Zool 576.  Seminar in Ecology: Endless Forms and Imperfect Simulations

A gamified introduction to historical and contemporary biogeography

Lecture & Lab: R 9:00 am (or 10:00 am) to noon, Life Science II 256

Instructor: Dr. Jason L. Brown

Co-instructors: Morgan Muell and Wilson Guillory

Email: jason.brown@siu.edu

Office Hours: by appointment, Life Science II 254

 

Course Documents

Syllabus: PDF

Project 1: DOC

Project 2: DOC

Essay: DOC

 

Schedule

January 17th: 10am-noon. Week 1. Intro to course

Class:

-Discuss Syllabus

-Learn and play: Evolution: The Beginning

Homework:

-Read paper: ‘What really is Evolution?’, 'Simulating evolution: how close do computer models come to reality?'

 

January 24th: 10am-noon. Week 2.  Into to evolution and biogeography

Class:

-Discuss: ‘What really is Evolution?’, 'Simulating evolution: how close do computer models come to reality?'

-Play: Evolution: The Beginning

-Discuss how board games emulate evolution

-Play again: Evolution: The Beginning (with new rules)

Homework:

-Post-game reflection worksheet

-Read article:‘Historical Biogeography: Evolution in Time and Space’

-Watch rules overview for Evolution: Climate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 31th: 10am-noon. Week 3. The role of climate and geography in biogeography

Class:

-Briefly Discuss: ‘Historical Biogeography: Evolution in Time and Space’

-Assign Project 1

-Learn and Play: Evolution: Climate

Homework:

-Read paper: “Human Evolution Out of Africa: The Role of Refugia and Climate Change”

 

 

February 7th: 10am-noon. Week 4: The role of climate and geography in evolution

Class:

-Discuss: “Human Evolution Out of Africa: The Role of Refugia and Climate Change”

-Rule refresh and Play: Evolution: Climate

Homework:

-Read paper: “Population Genetics and Demography Unite Ecology and Evolution”

-Post-game reflection worksheet

 

 

February 14th: 10am-noon. Week 5: Population genetics and demographic processes in evolution

Class:

-Present Project 1

-Assign Project 2

-Discuss “Population Genetics and Demography Unite Ecology and Evolution”

-Run Splatche Simulations – bring a laptop if you have one.  LINK TO FILES

Homework:
-Watch game preview Biosphere:

 

 

 

February 21th: 10am-noon. Week 6: Demographic processes and evolution

Class:

-Learn and play: Biosphere --- Random habitats

 

 

February  28th: 9am-noon. Week 7. Demographic processes, biogeography and humans

Class:

-Play: Biosphere – North America Scenario or Urbanization Challenge
Homework:

-Post-game reflection worksheet

 

 

March 7th: 10am-noon. Week 8. Project 1, Wrap-up discussion of biogeography, demographic processes, and evolution

Class:

-Discuss/Present Project 1

-Discuss Biosphere Scenarios

-Discuss differences between active learning mediums (computer vs. board games)

Homework:

-Read paper: “On the causes of mass extinctions”

 

 

March 14th: Spring break. Week 9. No class - go outside

 

 

March 21st: 10am-noon. Week 10. Historic biogeography and mass extinction

Class:

-Discuss paper: “On the causes of mass extinctions”

Homework:
-Watch first 42 minutes of the following video:

 

 

March 28th: 9am-noon.  Week 11: 541 million years of evolution in Phanerozoic eon

Class:

-Learn and Play: Bios- Megafauna - team Ameerega

Homework:

-Post-game reflection worksheet

 

 

April 4th: 9am-noon. Week 12. 541 million years of evolution in Phanerozoic eon

Class:

-Learn and Play: Bios- Megafauna - team Ranitomeya

Homework:

-Post-game reflection worksheet

 

 

April 11th: 10am-noon. Week 13. Wrap-up, ‘Dominant Species’ Award, Kumbaya, Project 2

Class:

-Present/Discuss Project 2

-Wrap-up course

-Assign essay

-Present the ‘Dominant Species’ award

 

April 18th. Weeks 14. No Class

 

 

April 25th - Week 15. Essay is due at 5pm.  END OF CLASS

 

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© 2020 by Jason L. Brown