Instructor: Dr. L. S. Jernigan, Jr.
Office: 2231 Oxendine
Phone: 910-521-6884

Course Description

This course is designed to familiarize students with the principles of ecology by analyzing the intra- and inter-specific interactions of organisms and their interactions with the physical environment. The ecological process is studied at the individual, community, and ecosystem levels.

Course Objectives

As a part of the General Education curriculum, this course assists with development of critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as providing a general knowledge of principles and concepts that assist with understanding and appreciation of the world around us.

This course should enable you to understand key concepts, general principles, and terminology fundamental to ecology. You should gain a working knowledge of the interdisciplinary nature of ecology and become acquainted with approaches to undertaking ecological research. We will examine ecological processes at the individual, community, and ecosystem level and discuss both abiotic and biotic factors involved in the interactions between organisms and their environment. Field and laboratory exercises will give you hands-on experience working with live organisms and applying ecological methods


Class attendance is required and will be monitored. Regardless of the reason, when a student is absent from class, he/she is still responsible for any material covered, announcements, handouts, or tests.
Students are allowed absence from two weeks of class meetings without a penalty. Two weeks of class meetings are defined as 6 class periods for a MWF class or 4 class periods for MF or TR class. Excused absences do not exist. Tardiness and leaving early will result in penalty absences (3 late arrivals, 3 early departures or a combination of the two that totals 3 will equal 1 absence). For each class period missed in excess of the above mentioned allowance, 1.5 points will be deducted from the student's final average. For each lab period missed in excess of the 2 allowed, 5 points will be deducted from the student's final average.

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Always bring your textbook to class. Students should complete assigned readings prior to the topics being covered in class. Student participation during lectures is expected and encouraged. Students are responsible for being aware of any changes in course schedule or content announced during one of their absences.

Student performance will be evaluated via 3 lecture exams and a final exam (each worth 20% of your final grade). Two lab quizzes will be given (each worth 10% of your final grade). Make-up of a missed exam or lab quiz will be allowed for reasonable excuses and will only be given on reading day at the end of the semester. Attendance, attitude, and evidence of effort will be considered in determining final grades in borderline cases. You should read and be familiar with the UNC-P Honor Code in the Student Handbook.

Exams will cover lecture notes, assigned readings, and any additional handouts. The format of the exams will be multiple choice and discussion questions. Students will be expected to interpret data in the form of graphs, tables, etc. and to draw conclusions from their interpretations.

The course grading scale is as follows (same as the university):

A = 93 - 100 A- = 90 - 92
B+ = 87 - 89 B = 83 - 86 B- = 80 - 82
C+ = 77 - 79 C = 74 - 76 C- = 70 - 73
D+ = 67 - 69 D = 64 - 66 D- = 60 - 63
F = below 60

Disability Support Services

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services and the instructor, as early in the semester (preferably within the first class week) as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. This syllabus is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Mary Helen Walker, Disability Support Services, DF Lowry Bldg., 521-6695.

Dr. L. S. Jernigan, Oxendine 2231, Phone: 521-6884

Week Beginning

Lecture Topic

Text Chapters

Lab Assignment

9 Jan

Syllabus; Introduction; Physical Environment


No Lab

16 Jan

Monday MLK Holiday; Physical Environment cont'd.; Biomass, Energy & Nutrients

2 & 6


23 Jan

Biomass, Energy, & Nutrient cont'd; Abundance and Distribution

6 & 9


30 Jan

Abundance and Distribution cont'd; Review; EXAM 1;


Standing Crop

6 Feb

Population Dynamics


Intrapopulation Dispersion

13 Feb

Population Growth; Competition

11 & 13

Age Structure

20 Feb

Competition cont'd.; Review


Population Size

27 Feb

EXAM 2; Exploitation


Lab Quiz

6 Mar


No Lab

13 Mar

Exploitation cont'd.;


Pond I

20 Mar

Mutualism; Abundance and Diversity;

15& 16

Pond II

27 Mar
Food Webs; Primary Production & Energy Cycling; Review
No Lab

3 Apr

EXAM 3; Nutrient Cycling



10 Apr

Commuinity Change


Gradient Analysis

17 Apr

Community Change cont'd.



24 Apr

Landscape Ecology; Geographic Ecology; Review; Apr 28 = Last Day of Classes

21 & 22
Lab Quiz

1 May

FINAL EXAM - Thursday - May 4 @ 8am


Lecture Text: Ecology: Concepts and Applications, by Manuel Molles. McGraw-Hill, Boston, Massachusettes, Third Edition

Lab Manual: Field and Laboratory Manual for Principles of Ecology by Andrew Ash and Lisa Kelly

Lecture: Oxendine 2250

Lab: Oxendine 2114