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Summer College- Friends, Enemies, Frenemies: How the Biology of Interactions Shapes Nature and Society – Duke Youth Programs

Summer College- Friends, Enemies, Frenemies: How the Biology of Interactions Shapes Nature and Society

Specialty Academic College credit Residential

Duke Youth Programs

Date/Time: Jul 5 - 31, 2020     9:00am - 9:00pm
Ages: 15-17
Cost: $9,745.00
Registration deadline: Apr 15, 2020

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When was the last time you thought about how an apple grows or where we grow all the grains we use to make our breads and cereal? While often ignored, the interactions of organisms shape the world around us. Plants rely on other living things to deliver pollen between flowers, while trying to combat other organisms that eat them. Much of the natural world around us is influenced by positive and negative interactions between living things, as one species tries to outcompete, prey on, or infect another; other reactions of pollination, facilitation, or commensalism determine where organisms can live or how well they can survive and reproduce. Many of these living things are essential for human life, while they can also act as potential causes of harm. This course will explore species interactions and ecology as they shape both natural and urban settings. We will begin by introducing the basic theories of species interactions and ecology. Then, we will examine how these basic concepts affect nature and humans through case studies and specific examples. For instance, timing of flowering for both plants in nature and in agriculture can affect the rate of pollination for individual entities, which in turn affects the number of fruits that can be produced. Class lectures will introduce critical topics followed by a class session with group work and discussion. Each week we will incorporate an on-campus field trip to make observations, collect data, or introduce a topic. Popular press and scientific articles will both be examined for how they present critical scientific lessons. During the first week of class, you will be asked to choose a topic related to species interactions, ecology, or environmental sociology and then to research your topic by researching and analyzing two scientific published articles each successive week. The final class will consist of student presentations, reflecting a synthesis of the articles each individual has discovered and analyzed. The goals of this course include developing the skills to locate, evaluate, and critically read scientific and popular press articles; developing teamwork and cooperation (hallmarks of contemporary scientific investigation and discovery); and synthesizing information into written and oral communications.


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