Instructor: Dr. David Wallin Office: ES342 Phone: 650-7526 e-mail: david.wallin@wwu.edu
Text: Ecology (6th Edition) or on Amazon (here), by, W.D. Bowman and S.D. Hacker
Note: The 6th edition of this text recently came out. Weíve been using this text for several years now and there is little difference between the editions. If youíd like to save a bit LOTS of money, feel free to buy a used older edition. Iíve seen used copies of the 4th edition for about $5. Prices for new textbooks are ridiculously high. Buy used! Note that they have added a chapter or two and renumbered things from one edition to the next. My reading assignments are based on the most recent edition. This means that, if you are using an older edition, you will need to be alert for these differences and you may need to borrow a 5th or 6th edition text from a classmate if your old edition is lacking a certain chapter.

INCLUSIVE ACCESS: Another option for getting the text is through Inclusive Access. Some of you may already be familiar with this. On the Canvas site, you will see a link for Inclusive Access. You have automatically been enrolled in this program. This provides you with online access to the text for a reduced price ($55.73 vs. ~$170 for a hard copy of the 6th edition) and you will be automatically billed for this. NOTE THAT YOU CAN OPT OUT OF THIS AND AVOID THIS BILL. IF YOU CHOOSE TO OPT OUT YOU MUST DO SO BY OCT 10. More info about inclusive access is available here.

Class Meeting: MWF 10:00-10:50, Room: ES100

Office Hours: MWF 11:00 - 12:00 ; M 2:00 (sign-up on office door) and by appointment.
Additional readings as assigned: Most, if not all of these additional readings will be available online.

Teaching Assistant: Chloe Cason; Office TBA; email: casonc@wwu.edu; Office hours TBA and by appointment


Prerequisites: As noted in the WWU Bulletin and the online Classfinder, One year of biology (Biol 204, 205, 206) AND one year of general chemistry (Chem 161, 162, 163) must be completed prior to enrolling in ESCI 325.If you have not completed these courses, you SHOULD NOT enroll in ESCI 325.Just in case you are wondering if having these prerequisites really matters, click here. Note that if you are not majoring in Environmental Sciences or Biology and lack the prerequisites for ESCI 325 but you would still like to take an introductory course in Ecology, you should consider taking ESCI 225: Beginning Ecology. This course is quite similar to ESCI 325 but it is targeted at those who do not have the prerequisites for ESCI 325.

Student Learning Objectives: Upon completion of the course, students will be well versed in theoretical framework for the field of ecology as well as practical applications of this knowledge.


Academic Policies: Westernís policies regarding academic honesty; disability and religious accommodations; ethical conduct with technology; equal opportunity; finals; medical excuse; and student conduct that are applicable to all students can be found here: https://syllabi.wwu.edu/



Grades:  1. Midterm exam 40%
                2. Final exam 40%
                3. Homework 15%

††††††††††† ††† 4. Attendance 5%


ATTENDANCE? Really? YupÖ..Over the past year or so, Iíve noticed that many people donít show up for class. And Iíve also noticed that this has an impact on peopleís grades. So, six times over the quarter, Iíll take attendance. You can miss ONE of these for any reason (illness, overslept, travel, etc.) with no penalty. But you will lose 1% for any additional classes that you miss beyond this. Dates that I take attendance will NOT be announced. On days when I take attendance, Iíll have a sign in sheet that you can initial. And if I catch you trying to initial for a friend who is absent, you will lose the full 5%.


Late Assignments: grades reduced by 5%/day if turned in late without a valid excuse (illness, family crisis, etc.). Assignments that are more than one week late will not be accepted without a valid excuse (illness, family crisis, etc.)

