Field Data




General Ecology

BIOL 3484

General Ecology

4 Credit Hours

Fall 2012

Lecture: 9:10-10:00 MWF

RM B19

Lab: T 1:40-4:30

RM B31

 Instructor:  Dr. Christopher G. Sims                                                                                Office:  B 4

Office Phone:  460-1664                                                                                                  E-mail:  simsc@uamont.edu

Web Site:  www.uamont.edu/facultyweb/sims

Office Hours:  1:30-3:00 MWF; TH by appointment.  I will be in the office at other times as well.  Changes in this schedule may occur and will be posted outside my door or announced in class.

 Textbook: Smith, T. M. and R. L. Smith, Elements of Ecology, 6th ed.  ISBN:  0-321-55957-6

 Prerequisites:  BIOL 2153 and 2161 General Zoology (ACTS #: BIOL 1054), BIOL 2143 and 2171 General Botany (ACTS #: 1034) and 6 hours of chemistry

 Objectives:  In this course we will study the environment and its components including energy flow, population and community structure, ecological succession, how evolution influences ecological structure. 

 Course Grade:        Exam 1:                                                                            100 pts.

                    Exam 2:                                                                            100 pts.

                    Exam 3:                                                                            100 pts.

                    Final Exam:                                                                      100 pts.

                    3 journal article summaries 20 pts each.                   

                    Lab (lab summaries, paper discussions, etc.)             100 pts.

                    Total for Course:                                                             500 pts.

 Grade Scale (percentage):

A = 100-89.5, B = 89.4-79.5, C = 79.4-69.5, D = 69.4-59.5, F < 59.4

 ********NO EXTRA CREDIT will be given under any circumstances!!!

 Assignments and grading may change at the discretion of the instructor.  Prior notice will be given in all cases.

Each student will choose a code number/code name prior to the first test and this will be used to post grades.  Grades will be posted on my website.  If you do not wish to have your grade posted please let the instructor know prior to the first test.  Grades will not be provided over the phone.

 Attendance, Testing, and Cheating:  Attendance in this course is mandatory and will be recorded regularly. 

 You will be allowed 3 unexcused absences during the semester.  After the third unexcused absence your course grade will be reduced one percentage point for each unexcused absence thereafter. 

 Exam attendance is required and make-up exams will be given only under extreme circumstances.  Make-up exams will be allowed only in cases of illness with a doctor’s excuse, excused university functions, or family emergencies with a written excuse from a family member.  If you are forced to miss an exam you must notify me within 24 hours of the exam.  Failure to do so will result in a zero on that exam.  If you know ahead of time that you will be absent please let me know and prior arrangements for testing can be made. 

                Cheating in any form will not be tolerated and will automatically result in failure of the course.  Cellular phones are included in the cheating policy and any appearance of a cellular phone (or other communication devise) during a test will be considered an attempt to cheat by the student.

                Likewise electronic devises such as cellular phones etc. will not be allowed in lecture unless prior approval is given by the instructor.

 Students with disabilities:  It is the policy of the University of Arkansas at Monticello to accommodate individuals with disabilities pursuant to federal law and the University’s commitment to equal educational opportunities. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any necessary accommodations at the beginning of the course.  Any student requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Special Student Services located in Harris Hall Room 120; phone 870 460-1026; TDD 870 460-1626; Fax 870 460-1926.

Statement on disruptive behavior: The following action is prohibited under the Student Conduct Code: Disorderly Conduct: Any behavior which disrupts the regular or normal functions of the University community, including behavior which breaches the peace or violates the rights of others.

Tentative Lecture Schedule (some topics will not be covered):                                              Chapters:

Introduction and Background                                                                                                          1 and 5

The Physical  Environment                                                                                                               2-4

Exam I 

The Organism and Its Environment                                                                                                                7-8

Exam II

Populations                                                                                                                                           9-13

Exam III

Species Interactions                                                                                                                            14-15

Communities                                                                                                                                        16-18

Final                                                                                                                                                      Tues. Dec. 11, 8:00 A.M.

 Tests will be announced at least one week in advance.

 Tentative Lab Schedule (dates will change so be sure to keep up):


Intro to stats./Paper Discussion


Muscle Sampling


Muscle Sampling Analysis


Paper Discussion 2


Test #1


Plot Sampling


Plot Sampling Analysis




Test #2


Paper Discussion 3


5 Oaks Field trip (we will be late returning to campus)


Test #3


NO Lab


Winter Territoriality



 Important Dates:

August 22  (Wednesday):  First day of classes.

August 22-28 (Wednesday through Tuesday): Late registration.  A $25 late registration fee will be assessed.

August 22-28 (Wednesday through Tuesday):  Students may make schedule changes. 

August 28 (Tuesday):  Last day to register or add fall classes.

September 3 (Monday):  Labor Day Holiday.  All offices and classes closed.

September 15 (Saturday):  Parent/Family Appreciation Day.

October 5 (Friday):  Deadline to apply for May graduation.

October 13 (Saturday):  Homecoming.

*******October 31 (Wednesday):  Last day to drop a regular fall class (not applicable to fast-track classes).  Grade will be W.

November 5  (Monday):  Preregistration for spring begins.

November 16 (Friday): Preregistration for spring ends.

November 20 (Tuesday):  All classes (day, evening, and distance education) will meet as usual.

November 21 (Wednesday):  Classes closed.  University offices open.

November 22-23 (Thursday-Friday):  Thanksgiving Holiday.  All offices and classes closed.

December 7 (Friday):  Last day of classes.

December 10-14 (Monday-Friday): Final exams.


Academic dishonesty:

1.       Cheating:  Students shall not give, receive, offer, or solicit information on examinations, quizzes, etc. This includes but is not limited to the following classes of dishonesty:

a.       Copying from another student’s paper;

b.       Use during the examination of prepared materials, notes, or texts other than those specifically permitted by the instructor;

c.        Collaboration with another student during the examination;

d.       Buying, selling, stealing, soliciting, or transmitting an examination or any material purported to be the unreleased contents of coming examinations or the use of any such material;

e.        Substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitutions for oneself.

2.       Collusion: Collusion is defined as obtaining from another party, without specific approval in advance by the instructor, assistance in the production of work offered for credit to the extent that the work reflects the ideas of the party consulted rather than those of the person whose name in on the work submitted.

3.       Duplicity: Duplicity is defined as offering for credit identical or substantially unchanged work in two or more courses, without specific advanced approval of the instructors involved.

4.       Plagiarism: Plagiarism is defined as adopting and reproducing as one’s own, to appropriate to one’s use, and to incorporate in one’s own work without acknowledgement the ideas or passages from the writings or works of others.


For any instance of academic dishonesty that is discovered by the instructor, whether the dishonesty is found to be cheating, collusion, duplicity, or plagiarism, the result for the student(s) involved will be failure in the course.