Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2007-2009 Courses and Programs

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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)

Graduate Courses |

Organization for Tropical Studies

(Interdepartmental Graduate Major)

Supervisory Committee: G.Courtney, Chair; A. Bronikowski; J. Dekker; J. Downing; J. Nason; D. Otis

The ecology and evolutionary biology (EEB) interdepartmental major is offered through a faculty housed in ten departments of the university. Faculty from the departments of Agronomy, Anthropology; Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology; Entomology; Geological and Atmospheric Sciences; Horticulture; Mathematics; Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Plant Pathology; and Statistics cooperate to offer courses and research opportunities leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with a major in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Applicants should have completed an undergraduate or master of science or arts degree in one of the biological, physical, or mathematical sciences. Applicants also should have taken undergraduate courses in both basic ecology and evolution.

The EEB major is designed for students interested in the study of mechanisms controlling the composition, structure, and functional processes of ecological systems and the mechanisms that regulate the pattern and rate of evolutionary change within and among species.

Cooperating departments offer courses and research opportunities in population, community, and ecosystems ecology; landscape ecology, modeling, and spatial dynamics; systematics, biodiversity, and biogeography; physiological and behavioral ecology; conservation and restoration ecology; agroecology; natural resources ecology and management; evolutionary ecology; population, quantitative and evolutionary genetics; and environmental statistics, stochastic modeling, and quantitative ecology and evolution. In addition, interdisciplinary courses in ecology and evolution are offered, including a special topics course, a seminar, and an extended field trip.

Students majoring in EEB may prepare themselves for careers focused on basic or applied ecology and evolutionary biology in a variety of settings, including academia, government, industry, and private organizations. Graduates have a broad understanding of ecology and evolutionary biology, experience designing and conducting research, writing grant proposals, and communicating effectively with scientific colleagues at meetings and through publications. All graduates become aware of societal and ethical issues that surround the discipline.

Information on application procedures, research interests of the faculty, and specific requirements of the major may be obtained from the EEB web site, or by contacting

Courses for graduate students

EEB 585. Extended Field Trip. (0-6) Cr. 2. Repeatable. S. Prereq: Graduate classification. Annual field trip to a region of North America to study the major terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem types of the region. Report required.

EEB 590. Special Topics. Cr. 1-3. Repeatable. F.S.SS. Prereq: Graduate classification and permission of instructor. For students wishing to conduct in-depth study of a particular topic in ecology and evolutionary biology.

EEB 698. Seminar. (1-0) Cr. 1. Repeatable. F.S. Reports and discussion of recent research and literature.

EEB 699. Research. Cr. arr. Repeatable. F.S.SS. Thesis and dissertation research.

Courses Offered by the Organization for Tropical Studies

ISU graduate students can take courses through the widely recognized Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) at field sites in Central and South America. Students register for OTS courses and upon successful completion, receive credit from University of Costa Rica which transfers as either OTS 510 or OTS 515. For further information about OTS courses, see

OTS 510. Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach. Cr. 8. This course is designed for students in the early stages of graduate study in biology or a related field, with the goal of training graduate students in research methods by providing intensive field experience in diverse tropical ecosystems.

OTS 515. Topics in Tropical Biology. Cr. 1. This course is designated for students enrolled in graduate course offerings through OTS (excluding OTS 510). Examples of graduate courses offered by OTS include Tropical Plant Systematics, Tropical Ecology and Conservation, Molecular Methods in Tropical Ecology, and Tropical Agroecology.

For information regarding courses offered by OTS, inquire at either the Biology Program Office (for undergraduate courses) or EEB Program Office (for graduate courses).