NR502 - Forest Ecosystems and Environmental Change






Forest ecosystems cover a large fraction of the Earth's land surface and are the most diverse and productive of natural biomes. This course introduces students to these complex systems and explores both the natural processes that regulate them and the environmental factors that cause change over time.  The goal of the class is increased understanding of where forests grow, how they work, what they provide us in products and services, aesthetics and recreation, and how they are affected by a changing global environment.  Content is organized around 5 general topics.

  • Weeks 1-3 – Forests – What are they, where do they grow, and how have they changed?
  • Weeks 4-7 - Forest Ecosystem Function – What forests do (and do for us)
  • Weeks 8-10 - Forests in a Changing World: Physical Climate
  • Weeks 11-12 - Forests in a Changing World: Chemical Climate
  • Weeks 13-14 - Forests in a Changing World: Land Use