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Habitats: Life of the Forest

Course Number: BI 141
Transcript Title: Habitats: Life of the Forest
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: July 10, 2015
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0
Approved delivery mode:


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Examines structure and function of Eastside and Westside Oregon forest ecosystems. Covers distribution and interactions of plants, animals, microorganisms, climate and basic geology. Laboratory emphasizes identification and environmental testing. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use basic principles of ecosystems structure and function to characterize a specific forest.
  2. Identify and express how humans interact with the forest environment by applying basic principles of forest management.
  3. Work with a team to initialize and complete a study of the biology, chemistry and physical characteristics of a forest.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)


3. Apply the knowledge, skills and abilities to enter and succeed in a defined profession or advanced academic program. (Professional Competence)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. Essay and multiple choice exams
  2. Maintain a detailed field and laboratory notebook
  3. Weekly applications of laboratory and field experiences
  4. Self-assessment of group dynamics

Course Activities and Design

  • Group Discussion
  • Lecture
  • Lab
  • Field Trips

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Biodiversity of forest ecosystems
  2. Energy relationships and environmental systems
  3. Fundamentals of ecology
  4. Forest Land, Soil, Watershed and Atmospheric system
  5. Stream Forest Interactions
  6. Human Impacts
  7. Field sampling
  8. Measuring of environmental parameters
  9. Organism Identification

Department Notes

Columbia Gorge Community College Science Department stands by the following statement regarding science instruction:

Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. Theories (such as biological evolution and geologic time scale) are developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance. As such, scientific theories can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation. “Creation science," “Intelligent design” or similar beliefs are not considered 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).

The Science Department at Columbia Gorge Community College therefore stands with organizations such as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula except to reference and/or clarify its invalidity.