Patagonian Ecology

SFS 3781

Patagonian Ecology

4 credits

This course focuses on ecology as a discipline, biodiversity, and the Patagonian ecoregions and habitats that have evolved with short growing seasons, tenacious southwesterly winds, and fierce winters. We will examine the ecology and evolution of faunal species such as guanaco (related to the llama), Magellanic and king penguins, and the Andean condor, all native to the region. We will explore ecological succession, including primary succession, which is how life recruits into new environments, such as bare rock after glacial retreat or after volcanic eruptions. We will explore a remarkable climatological gradient from Magellanic rainforests to semi-arid pampa. Thematically, we will traverse alpine ecology, exposed terrestrial ecology, freshwater ecology, fire ecology, and climate change ecology. From the central focus on the theory and practice of ecology, we will expand to investigate relationships between people and nature in conservation, resilience, and environmental challenges. We will explore the role of protected areas in conservation, invasive species, and human-landscape interactions. The course is constructed so that the role of climate in shaping ecosystems and ecological relations are central to discussions and observations.

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Wild Patagonia: Fire and Ice

15 Weeks
18 Credits
Fall 2024
Sep 4 - Dec 15
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9
Filling Fast