More About Environmental Physiology 136

Course Description

This course explores how an organism’s physiology interacts with its environment including molecular to whole organism level processes. How do animals thrive in the most diverse regions of Earth? What is the difference between physiological plasticity and adaptation and what does an animal’s capacity for adaptation mean for its ability to survive or thrive in a rapidly changing climate? Using a variety of case studies, we will explore the amazing physiological tricks and strategies that organisms have evolved to live in the diverse environments of our planet.


The Project

Over 10 weeks, students in Bioe 136 have dived deeply into the scientific literature about a single or related group of species to understand how the unique physiology and life history of that species may make it more or less vulnerable to a variety of threats including climate change, habitat fragementation, pollution, ocean acidification, and others.  In each case, students have written a formal mini-literature review about a narrow set of topics.  They then transformed this formal writing into a blog written for a public audience.  They then developed an additional form of science communication, either a scientific poster or speed talk, which they presented on the final day of class.  This website is the culmination of their work to read, understand, and synthesize scientific literature on a narrow topic, transform that understanding into a scientifically accurate but accessible blog aimed at the general public, and to then present that work in a public space.  While the work presented here has gone through peer and instructor editing, it should not be considered peer reviewed.

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