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Applied Ecology (AEC)

AEC - Applied Ecology Courses

AEC 295 Special Topics in Applied Ecology 1-3.
Prerequisite: BIO 181.

Special topics and experimental offerings in Applied Ecology including developmental courses offered on a trial basis. Intended for students at an intermediate level of training in Biological Sciences.

AEC 360 Ecology 4.
Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 181.

The science of ecology, including factors which control distribution and population dynamics of organisms, structure and function of biological communities, and energy flow and nutrient cycling in ecosystems; contrasts among the major biomes; and principles governing ecological responses to global climatic and other environmental changes.

AEC 380 Water Resources: Global Issues in Ecology, Policy, Management, and Advocacy 3.
Prerequisite: BIO 181.

This course will take a broad look at global issues associated with water resources, including the ways that people interact with water (how we use, degrade, conserve, and advocate for water and water rights). And how these interactions shape our lives. Woven throughout the course is the fact that science (ecology), policy (resource management), and cultural perspectives interact (sometimes in cooperation and sometimes in conflict) on many topics related to water. Students will explore water resource issues from the perspectives of ecology, natural resource management, and different cultures. The course is appropriate for students with interests in the life and social sciences.

AEC 400 Applied Ecology 3.
Prerequisite: PB/BIO 360.

Global climate change, over-fishing, habitat loss, altered nutrient cycles, and the spread of invasive species are among the world's pressing global environmental issues. Solutions to these problems are complex, but firmly rooted in the fundamental tenets of ecological theory. The field of applied ecology is premised on using these fundamental ecological principles to help solve the environmental challenges we face. This course will provide an overview of the field of applied ecology, based on a series of 12 individual case studies. Working from the individual to global level, the course will provide a broad perspective on the field of applied ecology.

AEC 419 Freshwater Ecology 4.
Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO/PB 360.

The course explores the structure and function of streams, lakes, and wetlands, including physical, chemical and biological controls of productivity and species composition of aquatic plants and animals and effects of pollution on organisms and water quality. The laboratory emphasizes modern, hands-on techniques for answering fundamental and applied questions. One local weekend field trip required. Credit in both AEC 419 and AEC 519 is not allowed.

AEC 420 Introduction to Fisheries Science 3.
Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO/PB 360.

Role of fish in aquatic ecosystems, fish biology, fish ecology, fisheries management and conservation. Emphasis on aquatic ecosystems and food webs, life history and ecology of important sport and commercial fishes, population and community dynamics, and theory and practice of fisheries management and conservation. Case studies from freshwater, estuarine and marine systems.

AEC 423 Introduction to Fisheries Sciences Laboratory 1.
Corequisite: FW/BIO 420.

General anatomy and identification of common freshwater, estuarine and marine fish, functional morphology, age and growth analyses, fish health and diets. Computer analyses of bioenergetic and population dynamics.

AEC 441 Biology of Fishes 3.
Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO/PB 360Corequisite: AEC 442 Biology of Fishes Laboratory.

Behavior, evolution, physiology and ecology of fishes, emphasizing their adaptations for life in streams, lakes, and oceans.

AEC 442 Biology of Fishes Laboratory 1.
Corequisite: AEC 441.

Field and laboratory exercises with the common fish species and communities of North Carolina. Field trips to local streams and lakes plus weekend trips to coastal, estuarine, and mountain habitats.

AEC 450 Conservation Genetics 3.
Prerequisite: GN 311.

The main objective of this course is to expose upper division undergraduate students and graduate students to conservation genetic tools and applications. Students will learn the genetic and genomic theory and methods commonly used in conservation and management of species. In addition, the course will provide hands-on experience working on current conservation projects here at North Carolina State University. Working in groups, the students will collect, run, and analyze those data for a scientific paper. The final project for all students will be a conservation genetic grant proposal.

AEC 460 Field Ecology and Methods 4.
Prerequisite: C- or better in ST 311 and BIO 360.

Field Ecology and Methods will expose senior students with interests in Ecology and Evolution to the diverse field approaches used to address ecological questions. The course considers and implements a variety of field approaches ranging from microcosm experiments to global studies of patterns and diversity. Course is restricted to seniors.

AEC 492 External Learning Experience in Applied Ecology 1-3.
Prerequisite: BIO 181 (Variable, depending on instructor).

Learning experience in applied ecology within an academic framework with facilities and resources on or off campus. Contact and arrangements with prospective supervisors must be done by the student. Prior approval by faculty advisor and minor coordinator in department of applied ecology is required. Students are responsible for risk and safety assessment at off campus locations. Students are responsible for transportation. Individualized/Independent Study and Research courses require a Course Agreement for Students Enrolled in Non-Standard Courses be completed by the student and faculty member prior to registration by the department.

AEC 493 Internal Learning Experience in Applied Ecology 1-3.
Prerequisite: BIO 181 (Variable, depending on instructor).

Internal learning experience in applied ecology within an academic framework with facilities and resources on campus. Contact and arrangements with prospective supervisors must be done by the student. Prior approval by faculty advisor and minor coordinator in department of applied ecology is required. Students are responsible for risk and safety assessment at off campus locations. Individualized/Independent Study and Research courses require a Course Agreement for Students Enrolled in Non-Standard Courses be completed by the student and faculty member prior to registration by the department.

