In the interests of saving paper -- and saving you money! -- the required "text" for the course is available as a series of articles posted in the Course Documents section of the Black Board site for this class. Titles and dates are listed in the syllabus. Most readings are articles taken from journals in the primary literature and are quite recent, but some are "classics" in environmental science.
Why do I use this approach to readings instead of a "regular" text? I use it because none of the existing texts cover the same topics that we will cover in as much depth as we do. Most texts tend to cover most possible topics in environmental science, with the consequence that their coverage is at a relatively superficial level. By contrast, in BI301, we explore relatively few topics, but will cover them in depth.
In some cases the readings elaborate on material more than we will in lecture, and vice versa. Neither is a substitute for the other, but they are designed to be complementary.
Also, in some cases, authors of articles in the readings have different opinions about the issues than me, and I deliberately included some of those. The issues that we will be discussing are complex, with no one "right" answer (much of the time), so it is useful for you to see different ways of looking at the same subject.
The readings are an essential part of the course, as they will broaden and deepen your understanding of the topics that we discuss. I don't usually spend much time in lecture discussing readings in themselves, but if you have questions about them, or if there are things that you think we should discuss from them, please ask in class, after class, or send me an e-mail message.
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