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Spring 2024 Class Schedule

View all course descriptions here.

Course # Course Title Instructor Day/Time Lab
203 Humans and the Environment Beddows TTh 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM
390-0-03 Topics: R Data Science Anderson T 2pm-3:50pm  Th 2pm-3:50pm 
390-0-07 Topics: Urban Ecology Anderson TTh 11am-12:20pm  M 11am-2:50pm 
390-23  Data Analysis and Visualization for Scientists  CaraDonna  TTh 9:30am-10:50am 


2023-2024 Course Descriptions 

203 – Humans and the Environment

Environmental science is the interdisciplinary study of how humans interact with the living and nonliving parts of their environment. In this course, we will examine current environmental challenges, such as climate change, the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable production of energy, and the implications of human population growth. A case study approach will be used bringing in dimensions of ethics, justice, law, economics, policy, culture, and more, in compliment to the understanding of the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere functions and condition. 

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390-0-03 – Topics: R Data Science

As we are in the era of ‘big data', the quantity and quality of data available for environmental, ecological and earth science research has exploded over the past few decades. The free and open-source R programming language has become a powerful tool in data analysis in scientific research. This course offers an introduction to the fundamentals of data science using the programming language, R. The course contents span from basic R programming skills to advanced skills including data management, visualization and analysis of spatial data such as weather and satellite imagery data. By conducting hands-on exercises and an extensive project, students will develop dynamic and reproducible outputs based on their own fields of interests. This course does not require prior coding experience. 

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390-0-07 – Topics: Urban Ecology

Lecture: In this course, we will evaluate different aspects of the urban environment through the lens of a social-ecological system. Students will explore the foundations of urban systems and their intertwining with social processes and environmental justice. We will examine principles of urbanization and examine how these changes influence hydrology, biogeochemistry, climate, and ecology. We will engage with local environmental groups and sustainability initiatives, discussing ways in which urban science helps solve the pressing challenges of today to improve life in the future. Lab: In this laboratory section, students will learn experimental design, field methods, and in urban ecology which they will use to conduct a research project in their community. Furthermore, students will participate in urban ecology field trips across Chicago that highlight themes of climate, hydrology, and environmental justice in local communities. 

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390-23 – Data Analysis and Visualization for Scientists 

This class is designed to be a practical guide to quantitative analysis and data visualization, particularly for the scientific fields of ecology, evolution, and conservation. We will learn about, put to use, and practice a wide range of data science methods that are commonly used in these fields. The class is designed to be a hands-on learning experience using the open source programming language, R. No experience in R is required. We will begin with data manipulation and wrangling, and then move on to common quantitative analyses, their variations, and how best to visualize data. By the end of the class, students will have the skills and confidence to address a wide variety of questions with quantitative methods. 

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