Concentration in Ecology

This concentration is intended for students interested in exposure to ecological principles within the context of a rigorous biological sciences curriculum. Students in this concentration must meet all of the requirements for one of the following degrees: BIO-BS, BIO-BA, BOT-BS, BOT-BA, ZOL-BS, or the ZOL-BA degree. The concentration also includes WLE 220 Introduction to Statistical Ecology and a requirement for a course on environmental influences. A total of 29-35 credits are required to complete the concentration depending on the selections made for each of the requirements.

Specific requirements:

1. Affiliated Sciences and Math


  • WLE 220 – Introduction to Ecological Statistics Credits: 4
  • This course can substitute for STS 232 Principles of Statistical Inference

2. Area I. Cell and Molecular Biology


Free choice among Area I courses in the Biology curriculum Credits: 3-4

3. Area II. Genetics


  • Free choice among Area II courses in the Biology curriculum Credits: 3-5

4. Area III. Physiology


  • Free choice among Area III courses in the Biology curriculum Credits: 3

5. Area IV. Biodiversity


  • BIO 465 Evolution is required plus 3 additional credits chosen from the courses in the Biology curriculum Credits: 6-7

6. Area V. Ecology and Behavior


BIO 319 or WLE 200 or SMS 300 is required plus 3 additional credits chosen from the following courses: Credits: 6-7

  • BIO 205 – Field Natural History of Maine Credits: 4
  • BIO 327 – Introductory Applied Entomology Credits: 4
  • BIO 354 – Animal Behavior Credits: 3
  • BIO 355 – Animal Behavior Laboratory Credits: 2
  • BIO 434 – Avian Biology and Ecology Credits: 3
  • BIO 437 – Avian Biology and Ecology Laboratory Credits: 1
  • BIO 447 – Experimental Ecology Credits: 4
  • BIO 455 – Biological Invasions Credits: 4
  • BIO 463 – River Ecology Credits: 4
  • BIO 468 – Lake Ecology Credits: 3
  • BIO 476 – Paleoecology Credits: 4
  • EES 475 – Field Studies in Ecology Credits: 1-3
  • PSE 457 – Plant Pathology Credits: 4
  • PSE 469 – Soil Microbiology Credits: 3
  • SFR 457 – Tree Pests and Disease Credits: 3
  • WLE 201 – Ecology Laboratory Credits: 3
  • WLE 423 – Wetland Ecology and Conservation Credits: 4

7. Primary and Secondary Producers


Choose at least one course labeled A and one labeled P from Areas I-V in the Biology curriculum. These courses can also satisfy requirements in Areas I-V for the basic Biology major and so do not add to the number of credits needed beyond the basic Biology major.

8. Area VI. Environmental Influences


Three credits are required.  Choose from these courses:

  • EES 140 – Soil Science Credits: 3
  • EES 141 – Soil Science Laboratory Credits: 1
  • ERS 101 – Introduction to Geology Credits: 4
  • ERS 102 – Environmental Geology of Maine Credits: 4
  • ERS 108 – Beaches and Coasts Credits: 3
  • INT 482 – (SBE, PSE) Pesticides and the Environment Credits: 3
  • PSE 320 – Soil Organic Matter Management Credits: 3
  • SFR 406 – Remote Sensing Image Interpretation and Forest Mapping Credits: 3

9. Field Experience


Choose at least one course from this list. This course can also satisfy one of the areas above.

  • BIO 205 – Field Natural History of Maine Credits: 4
  • BIO 355 – Animal Behavior Laboratory Credits: 2
  • BIO 430 – Ecology and Systematics of Aquatic Insects Credits: 4
  • BIO 437 – Avian Biology and Ecology Laboratory Credits: 1
  • BIO 463 – River Ecology Credits: 4
  • EES 475 – Field Studies in Ecology Credits: 1-3
  • WLE 423 – Wetland Ecology and Conservation Credits: 4

10. Capstone


Choose one of these courses:

  • BIO 388 – Research Capstone in Biology Credits: 1-3
  • BIO 392 – Independent Study Capstone in Biology Credits: 1-3
  • BIO 447 – Experimental Ecology Credits: 4
  • BIO 463 – River Ecology Credits: 4
  • HON 499 – Honors Thesis Credits: 3
  • (Must be a topic in Biology and the thesis advisor should be in SBE)

11. Writing requirement (students in the Honors program are exempt)


One course required. Choose from the following courses*:

  • ENG 212 – Persuasive and Analytical Writing Credits: 3
  • ENG 317 – Business and Technical Writing Credits: 3
  • *These courses satisfy the general education writing intensive requirement and so do not add to the number credits needed beyond the basic Biology major.