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New On-line (D2L) Course: Noxious, Invasive Plants Of Arizona (RNR/PLS 400)
NOXIOUS, INVASIVE PLANTS OF ARIZONA (RNR/PLS 400)
Summer Session I, 2012; 3 credits; Section 001
Dr. Larry D. Howery (email@example.com; 621-7277)
New On-line (D2L) Course
Course Synopsis: This on-line course provides an overview of the biology, ecology, impacts, and management options for noxious, invasive plants in (or near) Arizona. The course’s primary focus is on Arizona and the southwestern U.S., however it will also provide an overview of the ecological and economic effects of invasive species across North America.
Background: The noxious, invasive weed problem in the southwestern U.S. has been described as “a biological forest fire racing beyond control because no one wants to be fire boss.” When small weed infestations are left unchecked, they can grow exponentially and spread across the land much like a slow-moving biological wildfire. However, land consumed by fire usually recovers and is often more productive than before the fire occurred. On the other hand, land consumed by noxious weeds may be irreversibly changed and never again reach its full ecological potential. Invasive plants also cause economic problems by altering habitats and causing poisonous plant problems for both wild and domesticated animals. There are currently relatively small noxious weed infestations in Arizona that most people probably do not even recognize as a problem. However, the risk of ignoring these infestations is great. Many weed scientists compare small infestations to biological time bombs, primed to explode when the right combination of environmental conditions come along. In Arizona, over the past decade, some of these smaller infestations have expanded their range into previously uninfested areas.
Course Objectives and Expected Learning Outcomes: The primary objective of this course is to help you develop a deeper understanding of noxious and invasive plants that are currently established in Arizona or that threaten the state due to their close proximity in bordering states/countries. By the end of this course, you will have achieved the following learning outcomes: 1) ability to describe multiple negative impacts of noxious, invasive plants, 2) ability to site-identify several key invasive plant species in the southwestern U.S., 3) increase your understanding of the biology and ecology of invasive species, and, 4) learn about various integrated vegetation management strategies and tactics that can been used to manage noxious, invasive plants.
Course Methodology and Teaching Format: Time management will be critical in this 5-week course which meets 5 days/week for 5 consecutive weeks. Each class day, there will be a Learning Module and a Discussion Assignment that should be completed by the end of the day (unless the day has been devoted to a quiz). There will be 3-4 quizzes given at periodic intervals throughout the session, and, you will be required to develop a PowerPoint® presentation on a noxious or invasive plant of your choice.