Course Description: Urban ecology is a dynamic field of study exploring the interactions of nature and people in city settings. Over one-half of the world’s population lives in urban environments, and this number is expected to reach two-thirds of the population in the near future. It is critical that we explore the impact of nature on our supply of healthy air, water, and food, as well as the human impact of climate change, pollution, and habitat alteration on urban populations of animals and plants.
In this course, our focus will be on ecological phenomena resulting from the impact of climate change in the Washington, D.C. area. We will work with a community partner to design and execute short-term research projects that address a problem facing the city today. In doing so, we will explore the nature of scientific research, the basic principles of urban ecology, and learn about the diversity of wildlife and habitats in our urban environment.
This course is designed as a research service-learning experience, which means you will be immersed in research that will benefit our community partner and the greater DC community. You will work in teams to develop and implement a short-term research project to explore a question related to urban ecology in local habitats. The community partner will use our data for long-term ecological monitoring and other initiatives.