Jan 18 - May 2, 2012
Wed 9:30 - 11:30 MST
Location: NR204 (NR202 on Mar 7)
Course Organizers: Melanie Murphy, Helene Wagner, and Lisette Waits
Co-Instructors: Niko Balkenhol, Janine Bolliger, Sam Cushman, Rodney Dyer, Marie-Josee Fortin, Olivier François, Stephane Joost, Nusha Keyghobadi, Erin Landguth, and Steve Spear
USU Ecology Center Sponsorship: The USU Ecology Center is covering the usual $750 per person fee for this course, for a group up to 8-10 students. Karen Mock will serve as the course coordinator for this group of students. For students wanting credit, this can be arranged via the University of Idaho or as independent study credit via USU. Please contact Karen Mock (firstname.lastname@example.org; 7-7870) if you are interested in participating in the course, with or without credit.
This course on Landscape Genetics provides a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary training and provides an overview of the field of landscape genetics. The course caters to students in both basic and
applied ecology, especially conservation/population genetics, landscape ecology and conservation biology. A key objective of landscape genetics is to study how landscape modification and habitat
fragmentation affect organism dispersal and gene flow across the landscape. Landscape genetics requires highly interdisciplinary specialized skills making intensive use of technical population
genetic skills and spatial analysis tools (spatial statistics, GIS tools and remote sensing). Even when students receive disciplinary training in these areas, educational programs often lack the necessary
linkage and synthesis among disciplines. This linkage can only be accomplished after experts from each discipline work together to develop guiding principles for this new research area.
Landscape Genetics will be concurrently offered at six universities in North America and Europe giving students the opportunity to learn from international experts and work with peers from outside institutions. For students who are not members of the participating institutions, we are offering a web-based online course to reach a broader audience. Each course meeting will start with a live web-cast lecture (no special software required) by an expert on the topic that introduces foundations and
methods and highlights points for discussion in local seminar groups. After breaking out into local course group discussion (including a discussion group for online course students), a web-based discussion
across campuses will wrap up the weekly topic. Students who are unable to make it to live-cast of lectures and need to view taped lectures should contact the course coordinators to make special arrangements. In addition, students may choose to participate in optional interdisciplinary group team projects with web-based collaboration across institutions.
Description from Lisette Waits:
The format of the class will be 50 minute lecture, ~30 minutes discussion among local groups or among individuals in the online group, and then ~25 minute wrap up discussion where the lecturer answers questions from students at the different institutions. The lectures/discussion will be taped so that students who miss it can watch later. There will be assigned readings each week but no textbook. (one doesn't exist but I'm actually working on one with some colleagues)
There will be the option for students to participate in group research projects led by the faculty with the goal of generating a publishable paper but we’ve found this is more like a 2 semester than one semester time commitment. We'll send more info about that in January to everyone who registers.
We will be generating weekly computer lab activities which we can provide to the online students. They are likely to use R a lot and might use GIS as well.
Course topics (these are approximately the topics for each week)
Date Week Topic Lead Speaker
18-Jan Week 1 Introduction All
25-Jan Week 2 Landscape Genetics Spear
1-Feb Week 3 Gene Flow Waits
8-Feb Week 4 Landscapes Wagner
15-Feb Week 5 Spatial Analysis Fortin
22-Feb Week 6 Discrete Populations Balkenhol / Fortin
29-Feb Week 7 Landscape Data Bolliger
7-Mar Week 8 Matrix Resistance Landguth / Murphy
14-Mar March break
21-Mar Week 9 Distance-based Methods Cushman
28-Mar Week 10 Model Selection Wagner
4-Apr Week 11 Simulation Modeling Balkenhol / Landguth
11-Apr Week 12 Network-based Methods Murphy
18-Apr Week 13 Contemporary Gene Flow Dyer
25-Apr Week 14 Adaptive Variation Manel
2-May Week 15 Group Presentations All
Class Announcements >