Freshwater Ecology

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Freshwater Ecology

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Marine Biology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

    60
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    6
  • Overview

    COURSE DESCRIPTION
    Water is a vital resource for human beings, but it is a limited resource that have been degraded and the demand for this resource is growing. Freshwater ecology or limnology is a course to help us understand the physical, chemical and biological properti
    es of inland aquatic environments (wetlands, lakes, rivers, mangroves, and reservoirs). It aims to give emphasis to the problems and conservation efforts for water resources, for that we will learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments with field trips and laboratory work.

    Objectives
    1.Learn the main chemical, biochemical and physical process that occur in the aquatic environments
    2.Learn the characteristics of the main tropical freshwater ecosystems
    3.Learn the main adaptations of the organisms in the aquatic environment
    4.Learn about the interactions between organisms in aquatic environments
    5.Learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments
    6.Recognize the main problems affecting the aquatic environments
    7.Recognize the main solutions to increase water quality

    ContentsUnit 1. Introduction to the aquatic environment
    1.1 Introduction
    1.2 Definition of limnology
    1.3 Ecosystems included in the course
    1.4 Main and important definitions
    1.5 Importance of the aquatic environment

    Unit 2. Physical and chemical water properties
    2.1 Color
    2.2 Temperature
    2.3 Sedimentation
    2.4 Water density and viscosity
    2.5 Surface tension
    2.6 The water molecule
    2.7 Oxygen and CO2 in the water
    2.8 pH
    2.9 Methods to measure the physical and chemical water properties

    Unit 3. Water as an ecosystem
    3.1 Photosynthesis
    3.2 Respiration
    3.3 Autotrophs
    3.4 Nutrients
    3.5 Heterotrophs.
    3.6 Symbiosis
    3.7 Ecological succession.
    3.8 Nitrogen cycle
    3.9 Definitions of main communities in the aquatic environments

    Unit 4. Wetlands
    4.1 Definition
    4.2 Characeristics
    4.3 Ramsar convention
    4.4 Threats
    4.5 Conservation and restoration

    Unit 5. Lakes
    5.1 Classification of lakes according with the origin
    5.2 Lakes' zones
    5.3 Lakes' communities
    5.4 Adaptation of organisms to lentic environments
    5.5 Parameter to study lakes
    5.6 Thermal stratification
    5.7 Productivity
    5.8 Eutrophication
    Unit 6. Rivers
    6.1 Rivers' origins
    6.2 Currents classification
    6.3 Movement
    6.4 Parameter to study lakes
    6.5 Season changins
    6.6 Rivers' communities
    6.7 Adaptation of organisms to lotic environments
    6.8 Aquatic macroinvertebrates in streams

    Unit 7. Mangroves
    7.1 Definition
    7.2 Classification
    7.3 Salinity
    7.4 Productivity
    7.5 Communities
    7.6 Importance

    Unit 8. Reservoirs
    8.1 Characteristicas
    8.2 Classifications
    8.3 Importance

    Attendance
    Student's attendance to every class is mandatory. If a student gets sick or has some other important problem, he/she has to bring a document justifying their absence. After 2 justified absences, students will fail the course.
    If you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.
    Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
    1) be improperly dressed
    2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
    3) Behave in a disrespectful way.

    If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade.

    Methodology
    The classes are present with plenty of visual images and examples in power point presentations. Some classes are
    complemented with movies as
    well. Students should participate in class reading discussions in order to have a
    better comprehension of the theory.
    Laboratory session and field trips are part of the class.

    Evaluation systemTheory
    Individual presentation 15%
    Class Participation (discussions, homeworks) 15%
    Midterm Tests 15%
    Final Test 15%

    Laboratory
    Lab reports 15%
    Group project 15%
    Field trip participation 10%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations