Introduction to Ecology and Behavior

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Requisite: Life Sciences 7B. Not open for credit to students with credit for course 118, 122, 124A, 124B, 125, C126, 129, 132, 134B, 136, or 151B. Introduction to methods and topics in ecology and behavior. Growth and regulation of populations, organization of communities and ecosystems, biogeography, and behaviors animals use to find food, choose mates, and interact in social groups. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 3.3/ 5
Clarity 3.7/ 5
Workload 3.4/ 5
Helpfulness 3.8/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2020 - The professor: - Gorlitsky teaches the animal behavior portion of the course, which is the more difficult portion. - She is clearly passionate about the course material and always has examples to give regarding the concepts she wishes to illustrate. - Gorlitsky is clear during lectures and often seeks student participation during lectures. She seems generally nice and is approachable after class and office hours. She does talk kind of fast, though, and I found it helpful to record the lectures since the class isn't Bruincasted. Everything you need to know for the exams is mentioned in the lecture. The material: - Animal Behavior portion of the class requires a lot of more memorization than the second portion of the class; generally, though, I found it to be really interesting. On average, I think most students will find portions of this class to be relevant and interesting. - class material and lecture is supplemented extensively with relevant videos that are shown during lecture. Grading scheme: - the course is out of 550 points; 2 exams worth 200 points each, 60 points for attendance; the rest is for discussion section attendance (mandatory, 18pts) and for responding to weekly reading assignments (72pts) - straight-scale i.e. no curve unless exam averages are below 80%, which they weren't. --Exams: Relatively difficult due to sheer amount of information covered but honestly very fair with the question selection. She doesn't try and trick you in exams but it's difficult just because so much information was covered in lecture. Gorlitsky knows and is transparent about the fact that Exam 1 is harder and that exam 2 provides as opportunity to boost your grade. -- Weekly assignments: Each week, you read a research article and have to generate three questions that show your understanding of the article. These are graded fairly harshly and generating good questions is more difficult than it seems. I would write 3-5 sentences per question in order to receive full points. Not incredibly difficult but it is incredibly annoying. -- Discussion section: Pointless but mandatory. Each week, a group would be assigned to give a 20min presentation on the research paper of the week. As long as you had slides, read the article a few times, and lightly prepared, you received full points. The rest of discussion section involved answering the questions we generated for the weekly assignments (described above) in small groups. -- Attendance is not taken every class but instead, the professor does "pop-quizzes" randomly, which you turn in at the end of class to provide evidence that you were present. The pop-quizzes are graded on effort and completion, not on correctness. textbook: - Not worth it. I rented the textbook for the first half of the course and I did use it but very lightly when studying for the midterm, if I was confused about a definition. Didn't bother renting it for the second half of the class (ecology). Overall: Interesting material, passionate professors, and fair/decent exams make this a good class in my book. If you're a psychobio student, definitely try and take this class (though the EEB department severely restricts seats), instead of Psych118.
Overall Rating 3.0
Easiness 3.2/ 5
Clarity 3.2/ 5
Workload 4.4/ 5
Helpfulness 3.2/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2021 - I am writing this review of Gregory Grether's portion of the class, after taking the final. The class average was 78 (like 10 points lower than the midterm with Lipman). Test questions were definitely ambiguous in this section (animal behavior), as there is more memorization of concepts and hypotheticals. I got an A on the final, but that's only because I studied my ass off and looked over the lectures at least a dozen times right before and during my time taking the test (the exam was open-note and open-book). Since this class was on a straight scale, a lot of people didn't feel like it was achievable to get an A in this class. I feel like most of my classmates were B+/A- range. I personally feel like I underestimated this class and the rigor that it actually has, because the ecology section was fairly easy. If you take this class with him, my advice would be to ask questions like "what do you mean by that?" or "What are examples of this?" when he gives hypotheses or theories, because holy shit, that would have helped a TON if someone asked that in class/if he touched on it. There were a lot of things on the exam that fried my brain to a crisp, because I feel like we didn't touch on certain concepts as much as we could have, so I wound up throwing shit on the wall and seeing what stuck. The test was only 30 questions too, so if you missed one question you'll drop about half a letter grade. Also... DO THE FUCKING EXTRA CREDIT!!! That shit saved me from an A-. The class was 430 points total, as follows: Ecology Exam (Midterm): 100 points Behavior Exam (Final): 100 points Discussion: 150 points Quizzes: 80 points Total: 430 points Extra Credit: 10 points Good luck Bruins and don't take this class thinking it'll be an easy A.... it whooped my ass
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