AEC 495 Advanced Special Topics in Applied Ecology 1-3.
Prerequisite: BIO 181.

Special topics and experimental offerings in Applied Ecology including developmental courses offered on a trial basis. Intended for students at an advanced level of training in Biological Sciences.

AEC 501 Ornithology 4.
Prerequisite: BIO 181, BIO 183, and (BIO 250 or BIO/PB 360).

The biology of birds. Lecture topics include evolution, functional morphology, physiology, ecology and behavior. Field and museum laboratories emphasize particular aspects of morphology, ecology and behavior, as well as taxonomy and identification.One coastal weekend field trip required.

AEC 502 Introduction to Biological Research 2.

The course provides a philosophical background for the field of ecology, then transitions to practical aspects of the field including a focus on grant proposal development, how to read and review papers and grant proposals, and how to give a presentation at a scientific meeting. A series of outside speakers will provide a broad perspective on the resources and opportunities available for graduate students at North Carolina State University. An emphasis will be placed on peer collaboration and feedback, developing professional relationships that will be important throughout the graduate tenor of this cohort of students.

AEC 503 Foundations of Ecology 2.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

This course covers major concepts, themes, and theories in ecology, including population, community and ecosystem ecology, and evolutionary ecology. Students are introduced to the core skill of critically evaluating scientific papers. The format of the course is readings from the primary literature and student-lead discussions. This course is focused toward first- and second-year graduate students, especially those in preparation for their preliminary exam.

AEC 503 Foundations of Ecology 2.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

This course covers major concepts, themes, and theories in ecology, including population, community and ecosystem ecology, and evolutionary ecology. Students are introduced to the core skill of critically evaluating scientific papers. The format of the course is readings from the primary literature and student-lead discussions. This course is focused toward first- and second-year graduate students, especially those in preparation for their preliminary exam.

AEC 509 Biology of Aquatic Insects 3.

Life history descriptions and identification of aquatic insects. Emphasis on behavioral and physiological adaptations to diverse habitats and the role of insects in aquatic ecosystem function and as indicators of water quality. The course includes 3-4 Saturday collecting trips to a local pond and streams in the mountains, piedmont and coastal plain. Collecting trips are not required, but are strongly encouraged.

AEC 515 Fish Physiology 3.
Prerequisite: GN 411, ZO 420, 421, 441.

The biology of fishes: physiology, anatomy, endocrinology, behavior and genetics. Designed especially for graduate students in fisheries. Several trips to research laboratories taken.

AEC 519 Freshwater Ecology 4.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

The course explores the structure and function of streams, lakes, and wetlands, including physical, chemical and biological controls of productivity and species composition of aquatic plants and animals and effects of pollution on organisms and water quality. The laboratory emphasizes modern, hands-on techniques for answering fundamental and applied questions. One local weekend field trip required. Credit in both AEC 419 and AEC 519 is not allowed.

AEC 550 Conservation Genetics 3.
Prerequisite: GN 311.

The main objective of this course is to expose upper division undergraduate students and graduate students to conservation genetic tools and applications. Students will learn the genetic and genomic theory and methods commonly used in conservation and management of species. In addition, the course will provide hands-on experience working on current conservation projects here at North Carolina State University. Working in groups, the students will collect, run, and analyze those data for a scientific paper. The final project for all students will be a conservation genetic grant proposal.

AEC 586 Aquaculture 3.
Prerequisite: BO 360, Senior standing or Graduate standing.

Biological and general principles of aquaculture. Emphasis on the present status of aquaculture, species involved, techniques employed, and problems encountered. Discussion of recent advances in research and development and identification of areas of future research and development.

AEC 587 Aquaculture Laboratory 1.
Prerequisite: BO 360 or ZO 260, Senior standing or Graduate standing, Corequisite: ZO 586.

Methods and techniques of cultivating aquatic organisms. Field trips and reports on local hatcheries and facilities required. (Three to four overnight field trips taken on week days to coastal areas, state hatcheries, and private hatcheries; students responsible for shared room costs and their meals. Four field trips also taken on laboratory day within driving range of Raleigh.).

AEC 592 Special Topics in Applied Ecology 1-6.

Special Topics in Applied Ecology. Topics will vary.

AEC 630 Special Topics in AEC 1-6.

Special Topics in AEC.

AEC 726 Quantitative Fisheries Management 3.

Current methods for assessment and management of exploited fish populations, including sampling methods, data analysis and modeling. A required research paper or project.

AEC 761 Conservation Biology 3.

Conservation Biology applies principles from ecology, genetics, and other biological disciplines to the conservation of biological diversity. This course will train students in techniques in population ecology such as population viability analysis; community ecology and theories of biodiversity; and reserve selection algorithms. The class will examine threats to biodiversity such as habitat fragmentation and loss, climate change, and invasion by exotic species. These issues will be considered within the context of economoic, social, and legal constraints. Graduate status or permission of instructor.