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EEB 3247 Limnology
Fall 2013

Lecture Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:45 in TLS 179
Lab Meeting Time: Thursdays 12:00 - 4:00 in TLS 179
Textbooks: Dodson S.I., 2005. Introduction to Limnology 1st Edition. McGraw-Hill.
Giller P.S. and B. Malmqvist, 2008. The Biology of Streams and Rivers. Oxford University Press.


Dr. Mark Urban
Office: Biology/Pharmacy 200A
Phone: (860) 486-6113
Office hours: by appointment

Jon Velotta(Teaching Assistant)
Office: Biology/Pharmacy 210
Phone: (860) 486-4694
Office hours: by appointment

Course Procedures

Photo by J.M. Rack
Photo by A. Shepack
Photo by J.M. Rack

Pdficon small.gifLimnology Syllabus 2013

Overview of Course:
The main objective of the course is to introduce you to the dominant physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms determining the ecology of inland waters. A secondary objective is to teach field sampling and research techniques pertinent to aquatic research. Classes will integrate lectures on core concepts with field and laboratory experiences In addition, an independent research project would be used to integrate concepts and also allow students to design, implement, analyze and communicate their own scientific research.
Limnology can be taught with various foci. I teach the course as an upper level ecology class focused on aquatic systems. If you have not taken ecology or evolution, you may need to do some supplementary work to catch up. See me within the first week to discuss this possibility.

  • Field and lab exercises are mandatory. Field trips cannot be made up. If for some reason you think that you will be unable to make any field trips, consult with me in advance.
    • We will leave for field trips at exactly 12 pm. Please arrive at the lab on time.
      • This is a field course. Ecologists go out regardless of the weather, and so will we. You are responsible for bringing appropriate rain or cold weather gear.

The two texts for the course are listed below. Both can be purchased from online sources such as or at the UConn Co-op.
Dodson, Stanley. 2005. Introduction to Limnology. McGraw Hill. ISBN: 007287935-3
Giller, Paul & Bjorn Malmqvist. 2008. The Biology of Streams and Rivers. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 0198549772

Class requirements and grading:
You must attend each class. Your grade will be based on two exams, completion of lab reports, a group research project and participation in field and lab exercises:
Midterm and Final Exams: 50
Lab Reports (2): 20
Research Project: 20
Participation/Quizzes: 10
TOTAL: 100 pts

Notes on class requirements:

  • The two exams will cover material covered in both lectures and labs. The final exam will be cumulative. Also expect one or more pop quizzes on reading materials.
  • I require lab reports which provide succinct descriptions and analyses of data collected during lab and field exercises.
  • You will also have time to perform a field or laboratory research project, of your design but requiring my permission. These projects can be performed individually or in small groups (3-maximum). Results will be presented by all individuals during the last lab meeting.
  • Participation means showing up, completing all assigned readings on time, and actively taking part in lectures and labs.
  • All students must adhere to all safety intructions at all times, especially while on water bodies, or you will be prevented from further participation.


Photo by J.M. Rack

Lateness policy
Assignments will lose 10 percentage points for every 24-hour period that they are late. For example, an assignment that would have received a 100% had it been handed in on time will receive a 60% (an F) if it is handed in 4 days late. Only a note from a physician or the Dean sent to me in advance of the due date will be accepted as a valid excuse.

Missed field trips/labs
Missed field trips or labs cannot be made up and will result in lost points unless the absence has been approved by me at least one week in advance or with a note from the physician or the Dean sent to me in advance of the field trip or lab. If you must miss a field trip or lab because of a legitimate school-sponsored activity or religious observance, then you must seek my permission at least one week in advance. In all approved cases, an equivalent activity will be assigned.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s statement word-for-word without quotation marks (even if you cite it) or using someone else’s ideas, even if you have paraphrased them, without proper attribution of credit through a citation. The penalty for plagiarism on your research project is a zero. Do not plagiarize – I run all of your written work through software that detects plagiarism. All plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with in the severest manner possible, meaning a zero on affected assignments and referral to the Dean’s office.

Lecture and Lab Schedule & Materials

Date Type Lecture or Lab Topic Reading Supplemental Materials
Aug 27 Lecture 1 Syllabus; Introduction to limnology D, Ch. 1 Pdficon small.gif
Aug 29 Lecture 2 Ecology and evolution; Lab notebooks Tadpole video
Aug 29 Lab 1 Phys./Chem. Sampling, Dunham Pond
Sept 3 Lecture 3 Ecology and Evolution / Lake formation D, Ch. 11 Glacier video
Sept 5 Lecture 4 Lake formation; create Kettle pond/Hydrology and water properties
Sept 5 Lab 2 Zooplankton Sampling, Dunham Pond
Sept 10 Lecture 5 TBA D, Ch. 2
Sept 12 Lecture 6 Temperature gradients
Sept 12 Lab 3 Zooplankton ID
Sept 17 Lecture 7 Light and oxygen D, Ch. 10
Sept 19 Lecture 8 Chemical limnology; Proposals :Pdficon small.gifProposals.pdf
Sept 19 Lab 4 Swan Lake sampling
Sept 24 Lecture 9 Populations in Lakes D, Ch. 6 Proposals Due
Sept 26 Lecture 10 Species Interactions in Lakes D, Ch. 7
Sept 26 Lab 5 Zooplankton ID
Oct 1 Lecture 10 Species Interactions D, Ch. 8
Oct 3 Lecture 11 Lake Communities D, Ch. 9
Oct 3 Lab 6 Fenton Sampling Lake Lab Due
Oct 8 Catch-up; Review Session
Oct 10 EXAM --- Midterm Exam
Oct 10 Lab Time allotted for student independent projects
Oct 15 Lecture 12 Lake ecosystems
Oct 17 Lecture 13 Wetland habitats: permanence transition
Oct 17 Lab 7 Pond Invertebrate ID
Oct 22 Lecture 14 Amphibian ecology and evolution
Oct 24 Lecture 15 Service: strategies for macrophyte control
Oct 24 Lab 8 Stream mapping
Oct 29 Lecture 16 Stream Environments GM, Ch. 1
Oct 31 Lecture 17 Key Factors in Streams I GM, Ch. 2
Oct 31 Lab 9 Stream Biota Sampling
Nov 5 Lecture 18 Key Factors in Streams II GM, Ch. 3, 5 f
Nov 7 Lecture 19 TBA
Nov 7 Lab 10 Time allotted for student independent projects
Nov 12 Lecture 20 Autotrophy/Heterotrophy GM, Ch. 6
Nov 14 Lecture 21 Stream Communities GM, Ch. 4, 7-9
Nov 14 Lab 11 Stream ID
Nov 19 Lecture 22 Stream Ecosystems GM, Ch. 8,9
Nov 21 Lecture 23 Conservation challenges I
Nov 21 Lab 12 Revisit lake chemistry; service class Stream Lab Due
Dec 3 Lecture 24 Conservation challenges II
Dec 5 Lecture 25 Catch-up; Review Project Papers Due
Dec 5 Lab Project Presentations

Photo by A. Shepack
Photo by A. Shepack
Photo by J.M. Rack

Additional Resources

American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
Association of State Wetland Managers
International Society of Limnology
North American Benthological Society
North American Lake Management Society
North American Native Fishes Association
Society of Wetland Scientists
Water Web Consortium