Freshwater Biology - BSCI 467 (4 credits)

Course format: Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab each week

Availability: Offered fall semesters

Prerequisite: BSCI 106 or permission of instructor

Course description: “Freshwater Biology” is designed for upper undergraduates with interests in aquatic ecology and the biology of organisms inhabiting lentic (e.g., lakes, ponds, wetlands) and lotic (e.g., rivers, streams, creeks) habitats. One feature of the course is the extensive hands-on experience through field trips during the first third of the course. This experience will provide background and reinforcement of principles and facts from lectures and discussions on the ecology of freshwater organisms, population and community ecology, and the ecosystem structure and function of freshwaters. The identification portion of the laboratory during the last two-thirds of the course will emphasize aquatic insects, which are often the most diverse and abundant group of organisms associated with freshwater habitats. Other components of freshwater ecosystems, e.g. plankton and periphyton as primary producers, and fish as higher level consumers, will be included in discussions. A second feature of the course is the use of primary research articles to introduce key ecological concepts and to generate discussion on the process and growth of knowledge within freshwater ecology.

The biology of freshwaters is set in the context of the human landscape: our freshwater needs, our use for disposing wastes, and our transformation of our environment, especially as it disrupts the hydrologic cycle. All of these activities impact the quantity and quality of water resources for humans as well as the organisms that live in the water. The theme of sustainability of water resources for future generations underlies many of the topics of freshwater biology.

Recent or upcoming course syllabus and schedule: Fall, 2015

Linda Wang of Freshwater Biology, Fall-2016, wins best blog for her Fishing Creek description, “Now You See Me, Now You Don't”
Linda Wang, one of 47 students in Bill's Freshwater Biology class this semester, was selected by her peers in the class as the best blog for an assignment called, "Observations of Fishing Creek." Fishing Creek is a mountain stream north of Frederick, MD, and the site of one of our collecting field trips. Linda's photo and text describe the ability of stoneflies to hide in packs of leaves in the stream, as she discovered in early October, 2016. Her blog can be read here.

Previous blog winners
2015: Kristina Park, "How About a Bowl of Leaves for Breakfast?", pdf
2014: Kevin Beiter, "Bubbling Brooks and the World They Hide Beneath their Depths", pdf

Aquatic Entomology - ENTM 667 (3 credits)

Course format: One hour of lecture plus three hours of lab on Wednesdays that can be combined for long field trips, and an additional two hours of lab/discussion on Fridays

Availability: Spring semesters of even years

Course description: “Aquatic Entomology” is designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduates with interests in aquatic ecology and the identification of insects inhabiting lentic (e.g., lakes, ponds, wetlands) and lotic (e.g., rivers, streams, creeks) habitats. Because of the widespread occurrence of aquatic species within the hexapods, insects have invaded freshwater habitats many times during their evolution, in some cases multiple times within an order of insects. This evolution has resulted in a diversity of morphological and physiological adaptations. Thirteen orders of the Class Insecta and other hexapods, including approximately 145 families and 650 genera in North America, have species that are intimately associated with freshwater at least part of their life cycle. Aquatic insects serve critical functions of freshwater ecosystems, including organic material processing, herbivory of micro- and macrophytes, predation of invertebrates (including other insects) and vertebrates (such as amphibians and fish), and as food for higher trophic levels. Because individual taxa respond differently to physical and chemical conditions of freshwater habitats, they are commonly used as bioindicators of environmental stresses caused by humans. In addition, many species of aquatic insects are important pests, such as mosquitoes and black flies. The course will emphasize the biology, ecology, and identification of aquatic insects (and other hexapods), as well as applied aspects of biological monitoring and pest management.

Recent or upcoming course syllabus and schedule: Spring 2016 Syllabus, Spring 2016 Schedule

Topic Seminars - ENTM 798x (1 credit)

Course format: Two hours of discussion each week.

Availability: Offered usually once per year, fall or spring.

Course description: Topics of seminars vary depending in part on the interest of students. Some recent examples are:

  • Fall, 2013, ENTM798D, "Sustainable Pest Management"
  • Spring, 2016, ENTM798G, "Topic Seminar: Insects and Climate Change"

Sustainability - ENTM 735 (3 credits)

Part of the Master of Professional Studies in Applied Entomology, University of Maryland

Course format: Online. Video-taped lectures, posted videos, and assigned readings.

Availability: Offered summers

Course description: Sustainability requires integration of environmental, economic, and sociological factors towards a common goal of durability. Beneficial insects play important roles for sustainable conditions in their contribution to ecosystem services. In addition, injurious insects must be managed appropriately for the health and well-being of mankind. This course will apply the concept of sustainability to both ecosystem services provided by beneficial insects, as well as to the management of injurious insects. Ecological functions of insects in natural and managed landscapes will be illustrated and discussed. In addition, case histories and discussions will focus on themes of sustainability in successful IPM programs, as well as specific practices that lead to sustainable practices. The course will conclude with a discussion of our vision of sustainable approaches for conserving and managing insects in the landscape.

Recent or upcoming course syllabus and schedule: Summer, 2016

Undergraduate Research - BSCI 389 or 389H (1-2 credits)

Course format: Meet weekly with Dr. Lamp for a half hour each week to discuss a researchable topic of mutual interest, followed by independent research time in the lab or field. Time required depends on the number of credits.

Availability: Offered each semester to 1-3 students.

Course description: Independent research on plant-insect interactions or aquatic ecology. Students meet with Dr. Lamp to develop and discuss researchable topics, and then develop a research proposal. At the same time, the student works independently or with lab personnel to develop tools and information needed to perform the research. A report is generated at the end of the research. Those students who enroll in the Entomology Honors Program will register for BSCI 389H.