ECS 111

These are suggested homework.  You may also choose any of the articles introduced in class as a review topic.  As discussed in class, you should not try and answer all of these. Choose two and do a complete essay on them. References should not be random blogs, but juried articles or news items from archived media such as NYT or the Economist.

1) Choose a wild animal and discuss its basic habitat and its role in this ecosystem or set of ecosystems. What is its current status relative to conservation concerns? What constitutes its primary food source?

2) Describe one of the major biomes found on earth. Include a discussion of its primary physical and biological attributes.

3) Compare and contrast two of the types of soil profiles discussed during the class. Discuss their distribution and the role they have in maintaining their associated ecosystems.

4) Discuss von Humboldt’s observation that the different biomes seen as one goes from the equator to the poles are also found with altitude in mountain systems. Why does this vary depending on which side of the mountain range is considered?  Provide some examples.

5) Consider the following population equations.



Compute the steady states and discuss them. What type of system is this?

6) Choose a fishery and describe its attributes. What are the target species?  Is this particular fishery sustainable?  How does this fishery deal with issues such as markets, management techniques, and bycatch?

7) Discuss the immigration issues currently facing the European Union. How are these being handled by the various member states?  Is this a threat to the EU itself?  What are the consequences of these demographic shift in the Middle East?

8) Write an essay on the use of fire by human cultures.  You might approach this broadly or focus on a particular culture such as the native Americans or the bantu of Africa.

9) What factors are involved in the transition of a forest ecosystem into a grassland? Consider the anthropogenic place in such transitions. What are the evolutionary issues here?

10) Consider the tundra biome and its physical attributes. What uses of this biome by various countries have affected these regions in the past one hundred years?

11) Discuss the advent of big agriculture and the demographic shifts in human populations. How has it influenced property ownership? Has it effected our diets and health? Consider examples and  provide proper references.

12) Discuss the concept of plantations versus communal ownership. You might consider how the shift in these has influenced agriculture and forestry.

13) Consider the idea of federal leasing of grazing lands. Compare this practice in the west versus our management of fisheries. How does the tragedy of the commons enter into these two activities?