Course code:



A - Advanced

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ES - Environmental Science

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Every other year

Forests hold a large fraction of the world’s biodiversity and store immense reserves of carbon. This course will focus on understanding forests at the population, community, and ecosystem scales. We will study woody plant taxonomy; the way that forests are defined and understood by ecologists; the factors that influence plant distributions at large and small scales; the biotic and abiotic controls on tree growth and productivity; the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in forests; the life history strategies of different functional groups of trees; the population and community dynamics of trees, including forest succession; the ecological interactions between trees and other organisms in the forest; and forest diversity across the globe. The course will focus primarily on Maine forests, with field trips to Acadia National Park and the surrounding area, but we will also take a global perspective and study forest ecosystems from the taiga to the tropics. Fieldwork will cover woody plant taxonomy, forest inventory methods, and forest ecosystem assessment. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, dendrology quizzes, a field/lab notebook, and final project reports (written and oral).


ES3014 Ecology AND ES2014 Trees and Shrubs of MDI (or equivalent exposure to local plant taxonomy).

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.