Most of the major categories of adaptive behavior can be seen in all animals. This course begins with the evolution of behavior, the driver of nervous system evolution, reviewed using concepts developed in ethology, sociobiology, other comparative studies, and in studies of brain evolution. The roles of various types of plasticity are considered, as well as foraging and feeding, defensive and aggressive behavior, courtship and reproduction, migration and navigation, social activities and communication, with contributions of inherited patterns and cognitive abilities. Both field and laboratory based studies are reviewed; and finally, human behavior is considered within the context of primate studies.
Science communicators have parroted fake climate “solutions” straight from the mouths of corporate public relation firms, even those that are clearly unjust and against the will of the people. They’ve ignored messages from communities who are suffering most from pollution. Although often inadvertently, scientists, with their disproportionately large megaphones, have helped to uphold existing power structures. This free textbook is an attempt to remedy this hole in science communication, providing a framework for learning about the science of the climate crisis for those who don’t accept the status quo. Climate, Justice and Energy Solutions is for visionaries, dreamers, utopian thinkers, and social justice advocates. It’s for those who can imagine not just surviving in a world without fossil fuels, but truly flourishing. The hope is that activists in a wide range of fields can use this text to help bolster their knowledge of science-based climate action when they’re building the next wave of social movements, renewable power networks, and regenerative communities.
An introduction to theoretical studies of systems of many interacting components, the individual dynamics of which may be simple, but the collective dynamics of which are often nonlinear and analytically intractable. Topics vary from year to year. Format includes both pedagogical lectures and round-table reviews of current literature. Subjects of interest include: problems in natural science (e.g., geology, ecology, and biology) where quantitative theory is still in development; problems in physics, such as turbulence, that demonstrate powerful concepts such as scaling and universality; and modern computational methods for the simulation and study of such problems. Discussions in context of contemporary experimental or observational data.
This course provides a review of physical, chemical, ecological, and economic principles used to examine interactions between humans and the natural environment. Mass balance concepts are applied to ecology, chemical kinetics, hydrology, and transportation; energy balance concepts are applied to building design, ecology, and climate change; and economic and life cycle concepts are applied to resource evaluation and engineering design. Numerical models are used to integrate concepts and to assess environmental impacts of human activities. Problem sets involve development of MATLABĺ¨ models for particular engineering applications. Some experience with computer programming is helpful but not essential.
" We will cover fundamentals of ecology, considering Earth as an integrated dynamic system. Topics include coevolution of the biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and oceans; photosynthesis and respiration; the hydrologic, carbon and nitrogen cycles. We will examine the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems; regulation of the distribution and abundance of organisms; structure and function of ecosystems, including evolution and natural selection; metabolic diversity; productivity; trophic dynamics; models of population growth, competition, mutualism and predation. This course is designated as Communication-Intensive; instruction and practice in oral and written communication provided. Biology is a recommended prerequisite."
This first-year undergraduate open textbook covers the most salient environmental issues from both biological and social science perspectives.
Examines theories and practice of environmental justice, concerns about race, poverty, and the environment in both domestic and international contexts, exploring and critically analyzing philosophies, frameworks, and strategies underlying environmental justice movements. Examines case studies of environmental injustices, including: distribution of environmental quality and health, unequal enforcement of regulations, unequal access to resources to respond to environmental problems, and the broader political economy of decision-making around environmental issues. Explores how environmental justice movements relate to broader sustainable development goals and strategies. This class explores the foundations of the environmental justice movement, current and emerging issues, and the application of environmental justice analysis to environmental policy and planning. It examines claims made by diverse groups along with the policy and civil society responses that address perceived inequity and injustice. While focused mainly on the United States, international issues and perspectives are also considered.
Estuarine Geography utilizes an ecological approach to understanding physical and biological parameters to estuarine evolution.. Superimposed upon that spatial site and situation are social, human, cultural and political activities. Humans role in estuarine evolution is discussed at length.
