Global Ecology

Discipline: Environmental Science
Instructor: Huettmann
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 0800
End: 0915
Field Work: Day 2 - Rostock - Tuesday, 9 September | Germany
Prerequisites: This class requires the successful completion of basic ecology/biology, physics, chemistry and mathematic classes (college level). Students must be fluent in written and oral English. Having a basic understanding of global ecosystems, marine biology, digital (online) data use and inquiry-based learning would be an asset, but is not required. Download Syllabus

Ecology provides the essential science for a successful management of the world’s environment and conservation. Classic textbook ecology topics such as the laws of thermodynamics, food chains, carrying capacity, climate and clean air, population growth, and their interacting synergetic effects are covered in this course. Specific emphasize is placed on macroecology and deep ecology, as well as biogeography and global aspects of (marine) biodiversity and ecological interactions such as trophic cascades, climate change, sustainability and overfishing. Applications of ecology such as with the Ecosystem Millennium Assessment, the Kyoto and Rio conventions, UNEP, IUCN and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Food and Agriculture (FAO) are discussed also. This class leads towards sustainability and (quantitative) modeling topics, and allows students to explore the Global Biodiversity Information Facility ( and Integrated Taxonomic Information Service ( web portals.

Field Work

Country: Germany
Day: 2 - Rostock - Tuesday, 9 September

In order to understand the study of ecology globally, this lab will introduce students to the important role of nationally-maintained research centers and museums. We will visit a world-leading biodiversity facility, and which carries out global research, e.g. in context of the Biodiversity Convention, Climate Change, resource use and global sustainability. Students are given the opportunity to see such a facility first-hand, get access to the collection and interpreted tours, and have face-time to interview researchers and experts on global ecology subjects. This lab will allow students to get familiar with such settings and introduces them to such ecological front-line research workplaces. The lab includes to write a report about this trip, and where each student pursues specific research questions (approved a priori by the instructor). Lectures before and after the lab will elaborate on these topics in more detail and provide guidance. Academic Objectives: 1. Learn about regional ecology and global ecosystems in world-famous local facility 2. Meet, and discuss with, local experts 3. Familiarize with local information and research centers re. Global Ecology