[F&ES 651b] / 2014-2015

Forest Ecosystem Health

Credits: 3

Spring 2015: Time and location TBA


This course is an introduction to the biotic and abiotic agents affecting the health of forest ecosystems, including insects, pathogens, parasites, exotic invasive species, climate change, and acid deposition. Using a case study approach, several different forest types are looked at in detail, with students interacting with management professionals who visit the class in person or via remote conferencing. Students learn methods of assessing forest health and how the health of particular forests affects carbon sequestration and ecosystem services. The course emphasizes the ecological roles played by disturbance agents, discusses how they affect the sustainability of forest ecosystems, and identifies when and how management can be used to return forests to healthier conditions. The course provides students with the necessary background to determine if stressors are negatively impacting management objectives, to identify the probable stress agents, and to decide what, if any, actions should be initiated to protect forests from further damage. The course includes several field trips.