Review of IPE field covering previous and core research focusing on dual national objectives in a global context, namely pursuit of power and pursuit of wealth. Surveys major paradigms of international political economy, including neoclassical economics, development and ecological economics, lateral pressure, and perspectives and structural views of power relations. Examines interaction of politics and economics on international trade, capital flows, foreign investment, intellectual property rights, international migration, and select issues in foreign economic policy in global context. Examines the evolution of international economic institutions and attendant political implications. Open to undergraduates by permission of instructor.
This practicum focuses on applying the principles of sustainability to improve the quality of life and activity along the Foshan downtown riverfront. The City has recently engaged in several planning efforts that, with the help of consultants and experts, will help to identify strategies to revitalize the City's center and establish a new downtown. This practicum will compliment these efforts by focusing on planning and design options in and around the Pearl River, a now underutilized waterway that runs through the City's new downtown.
This design-based subject provides a first course in energy and thermo-sciences with applications to sustainable energy-efficient architecture and building technology. No previous experience with subject matter is assumed. After taking this subject, students will understand introductory thermodynamics and heat transfer, know the leading order factors in building energy use, and have creatively employed their understanding of energy fundamentals and knowledge of building energy use in innovative building design projects. This year, the focus will be on design projects that will complement the new NSTAR/MIT campus efficiency program.
The studio will focus on the district of Gaoming, located in the northwest of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) - the fastest growing and most productive region of China. The District has recently completed a planning effort in which several design institutes and a Hong Kong planning firm prepared ideas for a new central area near the river. The class will complement these efforts by focusing on planning and design options on the waterfront of the proposed new district and ways of integrating water/hydrological factors into all aspects and land uses of a modern city (residential, commercial, industrial) - including watershed and natural ecosystem protection, economic and recreational activities, transportation, and tourism.
Introduces scientific, economic, and ecological issues underlying the threat of global climate change, and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response. Develops an integrated approach to analysis of climate change processes, and assessment of proposed policy measures, drawing on research and model development within the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.
This course explores the values (aesthetic, moral, cultural, religious, prudential, political) expressed in the choices of food people eat. It analyzes the decisions individuals make about what to eat, how society should manage food production and consumption collectively, and how reflection on food choices might help resolve conflicts between different values.
This seminar will explore the difficulties of getting agreement on global definitions of sustainability; in particularly building international support for efforts to combat climate change created by greenhouse gas emissions as well as other international resource management efforts. We will focus on possible changes in the way global environmental agreements are formulated and implemented, especially on ways of shifting from the current "pollution control" approach to combating climate change to a more comprehensive strategy for taking advantage of sustainable development opportunities.
Introduction to Ecology is an open course remix of the OpenStax Biology open textbook. The remix includes a modular revision of parts of the text with supplemental questions added.
Focusing primarily on the period since 1500, explores the influence of climate, topography, plants, animals, and microorganisms on human history and the reciprocal influence of people on the environment. Topics include the European encounter with the Americas, the impact of modern technology, and the historical roots of the current environmental crisis.
This book is a general introduction to Marine Ecology, accompanying a lecture and excursion. It targets students without prior knowledge of the subject. The content is taken largely from Wikipedia, but curated and augmented by the authors.
Natural Resources Biometrics begins with a review of descriptive statistics, estimation, and hypothesis testing. The following chapters cover one- and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), including multiple comparison methods and interaction assessment, with a strong emphasis on application and interpretation. Simple and multiple linear regressions in a natural resource setting are covered in the next chapters, focusing on correlation, model fitting, residual analysis, and confidence and prediction intervals. The final chapters cover growth and yield models, volume and biomass equations, site index curves, competition indices, importance values, and measures of species diversity, association, and community similarity.
Quantitative Ecology introduces and discusses the principles of ecology from populations to ecosystems including human populations, disease, exotic organisms, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity and global dynamics. The book also reformulates and unifies ecological equations making them more accessible to the reader and easier to teach.