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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: September 25, 2013
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
Fee: $12


WR 115, RD 115, MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores

Course Description

Examines structure and function of Oregon forest ecosystems. Covers distribution and interactions of plants, animals, microorganisms, climate and basic geology. Laboratory emphasizes identification and environmental testing. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

A student will collaboratively and independently:

  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.

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 Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts and Themes

  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 - Lab skills

Process Skills (Competency skills)

  1. Read
  2. Write
  3. Apply scientific method
  4. Field and lab techniques and equipment
    1. Soils
    2. Use of taxonomic keys
    3. Equipment to analyze forest microclimates and systems
  5. Locating and accessing information
    1. Think critically
    2. Collaborate with peers - Work effectively within groups
    3. Present conclusions logically

Department Notes

Columbia Gorge Community College Science Department stands by the following statement about 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.

Lab B Notes: The lab for this course has been approved as "Lab B". This means that Faculty effort in preparation and evaluation generally occurs outside of scheduled class hours. Class format is a combination of Faculty lectures and demonstrations, guided student interactions and supervised student application of lectures. Students produce written work such as lab notebooks, reports, and responses in writing to assigned questions, and the Instructor is expected to comment on and grade this written work outside of schedule class hours. This evaluation will take place on a regular basis throughout the term.