2 weeks of class: pages 3-37 & 129-137;
Additional Leopold Reading to be announced in class:
Surface Water 39-57
River Channel 59-116
Rivers, Creeks, and Vegetation 117-125
Syllabus subject to change with notice.
Biology 386 Laboratory
All students will have the following responsibilities: (Expect to be in lab for 3 hours)
Always bring "A guide to the study of fresh-water biology", other lab handouts and notebook to lab.
Participate in all laboratory experiments, and activities.
Collect, gather and compile all data including data from other students.
Analyze data and discuss the results.
Submit formal lab reports of selected field work (see below).
Help move field gear to and from Wofford and help clean the gear upon returning to campus.
On all field trips be prepared to take notes and ask questions.
Use a word processor.
Each write-up must include the following, unless otherwise instructed (you should refer to scientific journals in the library for an example).
Introduction: In a brief paragraph give an overview of the focus of the lab, eg., describe what observations might be expected and why). For instance: a limited zooplankton diversity may be expected for the winter sample because ............
Materials and Methods: This section should describe how and where the study was done. You should provide enough information so that the study could be replicated based on your report. Describe equipment used, and how data were collected, recorded and analyzed.
Results: Summarize the data and observations made. This section should include graphs, tables, figures, drawings (as appropriate for visual presentation of results), NOTE all Tables, graphs, etc., must include a written description (a legend) so that if the graph with its legend were removed from the report, it could still be understood on its own. Do not interpret the results here, just report what you found. Appropriate computer software should be used to develop graphs, etc. (e.g., Cricket graph)
Discussion: interpret your results in light of the stated purpose of the exercise. Do not repeat the results, instead give the results some meaning. Identify possible sources of error and suggest improvements on the technique. Speculate upon the broader implications of your conclusions and suggest areas of future research.