BIOEB202-22B (HAM)

Principles of Ecology

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Ecology, Biodiversity and Animal Behaviour


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Paper Description

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This paper covers the principles of ecology, including adaptation to the environment, intra- and inter-specific interactions, community and ecosystem dynamics, and biogeography. A weekend field trip and a computer laboratory work are essential elements.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and a laboratory class. Details of lecture and lab content are provided in the attached paper timetable.

Important note for international students: For international students in New Zealand under student visas, regular attendance is part of your visa obligation and is checked as a requirement on the University under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students, to which the University is a signatory. Academic staff are formally required to monitor attendance in classes and submission of compulsory assessment events/items and to report to Waikato International in the event that any problem with irregular attendance or non-submission is not resolved.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how and why populations and communities of species fluctuate, and an ability to run simple models that demonstrate population dynamics under various circumstances.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Discuss the characteristics of the world's major ecosystems, terrestrial and aquatic, including the environmental variables that lead to their development, and their characteristic flora and fauna.
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  • Perform a range of basic practical field techniques applicable to aquatic and/or terrestrial habitats.
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  • Communicate scientific ideas in essays and assignments based on field trip observations.
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  • Describe how biogeography has shaped life in New Zealand.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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The dates indicated for assessment procedures will normally be adhered to. Any changes in the dates will be made in consultation with the class, at least one week prior to the original date.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 50% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 50% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Laboratory activity
19 Aug 2022
4:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Field trip report
30 Sep 2022
5:00 PM
  • Hand-in: Faculty Information (FG Link)
3. Essay
16 Sep 2022
4:00 PM
  • Hand-in: Faculty Information (FG Link)
4. Test 1
26 Aug 2022
1:00 PM
5. Test 2
18 Oct 2022
10:00 AM
6. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Recommended Readings

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Highly Recommended Text: Smith, R.L., and T.M. Smith. (2015). Elements of Ecology, 9th ed. (Benjamin Cummings).

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Online Support

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This paper has a Moodle page ( where you will be able to access pdfs of lecture notes and powerpoints, lecture recordings, and assessment materials. There are also discussion forums where you can both ask and answer questions. Your essay assignment must be submitted electronically through Moodle, and as an identical paper copy at FIC.

PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices. It is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle and in lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole.

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This paper has around 40 hours of contact time, plus 3 hours per week for assessment and independent study. The remaining 70 hours is for preparing and writing the essay and field trip report, and studying for the exam.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite for BIOEB303, 304 and 305; also required for the Environmental Science major.

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Prerequisite papers: BIOEB102 or BIOL102




Restricted papers: BIOL212

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