Janzen UPENN ecology course

Humans and their environments
Professor Daniel H. Janzen,




Department of Biology BIO 140/440

3 September 2017

This lecture course in Leidy 10 explores the interface of humans with their environments the world over. The emphasis is on ways that they interface, though given that this is a biology course, there is a strong emphasis on the biological (and less human) side of the interface. The topic is enormous and examples are presented through 80-minute photographic essays that are also on the course web site http://fission.sas.upenn.edu/caterpillar. The images, and the text accompanying them, are presented here for open access use as course material and for outside learning by anyone with access to the internet and curiosity. The course is meant to stimulate your own examination of your biotic environment and your connections with it. You are, after all, a major part of the human-environment interaction.  However, I am trying to stimulate you to look more at the non-human side of the equation. Humans are just one species, though I will grant that they are the world’s worst invasive species. 


See course site Canvas at <https://canvas.upenn.edu/courses/1376405> for announcements.  For recordings of lectures go to the same web site.


Course TA: Rohini Singh at srohini@sas.upenn.edu, with office hours by appointment (please emails only between 8 am and 8 pm).




course requirements
website administration
Lectures, Fall Semester, 2018: image menu
(1) Ants and Acacias: ecology and evolutionary biology of a mutualism - two stories: your professor, and biology 5 Sep
(2) The world is not colored green, but L-dopa, cocaine and caffeine. AND, biodiversity prospecting. 7 Sep
(3) Pleistocene anachronisms: the plants the megafauna left behind. 21 Sep
(4) Why do bamboos wait so long to flower? 14 Sep
(5) The great green solar panel 19 Sep
(6) Guest Lecturer: Professor Brent Helliker, Human and Environmental linkages revealed through stable isotope analysis 21 Sep
(7) First mid-semester examination, 1.5 hours (covering through 21 September included, and readings) 26 Sep
(8) Socioeconomics and biology of tropical timber harvest -- carbon bioeconomics 28 Sep
(9) Mimicry: population ecology, evolution, selection, phylogeny, taxonomy, perception and inference. 3 Oct
(10) FALL BREAK, 5-8 Oct 2017 5 Oct
(11) Day in the life of an African hunter 10 Oct
(12) Short summers: arctic biology 12 Oct
(13) Animals and their biotic environment: Rothschildia moths. 17 Oct
(14) View from the inside: the black bear and other assorted guts. 19 Oct
(15) Rohini Singh, your TA; why is she here? where is she going? what does she do in this biologists' guild? 24 Oct
(16) NO LECTURE. Janzen absent. 26 Oct
(17) Second mid-semester examination, 1.5 hours (covering 27 September through 26 October, and readings) 31 Oct
(18) "Paradise Reclaimed": in class video on the start of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica; read Long March and http://www.acguanacaste.ac.cr and http://www.gdfcf.org 2 Nov
(19) Biodiversity development: conservation through non-damaging use, a Costa Rican example; or Paradise Reclaimed as it is today. 7 Nov
(20) Animals and their biotic environment: Liomys salvini mice 9 Nov
(21) Animals and their physical environment: beaver, Castor canadiensis 14 Nov
(22) Life on a small Caribbean island 16 Nov
(23) Guest lecture: Professor Mecky Pohlschroder: our world of microbes 21 Nov
(24) THANKSGIVING BREAK 23-26 Nov 2017 23 Nov
(25) Guest Lecturer: Professor Tim Linksvayer: A tale of two societies: the insects that rule our world 28 Nov
(26) Guest lecture: Professor Rob Pringle, Princeton, Biodiversity and Development, Lake Victoria, Africa 30 Nov
(27) What is a flower? 5 Dec
(28) What is a fruit and why does it rot? 7 Dec
(29) 12-2:00 pm Final exam Bio. 140/440, Room 10 Leidy, covers entire course, about 100 questions 18 Dec
(30) empty 21 Feb
(31) empty 21 Feb
(32) Restoration biology 14 Nov
(33) empty 21 Feb