ESPM 44 (2 units) - Biological Control
This introductory Lower Division course for non-biology majors explores the general principles of ecology and biological control in two one-hour lectures per week. The lectures provide students with a basic knowledge of the ecology of organisms, trophic interactions, food webs and ecosystems, using well illustrated examples from biological control programs. With this basic grounding in ecology, students are then introduced to the various ways in which natural enemy populations can be manipulated for the control of insect pests and weeds. Emphasis is placed on the use of classic and current examples and effective illustration.
ESPM 113 (2 units) - Insect Ecology
The course is designed to introduce students to the importance of insects in the ecology of native and managed ecosystems. Using insects as models, students are exposed to general ecological theories and to the development and testing of ecologically relevant hypotheses. Areas of unique importance to insects (e.g. problems of size and scaling) or areas in which insects are uniquely important (e.g. pollination, biological control, and invasion ecology) are stressed throughout the course. The roles that insect ecologists play in the rational administration of agricultural, forest, or wild ecosystems are discussed throughout the course.
ESPM 134 (3 units) – Fire, Insects, and Diseases in Forest Ecosystems
This Upper Division course integrates the three most important sources of disruption in forest ecosystems. It is a team-taught course that provides an interdisciplinary approach to the factors that predispose forest trees and stands to disruption, with an emphasis on the forest ecosystems of California. In my contribution to this class I discuss the insects in forest ecosystems and the linkage between insects, fire and diseases. Starting with a discussion of the diversity and success of insects, we go on to look at the key feeding groups (defoliators, phloem feeders, etc), and the ecological role of insects (impact on tree growth, population cycles, invasiveness) in forest ecosystems. The course includes two weekend field trips.