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Invasive Species

Course Numbers: OCMB 9901, MEVS 5600, CZMT 0778

This online course will cover the main biological and historical aspects of invasive species ecology, with a particular emphasis on aquatic systems.  Particular emphasis is placed on the development of government policies regarding invasive species and the state, U.S. federal, and international management measures intended to control the effects of current invasive species and to minimize the risk of future introductions.  Students will be provided with several seminal, peer-reviewed articles and other supporting materials regarding the topic of the week and expected to read and comment to the class about their content.

Learning Outcomes:

Over the 12-week course, students will be provided with a broad overview of invasive species, including lectures, interactive discussions, and outside reading and synthesis assignments. The beginning third of the course will cover basic concepts of invasive species biology, ecology, and theory.  The second third will describe the methods used to quantify the impacts of invasive species.  Finally, the last third will put those two earlier broad concepts into policy and management contexts to minimize the effects of current and future invasive species.  At the conclusion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Identify basic biological and ecological concepts regarding exotic and invasive species.
  2. Describe the historical causes of invasive species introductions and why additional introductions of non-native species are likely to occur.
  3. Demonstrate how to measure the ecological and economic impacts of current invasive species and model the impacts of future invasions.
  4. Evaluate basic mechanical, chemical, and biological controls of invasive species.
  5. Explain how government policy and management actions to control invasive species are developed at state, national, and international levels.

Required and Recommended Texts:

No textbook will be required for the course.  However, two books – "Invasion Biology" by Mark Davis (ISBN-13: 978-0199218769) and "Invasion Ecology" by Julie Lockwood (ISBN-13: 978-1444333657) – provide additional background information on many of the topics for the first half of the course and may be helpful for students to have as reference materials.

Peer-reviewed papers, agency reports, and other written materials will be provided to the class by the instructor through the NSU online course portal for each of the unit periods, which you will be required to read and comment upon within class discussions.


Summer 2016 Syllabus

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