Plant Microbiology- Prof Doty

ESRM 201

Pacific Northwest Ecosystems

Spring 2019:  Prof. Sharon L. Doty with TA Robert Tournay and Peer TA Theo Hoss

Lectures on Tuesdays 1:30-2:50

Lab Section AA on Wednesdays 1:30-4:20 in WFS 107;

Lab Section AB on Thursdays 1:30-4:20 in WFS 107;

Course Introduction: This course will introduce you to the principles of ecology across an urban to wild land gradient.  Students will be exposed in the classroom, labs and field trips to basic ecological theory and northwest plant communities as well as to the interaction of plants, soil, soil organisms, climate, hydrology, fire, insects and diseases on the landscape.

Course Grading

  1. Examinations: Midterm (30%) and Final (30%)
  1. Field trips and labs
    1. Factsheets (2 per field trip: 4 x 2 = 8; Oral presentations of all 8 fact sheets but only 1 of each set will be turned in for grading): 20%
    2. Participation
    3. Journal and associated pre-field trip homework: 20%

Course Objectives

  • Principles of ecology across an urban to wildland gradient
  • PNW plant communities
  • Interactions of plants, soils, microbes, climate, hydrology, fire, insects, diseases, and wildlife
  • Challenges of managing ecological systems in the urbanizing PNW
  • Develop critical analysis and documentation skills

[Prof. Doty is on sabbatical autumn 2019 and spring 2020; ESRM 201 in spring 2020 will be taught by Robert Tournay]

Course Syllabus 2019: Lectures on Tuesdays, labs on either Wed. or Thurs.

Apr 2               Intro to forest and urban ecosystems and the urban-rural gradient; Climate

Apr 3&4          (WFS 107) Lab exercises on plant classification; campus plant tour

Apr 9                Principles of Ecology:  ecosystem functions, niches, succession

Apr 10&11       Meet at the Washington Park Arboretum Graham Visitor Center.  Finish by 4:30 pm

Apr 16             Soils along the urban to wildland gradient

Apr 17&18       (WFS107) Lab exercises:

1) Soils: Textures, ratios, pH, water holding capacity, organic matter

2) Intro to molecular biology as a way to verify species identification

3) Plant ID exercises

Apr 23             Beneficial insects (guest lecture by Prof. Tobin)

Apr 24&25       (WFS107) Lab:  Symbiosis (the spectrum from pathogens/parasites to mutualists)

Apr 30             Wildlife along the urban to wildland gradient (guest lecture by Prof. Wirsing)

May 1 &2         (Start in WFS107) Field trip to Union Bay Natural Area for wildlife; Fact Sheet presentations

May 7              Biotic Disturbances

May 8&9         Midterm Exam (not including Biotic Disturbances)

May 14             Abiotic disturbances- fire, wind, avalanches, volcanic eruptions

May 15&16      (Meet in parking lot behind WFS) Field trip to SEA streets & Carkeek Park.  Return about 5:00 PM.  Fact Sheets

May 21             Aquatic and riparian ecosystems

May 22&23      (Meet in parking lot behind WFS) Field trip to Snoqualmie River.  Return about 6:00 PM.  Fact Sheets

May 28             Adaptations

May 29&30      (Meet in parking lot behind WFS) All Day field trip to East Side of Cascades.  7 AM to 7 PM!  Fact Sheets

June 4              Landscape management for sustainability

June 5&6         (WFS 107) Final exam (We will NOT use the UW-assigned final exam day)

Disability Accommodations

To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor so we can arrange the accommodations needed for this class.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism, cheating, and other misconduct are serious violations of your contract as a student. We expect that you will know and follow the University’s policies on cheating and plagiarism. Any suspected cases of academic misconduct will be handled according to University regulations. More information, including definitions and examples of Academic Misconduct, is available at

Plagiarism in this course: We take plagiarism very seriously.  It is not acceptable in this course to copy and paste from a source, even when cited.  It defeats the purpose of the assignment (in this case, the Fact Sheets) since we are testing if you understand the material you are presenting.  When you submit an assignment, note your VeriCite score.  If it is flagged as potential plagiarism, rewrite the flagged sections in your own words.  It is not enough to simply change out a few words.  Read the source text, then look away and write what you just learned.  For international students, we would rather see your understanding of the information than it be written in perfect English.

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (