Biology 315:  Wetland and Riparian Ecology
Fall 2012


INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Jerry Skinner; Capwell Hall 208; 945-8404. email: 

CLASS MEETINGS: Lecture: T-R 11:00 am-12:15 pm, Capwell 302.  Inclement weather meeting time:  12:00-12:45 pm.

Mitsch, W. J. and J. G. Gosselink.  2000Wetlands, 4th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  NY.  582 pp.  ISBN 978-0-471-69967-5.

COURSE DESCRIPTION (modified from the College catalog):

This course will focus on major concepts in wetland ecology including  history, wetland definitions, identification of habitat types, and wetlands functions and values to society. We will examine wetland classification systems, wetland hydrology, soils, plants and plant communities, state and federal jurisdiction and policies, regulatory issues and trends in wetland conservation, protection and management.  Delineation and various assessment techniques will be discussed and demonstrated in the field. Includes field trips to on- and off-campus sites.  Prerequisites:  General Ecology (BIOL 214); relevant Field Biology courses such as Wildflower Identification are recommended.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to 


Wetlands in History and Pop Culture

Status and Trends of Wetlands in the US

Wetland Plants Introduction

Collecting Field Trip to Davis Crossing Sanctuary

Laboratory ID and mounting of specimens


Occasionally you will be assigned readings outside of your textbook. These will be left on reserve in the library, or in some other readily available place.

Grading Policy

3 Exams @100 pts 300
Hydrophyte specimens 10@10 pts 100
Powerpoint presentations 3 @ 25 pts   75
2 Abstracts @10 pts   20
Participation 50 pts per half semester 100
Total   595
A 93-100%
A- 90-92.99
B+ 87-89.99
B 83-86.99
B- 80-82.99
C+ 77-79.99
C 73-76.99
C- 70-72.99
D+ 67-69.99
D 60-66.99
F <60.00

Attendance and due dates: Your presence is expected at EVERY lecture. You will notice that attendance is not included in the grading scale. You do not gain points by carrying out your responsibility in showing up. There will be no makeup tests without a verifiable excuse of a very serious nature. Makeups will be at my convenience and will be an oral test. Late assignments will not be accepted for any reason. Assignments are due AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS on the due date. If they come in after that time, they are late!

Important References:

Cowardin, Lewis M.   1979.  Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND.

Cronk,  Julie K. and M. S. Fennessy.   Wetland Plants: Biology and Ecology.  Lewis Publishers.   ISBN: 1566703727.

Eastman, John.  1995.  The Book of Swamp & Bog: Trees, Shrubs & Wildflowers of the Eastern Freshwater Wetlands, 1st ed. Stackpole Books.   ISBN: 0811725189

Keddy, Paul A.  Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (Cambridge Studies in Ecology).  Cambridge University Press.   ISBN: 0521783674.

Mujumdar, Shyamal.   1989. Wetlands Ecology and Conservation: Emphasis in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania Academy of Science.   IBSN-0-945809-01-8.

Richardson, J. L.   Wetlands Soils: Genesis, Hydrology, Landscapes, and ClassificationCRC Press.   ISBN: 1566704847.

Tiner, Ralph W.  1999.   Wetland Indicators: A Guide to Wetland Identification, Delineation, Classification and Mapping.  Lewis Publishers, Inc.   ISBN: 0873718925.

Tiner, Ralph W. 2005.  In Search of Swampland:  A Wetland Sourcebook and Field Guide, Second Edition.  Rutgers University Press.  ISBN 0-8135-3681-2.  336 p.

The Fine Print:

Keystone College does not discriminate in any of its programs on the basis of disability. While there is not a deadline for the disclosure of a disability by a student, in order to facilitate the documentation and accommodation processes, students are encouraged to voluntarily and confidentially disclose and disability requiring an accommodation prior to the beginning of class. This disclosure should be made to Owen Conaghan, , College Counselor & Coordinator of Disability Services.  Students who disclose a disability, and who are seeking an accommodation, ultimately will be expected to provide documentation verifying the disability.

Academic Honesty – Division of Natural Science and Mathematics
All students are subject to the College's policy and procedure on academic dishonesty;  see the current Keystone College catalog. 
The Natural Science and Mathematics Division recognizes that any form or degree of academic dishonesty challenges the principles of truth and honesty which are among the most important founding principles of science and mathematics discovery.  Keystone College treats academic dishonesty as a serious violation of academic trust.  It penalizes all students found to have engaged in such behavior.
Academic honesty within the College and the Natural Science and Mathematics Division must be a cooperative enterprise of faculty, students and administrators. Acts of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:

  1. The illegitimate use of study materials or electronic devices in any form during a quiz or examination.
  2. Copying answers from the quiz or examination paper of another student.
  3. Plagiarizing or falsifying materials or information used in the completion of any assignment which is graded or evaluated as the student's individual effort. Plagiarism includes submitting as one's own the ideas or work of another, including the laboratory data, written materials or the computer files of another, regardless of whether that information is used verbatim or in paraphrased form.  The same applies to anything derived from the Internet, including research papers purchased online. 
  4. Obtaining, through theft, bribery, or collusion, or otherwise improperly securing an examination paper prior to the time and date for the administration of the examination. Also, use of an examination paper previously administered (e.g., during an earlier term) without the consent of the instructor who authored the examination.
  5. Impersonating a candidate at an examination or availing oneself of such an impersonation in any traditional or online class. 
  6. Intentionally interfering with any person's scholastic work, for example, by damaging or stealing laboratory experiments, computer data files or library materials.
  7. It is presumed that material submitted by a student for an assignment is original to that assignment and, therefore, submitting the same work for more than one course without the consent of the instructors of each course in which the work is submitted is considered dishonest.  Submission of previously graded work from prior assignments is considered dishonest. 
  8. Aiding or abetting any act of academic dishonesty including but not limited to such offenses as described above.

Any student caught cheating, or using someone’s work as their own, will be reported to the Academic Dean of the College.  A grade of zero will be recorded for that assignment/test/quiz. For more information on dishonest acts including plagiarism, cheating, and fraud, consult your Student Information Guide.

Keystone College states that all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s Keystone email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a Keystone account. This allows the College to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individuals and the security of transmitted information.  Keystone College furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with College personnel

The College has set deadlines for withdrawing from courses. These dates and times are published in the course catalog and on the Academic Calendar. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. The proper paperwork must be completed to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend once you are enrolled. If you are considering withdrawing from a class, consult your Advisor and refer to the College Catalog.

An “I” (Incomplete) will only be given under extenuating circumstances.  It will not be given to students who simply fail to do the work or miss an exam.  If an “I” is given, students must complete the work within four weeks into the following semester, or receive a grade of “F” for the course.

Keystone College offers tutoring assistance for many of its courses. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, consult the Tutoring webpage.