0000Biology Department WVC

Biology Home Roberta

Study Group Contact Information

Elements of Ecology

Course Information

Elements of Ecology Cover

This is a Non-majors course. I assume no previous biological expertise. I do, however, assume a will to learn, and a willingness to work.

Introduction to Ecology and Wildlife is a 3.0 unit course that satisfies the natural science requirement for the AA degree. It is also transferable to California State University and the University of California.




Lectures are 2 hours and 5 minutes long They provide the core information of the course. While some information presented supports relevant material in Smith and Smith, other topics are not from the textbook but will appear in the exam. You should attend all the lectures.

Labs are 3 hours and 10 minutes long. The majority of them are conducted on campus, but we do have field excursions when we will meet at the designated location at 7:45am. The lab activities are designed to reinforce concepts of lecture material, but also to develop skills of making scientific observations in the field, and experience designing experiments and analyzing data. 


Bio 12 Lecture
Monday 8:30- 10:35am
SM 50
Bio 12 Lab
Wednesday 7:45-10:55 am
SM 50
Finals week
V 5

"Within 24 hours, you will forget at least half of what was said in the lecture"

                                 (Ace Center St. Charles Community College).

                             How to Take Effective Notes

One of the stated Student Learning Outcomes for this section is to focus on how you take notes in lecture and to work on how to improve the quality of lecture notes you take. Time spent on this skill will reap rewards not only in this class but in all other classes.

The West Valley College Tutorial Center has resources that exemplify how  notes should be taken in lecture and how to write up these notes making them into valuable learning tools. There is some degree of overlap between different sources (which suggests that the points repeated are worth repeating....), but notice that they all feature the same basic routine:

1. Come prepared
2. Take notes using a system that you understand
3. Write up your notes adding in details and filling in blanks within 24 hours of lecture..

St. Charles Community College
Cornell Note Taking Method
Cornell Note Taking Rubric

Cómo Tomar Apuntes en Clase

Good Listening in Class

Lecture Note Guide featuring examples and rubric



You will be downloading and photocopying a lot of material this semester. Whenever possible use BOTH sides of the paper. You can also select to use less ink for most of your printing.

If you would like to be a little greener this year become informed, and be inspired at:
A Little Greener

The ecology place website
This site accompanies Johnson and is packed with relevant information to help you excell in the class. It includes Concept reviews, Flashcards, and Self tests all broken down by Chapter by Chapter. A great resource just begging to be used, and you have already paid for it by purchasing your textbook...
Also check out BioCoach by the same publisher.. it includes reviews of many concepts of the cell

Campus Species Inventory Project
  List of Species on West Valley Campus

Course Handouts .doc
Lecture Syllabus

  Many of the handouts that you will recieve during the semester are available here to download in PDF format. Simply select the item you are interested in and click on the PDF link (you will need Adobe Reader to view and print these documents - get Adobe Reader here (free download).

Internet Resources Chapter by Chapter


Lab 1 Data Gathering and Analysis
Lab 2 Campus Naturewalk 
Lab 3 Fungi and Lichen
Lab 4 Classification
Lab 5 Natural Selection 
Lab 6 Plant Identification
Lab 7 Estimating Population Size  
Lab 8 Yellowstone
Lab 9 Bird Identification
Lab 10 Community Ecology
Lab 11 Ecosystem Processes

Exam Study Guides
Midterm 1 Study Guide
Midterm 2 Study Guide
Study Guide for Final
Final Part 1 
Naturewalk Project Instructions
Campus Species Inventory Instructions
Species Inventory Form
West Valley College List of Species

Study Questions.doc
Lecture 1 Introduction to Ecology
Lecture 2 The Nature of Ecology
Lecture 3 Climate and Biomes
Lecture 4 The Aquatic Environment
               The Terrestrial Environment
Lecture 5 Ecosystem Energetics 
Lecture 6 Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling
Lecture 7 Introduction to Plants
Lecture 8 Plant Adaptations to the Environment 
Lecture 9 Natural Selection 
Lecture 10 Animal Adaptations to the Environment
Lecture 11 Animals of California
Lecture 12  Properties of Populations 
Lecture 13  Population Growth/ Metapopulations Ecological Succession
Lecture 14 Intraspecific Competition
Lecture 15 Interspecific Competition
Lecture 16 Predation
Lecture 17 Parasitism and Mutualism
Lecture 18 Community Ecology
Lecture 19 Ecological Succession