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Graduate Minor in Ecology

Minor Title: Ecology

AU Bulletin Description

Ecology is an academic minor administered by the Graduate School in cooperation with faculty and departments that participate in the Auburn Group in Ecology. The minor is open to all graduate students whose thesis or dissertation research will benefit from a broader perspective in the fundamentals and applications of the ecological sciences.

Objectives and Outcomes

    Our objective is to continue developing an interdisciplinary graduate minor in ecology at Auburn University. Ecology is the realm of biology that integrates the interactions and interdependencies between organisms and their environment. Our ability to implement wise environmental practices in the next millennium will in part depend upon the depth of our understanding of natural ecological processes. Only through this understanding can we hope to mitigate our species' impact on Earth's finite resources and life support systems. Universities that support strong academic programs in ecology have been, and will continue to be, active participants in understanding and solving of environmental problems on both local and global scales.

    Because ecology requires an ability to synthesize material from a variety of scientific fields, such a minor cannot be effectively implemented in a single department. Students enrolling in the minor must have the flexibility to create individualized study plans tailored to the student's particular needs while fulfilling their own department's requirements. Such flexibility is not possible under the current guidelines for graduate research in any one department. We expect that this minor will establish a standard for an education in ecology at Auburn.

    The graduate minor in Ecology will achieve at least three benefits. It will 1) heighten our visibility as we compete for bright graduate students interested in the challenges of ecological research, 2) help us to provide a more cohesive graduate education in ecology, assuring a core of disciplinary training and expertise, and 3) highlight the additional faculty positions necessary to enhance the ecological expertise and course offerings for students at Auburn.

Requirements for the Minor

    a. The minor is open to all students whose thesis/dissertation has an ecological component, as judged by the Ecology Minor Committee.
    b. Departments retain primary control over the student's program.
    c. One committee member, who must be from outside of the student's department, must be a member of the Auburn Group in Ecology.
    d. Each student must take Ecology, BIOL 3060, or equivalent.
    e. Four hours of systematics is required (chosen from list #I below).
    f. Fours hours of taxonomy/natural history are required (chosen from the list of currently approved courses, see #II below).
    g. At least two graduate courses in ecology must be taken (6-8 hrs), selected from a list of approved courses (#III below). Both ecology courses, or one ecology course and the systematics course, must be taken from outside of the home department.
    h. Degree requirements of the home department must be satisfied.
    i. Graduate level courses required for this minor may also count toward the completion of other degree requirements, subject to the approval of the student's advisory committee.
    j. Completion of the ecology minor will be formally noted on the student's transcripts.

I. Courses that fulfill the systematics requirement

Course Number, Title (and Credits)

BIOL 6120 - Systematic Botany (4)
BIOL 7970 - Phylogenetic Systematics (3)
ENTM 7300 - Systematic Entomology(5)

II. Courses that fulfill the taxonomy/natural history requirements

Course Number, Title (and Credits)

BIOL 6120 - Systematic Botany (4)
BIOL 6380 - General Ichthyology (4)
BIOL 6760 - Mammalogy (4)
BIOL 7740 - Herpetology (4)
BIOL 7750 - Ornithology (4)
BIOL 7970 - Red Sea Biology
ENTM 6140 - Aquatic Insects (4)
ENTM 6150 - Arachnology (4)
ENTM 7300 - Systematic Entomology (5)
FISH 6380 - General Ichthyology (4)
FISH 7030 - Advanced Ichthyology (4)
PLPA 6200 - Introductory Mycology (4)

III. Courses that fulfill the interdisciplinary ecology requirement

Course Number, Title (and Credits)

AGRN 6060 - Soil Microbiology (4)
AGRN 7180 - Crop Ecology (3)
BIOL 6140 - Plant Ecology (4)
BIOL 7090 - Conservation Biology (4)
BIOL 7360 - Population Ecology (4)
BIOL 7370 - Stream Ecology (4)
BIOL 7560 - Plant /Animal Interactions (3)
BIOL 6160 - Field Biology and Ecology (3-15)
BIOL 7110 - Animal Community Ecology (3)
BIOL 7970 - Behavioral Ecology
BIOL 7970 - Global Change Biology
ENTM 6220 - Insect Ecology (4)
ENTM 7190 - Plant/Animal Interactions (3)
ENTM 7345 - Tropical Ecology: An Ecological Approach (8)
FISH 7340 - Fish Ecology (3)
FISH 7380 - Ecology and Management of Riverne Systems (4)
FORY 7220 - Landscape Ecology (3)
FORY 7330 - Ecology/Silviculture of E. Hardwood For. (3)
FORY 7970 - Wildlife Population Analysis (3)
PLPA 7300 - Plant-Bacterial Interactions (4)


Instructional Faculty in the Minor


Yucheng Feng
Mary Miller-Goodman
Wes Wood


Russ Muntifering


Jon Armbruster
Robert Boyd
Nanette Chadwick
Steve Dobson
Jack Feminella
Kevin Fielman
Debbie Folkerts
George Folkerts
Craig Guyer
Geoff Hill
Mary Mendonca
Scott Santos
Larry Wit
Mike Wooten


Art Appel
Kira Bowen
Micky Eubanks
Gary Mullen


Dennis DeVries
Elise Irwin
Carol Johnston
Alan Wilson
Rusty Wright


Art Chappelka
Scott Enebak
Kathryn Flynn
Barry Grand
Gary Hepp
Graeme Lockaby
Ed Loewenstein
Mark MacKenzie
Lisa Samuelson