Sunday, August 5, 2007: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
N, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
WK 15 - Urban ecosystem education: Concepts and practices
The recent focus on urban ecosystems and urban ecology has had a well-documented impact on the field of ecology but a less clear impact on how people learn about urban ecosystems. This workshop will identify and document key concepts that college and university students should learn about urban ecosystems and the best practices for teaching those concepts. Urban ecosystems ecology incorporates ideas and methods from the ecological, biological, social, and physical sciences. Researchers in urban ecosystem ecology include ecologists, anthropologists, geographers, economists, sociologists, and political scientists. Practitioners interested in applying urban ecosystems ecology include wildlife biologists, foresters, landscape architects, and urban planners. This means that urban ecosystems courses are taught across a range of departments to a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students. There is a need to identify key concepts in urban ecosystems ecology and how they can be made relevant to a diverse group of students who are being taught in very different settings. Our goals for the workshop are to identify key concepts about urban ecosystems that students should learn and to identify best practices for teaching these concepts. There will be 4 parts to the workshop: 1) short presentations by ecologists teaching about urban ecosystems in different settings; 2)a “show and tell” session with workshop participants to document best practices for teaching urban ecosystems ecology; 3) a break out session where participants will meet in small groups to develop concept maps illustrating urban ecosystems ecology; and 4) presentation and discussion of the concept maps. Workshop participants will meet and interact with a diverse group of people who are teaching about urban ecosystems. Workshop participants will emerge with materials (including a reading list of foundational papers and a concept map of key ideas and applications) and ideas with which to design a course that will expose students to the interdisciplinary nature of urban ecology and give students skills to be competitive in a growing urban ecology job market. Products from this workshop will be added to the website of the Urban Ecosystem Ecology Section ( where the section has started to compile a list of syllabi on urban ecosystem courses.
Organizer:Charles H. Nilon, University of Missouri - Columbia
Co-organizers:Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, University of Arizona
Yaffa Grossman, Beloit College
Beth Olsen, Cecil Community College
Nancy McIntyre, Texas Tech University

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See more of The ESA/SER Joint Meeting (August 5 -- August 10, 2007)