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Population and Community Ecology (BSC 441/541)

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Population and Community Ecology Syllabus

Instructor:Jake Schaefer
Phone: 601-266-4928
Course Homepage:
Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00-10:00 am. If these office hours don't fit your schedule please see me for alternate times when we can schedule a meeting. Feel free to contact me after class or through email to set up a meeting time.
Office: 1004 Johnson Science Tower

Lectures: 2:00-3:15 Monday, Wednesday in WSB 153

Labs: 3:30-6:15 Monday in WSB 153


Community Ecology, 1st ed., by Gary Mittelbach. ISBN-978-0-87893-509-3

Course Objectives

Grading Policy

There will be three inclass exams. For the most part, these exams will also divide the semester into units based on the topics we cover. There will also be three papers you will write during the semester. Final grades are assigned in a standard 90-80-70 scale with no curve and no extra credit. The point values are as follows:

Exam 1 100 points
Exam 2 100 points
Exam 3 100 points
Papers 1-2 (75 each) 150 points
Paper 3 75 points
Lab Participation 50 points
Presentation (BSC 541) 50 points
Final Exam (cumulative) 200 points

Total 775 points (825 BSC 541)

See the course calendar for exam dates. This calendar is subject to change, and all changes will be announced in class and on the course web page. Exams will consist of a variety of question formats. All questions will come from lecture material and assigned readings in the textbook. Finally, academic integrity is considered fundamental to the learning environment. Acts of dishonesty are not acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately.

Attendance Policy

I strongly encourage your attendance at lecture. Although your attendance record is not calculated into your overall course grade, experience has shown me that students having several absences do not perform well on exams. If you miss a lecture, find someone in class to tell you what you missed or see me during office hours. It would be wise to borrow a classmate's notes and/or read the textbook because we cover important material every day. If you have to miss class I would be happy to go over what you missed during my office hours.

Dates of Interest

For information on the last day to drop this class, see the academic calendars published by the Office of the Registrar.

The final exam will be administered at the scheduled time, see the final exam schedule published by the Office of the Registrar.

Class Disruptions

Please respect the other students in the class by not causing disruptions. This includes cell phones ringing, having conversations with others in the class or other disruptive behavior.

Missed Exams

In general, all exams must be taken in class on time. If there is some reason you can not take an exam at that time, please see me ahead of time. If you miss an examination for medical reasons, please give me a written statement to that effect signed by the attending physician. Documentation will be accepted only up to one week following the missed examination. Exams missed without medical documentation or prior consent of the instructor result in a grade of 0. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Disability Support Services

If any student has special needs they can contact the Office for Disability Accommodations for assistance.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic misconduct includes cheating (using unauthorized materials, information, or study guides), plagiarism (submitting others work as if it were your own), falsification of records, unauthorized possession of examinations, intimidation, and any other action that may improperly affect the evaluation of your performance. It also includes assisting others in any such acts or attempts to engage in such acts. Penalties may range from grade penalties (including lowering a student's semester grade, failing a student for the course, or requiring a substitute exam or paper) to official disciplinary action. For more information, see the sections on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism in the USM Student Handbook.

Note: This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. All changes will be announced in class and on the course web page.