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Web Schedule Summer 2017

Revision Date: 22-Mar-17

BIO-1240-VV01Z - Forest Ecology

Synonym: 160136
Location: Morrisville
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Accelerated Section: This course has special meeting dates and times. See comments below or consult VSC Web Services - Search for Sections in the VSC portal for specific dates and times. If you have any questions call the site office offering the course.
Semester Dates: 06-26-2017 to 06-30-2017
Last day to drop without a grade: 06-26-2017 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 06-28-2017 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Ed O'Leary | View Faculty Credentials

Materials/Lab Fees: $10.00
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration

Browse the Moodle Site for this class.

Course Description:

Examination of the structure and dynamics of forest communities. Consideration will be given to geographic and ecologic factors shaping forest communities, to biological and chemical interactions among forest species, and to the human impact on forest stability. All forest types will be discussed with an emphasis on temperate deciduous and northern coniferous forests. Field trips required.

Essential Objectives:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the methods of scientific investigation in forest ecology including observation and hypothesis testing.
2. Define energy and trace the energy flow in a forest, including the grazing and detritus food chain.
3. Describe the stages of forest succession.
4. Discuss the impact soil type, moisture, light, and temperature have on the forest ecosystem.
5. Analyze the impact of forestry practices on the forest ecosystem.
6. Using a global scale of analysis, examine the impact of human behavior on forest ecosystems and discuss the role that forests play in the biosphere.
7. Identify common trees and the major forest types in Vermont.
8. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, evaluating and applying quantitative data and information.
9. Discuss laws and politics related to forest ecology including Convention on Biological Diversity, the Wilderness Act, and Vermont’s Act 250.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:

Abbreviations for each of the textbooks are:

NCNF: Nature Guide to the Northern Forest

FTV: Forest Trees of Vermont

FE&S: Forest Ecology & Silviculture

WWW: Wetland, Woodland, Wildland


It is highly recommended that students, upon arriving at the first class session, have already read the following:

Nature Guide to the Northern Forest - pp. 1-26

Wetland, Woodland, Wildland - pp. 1-19

Introduction to Forest Ecology & Silviculture - pp. 1 & 2, and 41-45

Forest Trees of vermont - pp. 1-7

Readings to be completed prior to each subsequent class session are included in the course syllabus.  Due to the intense nature of this course, students are encouraged to get as much of the reading done in advance of the start of class, rather than waiting to do it each evening.




Each day will begin with a 1 to 1&1/2 hour presennation going over the concepts and principles to be covered that day.  A quiz covering the previous day's material will be administered on days 2 through 5.  Then the class will head out into the field, visiting a number of different sites each day, where the topics introduced in the morning will be illustrated with real life examples.  The day will wrap up by returning to the CCV site no later than 4:30 PM, when the material covered that day will be reviewed, and a brief introduction to the next day's materila will be discussed.  Students will be expected to have read the corresponding readings in advance of each class, being prepared to not only answwer questions posed to them, but to ask questions and remain actively engaged in discussions throughout the day.

In that this is an extremely intense course (9 hours per day for five straight days!) assessment of each student's learning will be measured a great deal baased upon their active participation in discussions and their ability to demonstrate verbally that they are acquiring a grasp of the material.

Final grades will be weighed heavily on a take-home written final examination that the students will have one week to complete (due one week from the final class session). 


Evaluation Criteria:

30% - attendance, active participation in class and field sessions

20% - daily quizzes

50% - take home final exam

Grading Criteria:


Summer 2017 textbook data will be available on April 1. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

Introduction to Forest Ecology and Silviculture, ISBN: 9780989069946, Forestry Press   $16.96

Forest Trees of Vermont, ISBN: 9780989069960, Forestry Press   $25.87

Wetland, Woodland, Wildland : A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont, ISBN: 9781584650775, Univ Pr of New England   $25.81

Nature Guide to the Northern Forest : Exploring the Ecology of the Forests of New York, New Hampshir, ISBN: 9781934028421, Appalachian Mountain Club Books   $25.80

Attendance Policy:

In that each class session last nine hours, and there are only five class session for the entire course, students must attend ALL sessions!  NO absences will be allowed!

Contact Faculty:

Email: Edward O'Leary
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Francinne Valcour

Mailing Address:
1808 S Albany Rd
Craftsbury Common, VT 05827

  Home Phone: 802-755-6705

Notes: I do not have an answering machine at home. Though I do not have cell service where I live, you can call my cell at 802-777-4538 and leave a message and I will get it, or text me at that number and i will receive it.


''Class session #1''

In advance of this session, students should read the followijg:

NGNF - pp. 1-26

WWW - pp. 1-19

FE&S - pp. 1 &2, and 41-445

FTV - pp. 1-7

Topics to be covered:

What is Forest Ecology

basic ecological concepts

history of land use in New England

Uniqueness of New England's forests

tree identification

exotic invasive species

forest succession

shade tolerance

forest soils

climate of New England

Field trip to Waterbury, Stowe and Morristown to visit: Winooski River floodplain forest, CC Putnam State Forest, Mt. Mansfield State Forest, Moss Glen Falls State Natural Area and Morristown Bog State Natural Area




'class session #2'

prior to this class, read the following:

NGNF - pp. 27-129

WWW - pp. 58-75

FE&S - Chapter 2

Topics to be covered:


natural communities

plant communities of New England

competition & survival

wildlife habitat

field trip to Woodstock to visit Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park and Killington to visit Gifford Woods State Natural Area (old growth hardwood forest)

'class session #3'

prior to this class session, read the following:

NGNF - pp. 153-162

WWW - pp. 22-55

FE&S - pp. 27-41 & 51-76

topics to be covered:

climate change and its effects on forest

biophysical regions of Vermont

how trees grow and change

stress and disturbance

competition, survival & adaptation

field trip to Johnson State College's campus forest and Cambridge Pines State Natural Area and perhaps Johnson State College's Babcock Preserve in Eden

'class session #4'

in advance of today's class, reas the following:

NGNF - pp. 131-152 and FE&S - pp. 45-60

topics to be covered today

changing seasons


field trip to Island Pond to visit Brighton State Park (nature trail and State Natural Area of native red pine) and to Bloomfield to visit Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge and perhaps a quick stop in Westmore to visit Willoughby State Forest & Sentinel Rock State Park.

class session #5

prior to this class, read the following:

FE&S - pp. 21-39

topics to be covered:

forest management


nutrient cycling

forests of North America and the world

field trip to Groton to visit Groton State Forest (nature trail and forestry demonstration project)


Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

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