Ecology for Teachers


  Author(s): Mark McGinley
  Publisher: Trunity

- Web-based, device agnostic, life-long access
- Live-updating content with multimedia
- Highlighting, annotations & glossary 
- Fully customizable by instructor
- Student self-assessment tools & forums
- Assignments, quizzes, exams & gradebook
- Class management and safe social networking

  Price: $35 per student copy

This reader was developed for a course entitled "Ecology for Teachers" offered through the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University.  This distance-ed graduate level course is designed for in-service high school teachers enrolled in a Multidiscplinary Science Masters Degree offered at Texas Tech University.  Thus, this course is intended to provide teachers with the background necessary to teach ecology content at the high school level.  My philosophy is that teachers are the experts in the pedagogies that are most effective for teaching their students.  My job in this course is to provide the content knowledge necessary for teachers to be able to create effective learning opportunities for their students.

Organization of the Course 

Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and their environments.  Interactions with the abiotic (non-living) and biotic environment influence  global patterns of distribution and abundance as well as the characteristics of organisms living in different environments.  Thus, in order to understand the global patterns it will be necessary to understand something about the factors that influence the physical environment of the planet.   The fact that organisms interact with their environment over time means that we have to study ecology in an evolutionary context.  Ecology plays out at different hierarchical levels. Understanding what happens at one level often requires an understanding of factors operating at the levels below and above them.  Finally, these interactions produce emergent properties such as patterns of biodiversity and environmental problems.

Table of Contents

This course is divided into the following sections:

1. The Physical Environment

2. The Evolutionary Context

  • Microevolution
  • Macroevolution

3. Four Focal Ecosystems

  • Deserts
  • Prairies
  • Tropical Rainforest
  • Coral Reefs

4. Hierarchical Organization of Ecology

  • Individuals
  • Populations
  • Communities
  • Ecosystems
  • Landscapes
  • Biomes
  • Biosphere

5. Biodiversity

6. Environmental Issues

7. Teaching Resources