Grading: A =93; A- 90-92; B+ 88-89; B 83-87; B- 80-82; C+ 78-79; C 73-77; C- 70-72; D+ 68-69; D 63-67 D- 60-62; F 0-59


Academic Dishonesty: There has been a substantial increase in the number of cases of Academic Dishonesty in recent years.For this reason, all faculty members have been instructed by the Registrarís Office to provide students with explicit information about Academic Dishonesty.Briefly stated, lying, cheating and stealing will not be tolerated in any form.Actions of this type will result in severe consequences that could include a failing grade in the class and dismissal from the university.Hopefully, this does not come as a surprise to anyone.All students should review Appendix D, Academic Dishonesty Policy and Procedure Appendix D, Academic Dishonesty Policy and Procedure in the back of the University Catalog for a more detailed discussion of what constitutes academic dishonesty.For more information see:

Plagiarism Policies & Guidelines: http://libguides.wwu.edu/plagiarism

The Studentís Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism: http://www.wwu.edu/soc/docs/plagiarism.pdf


Reasonable Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities should be established within the first week of class and arranged through Disability Resources for Students: Telephone 650-3083; email drs@wwu.edu and on the web at http://www.wwu.edu/depts/drs/

The TH Huxley controversy at WWU: In case you are interested in learning more about this controversy, there is more information here


Tentative Schedule: CHECK HERE FOR UPDATES TO THIS SCHEDULE THROUGHOUT THE TERM!Due dates for assignments, exam and lecture schedule may change through the quarter.

Last Updated: 11/17/2023



5th and 6th Edition Book Chapters & Supplementary Readings

Week 1

Introduction to Ecology: The Web of Life and Historical Foundations of Ecology

Evolution and Ecology

1, 6 & papers by J.R. Platt (Click here to view this paper) and another paper by Jerry Coyne (Click here to view this paper)

Optional papers:



Science Magazine article: Fungus-has-wiped-out-more-species-any-other-disease

Kettlewell 1955. Industrial Melanism kettlewell_1955.pdf

Blue eye color in humans, founder mutation

Week 2

 First Homework; Kettlewell Abstract

Homework due Friday, 10/13

The Physical Environment

The Bioshpere

2, 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_Floatees, tubtoys_ocean_circ.pdf

Optional: Here is a link to From the Forest to the Sea: A Story of Fallen Trees


Week 3

Coping with Environmental Variation: Temperature and Water Relations

4 & paper by Waring and Franklin waring_and_franklin_1979.pdf

Sharks in fresh water(1)

Sharks in fresh water (2)

Week 4

Coping with Environmental Variation: Energy


Week 5

Unit 3: POPULATIONS Population Distribution and Abundance, Population Growth and Regulation

Click here for homework assignment: Mountain Goat Population Dynamics

*** Tentative DUE DATE FOR Homework Assignment:10/27,9AM**

Note correction on due date for this assignment*

9, 11 Note that in the 6th edition of the text, they have switched chapters 10 & 11. What was Chapter 10 in 5th edition is now chapter 11 and what was Chapter 11 in 5th edition was chapter 10.

Exam will cover through Chapters 9 and 11: Pop Growth & Reg

We will cover Chapter 10 after the exam

In class, several people have asked about the ln, the natural log.There is lots of information about this on the web.Here is one good source of information:


Week 6


Note correction for date of midterm exam


Population Dynamics




Week 7

Predation and Herbivory,

12, 13Nalini Nadkarni: "How many trees per person?"

Week 8


**Veteranís Day 11/11: No Classes

Optional Writing Assignment


Effects of Toxoplasma on Human Behavior

Week 9

Mutualism and Commensalism


Week 10

The Nature of Communities Change in Communities
Species Diversity in Communities

Global Ecology

Click here for Second Homework Assignment: A Simple Forest Carbon Budget

Homework Assignment Due 12/1 by 5PM***


16, 1718, 19,, 20, 21 22

Wolves_for_Yellowstone; Trophic Cascades


25 (you are responsible for the part of Chapter 25 that deals with the global carbon budget and climate change) and see myPNW Carbon Budget Lecture

Week 11 12/4-8


Energy Flow and Food Webs
Nutrient Supply and Cycling


Finals Week

Check Universityís Timetable of Classes for date and time of final exam Click here for the WWU Online Final Exam Schedule


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