Stream Biology Syllabus

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Stream Biology: Fall 2004

Course Descriptions
The lecture (EBIO 4020/5020) will introduce students to the ecology of running waters, with an emphasis on streams in Colorado, New Hampshire, and the tropics. The course begins with a brief overview of the physical and chemical characteristics of stream ecosystems and goes on to explore how organisms in streams interact with their environment and with each other. After surveying the organisms that inhabit running waters, the lectures will discuss biogeochemistry, trophic interactions, and some of the integrating theories in the field of Stream Ecology. Additionally, the course will cover natural disturbances and human perturbations to stream ecosystems as well as the management of riverine systems.

The optional laboratory section (Stream Biology Field Techniques, EBIO 4150/5150) has been cancelled. If there is sufficient interest, one or more field trips may be offered.

Meeting Places and Times
Lectures are held in Duane G131 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00pm - 3:15pm.

Grades for the lecture will be based on performance on three exams. Each of the two mid-term exams (28 Sep and 4 Nov) will account for 25% of the total grade and will consist largely of short-answer questions. The final exam (14 Dec) will cover material between the second mid-term and the end of the semester and also will review material before the second mid-term. Most of the questions on the exams will come directly from material covered in lecture but some questions cover assigned readings (River Ecology and Management: Lessons from the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion, edited by RJ Naiman and RE Bilby, and published by Springer Verlag). On each exam, graduate students (5020) will have one or more additional questions based on assigned readings from the primary literature.

About the Instructor
Dr. James (Jimmy) H. McCutchan, Jr. earned his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1999 and worked as a postdoctoral associate at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He now works as an associate scientist in the Center for Limnology (CIRES) and as an instructor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Graduate School. His research is focused on the ecology of aquatic consumers and the biological pathways of carbon and nitrogen in aquatic ecosystems. His primary interests relate to the sources of nutritional support for aquatic food webs and the transfer of organic matter across trophic levels. He also is interested in ecosystem metabolism (primary production and respiration), denitrification, and the effects of disturbance and succession on nutrient retention in forested watersheds. Jimmy can be contacted by email at or by telephone at 303-492-3947. He holds office hours in CIRES room 225 from 3:30 - 4:30 on Tuesdays, or by appointment.