BIO 204-H Ecology of Food Production
Name of instructor:
Dr.Edwin H. Battley
When course is offered:
Spring semester, each year
A survey of the ecology of agricultural
systems and the natural limits of food production. Topics include
the impact of environmental factors on agricultural systems, the
biology of food production by major crop plants, and the role that
human population growth and evolution may play in global patterns
of feast or famine.
Sophomore standing; one D.E.C. category E course.
Office of instructor:
Life Sciences Lab 039A. Phone 515-632-8576, or
leave a message at the office of the Department of
Ecology and Evolution, 516-632-8600, asking that
it be put in the instructor's mail box.
10:30-11:30 A.M. on Mondays and Fridays. Otherwise,
make an appointment after the regular lecture
period or by phone. Most problems can be solved
by a short discussion at that time.
Plants, Genes, and Agriculture, by M.J. Chrispeels
and David Sadava, pub.by Jones and Bartlett,
Boston, 1994, 478 pp., hard cover. Can be
purchased new or used at the Campus Book Store, or
at Stony Books on Route 25A near Stony Brook
Monday and Friday at 12.40 - 2:00 P.M. in Lecture
Room 110, Javits Lecture Center
Examinations: Two midterm examinations and a final exam which
will be the equivalent of two hour examinations.
Based on the class average scaled to a 75% C.
Thus, after scaling:
- 93.33% - 100% = A 73.33% - 76.65% = C
- 90.00% - 93.32% = A- 70.00% - 73.32% = C-
- 86.66% - 89.89% = B+ 66.66% - 69.99% = D+
- 83.33% - 86.65% = B 63.33% - 66.65% = D
- 80.00% - 83.32% = B- below 63.33% = F
- 76.66% - 79.99% = C+
In arriving at a scaling factor, if the class average for a given
exam is less than 75.00%, the difference is taken between 75.00%
and class average, and this is added to each student's score. If
the class average for a given exam happens to be greater than
75.00%, the difference between the class average and 75.00% is NOT
subtracted from each student's score. Thus, it is possible for
every student to get an "A." It practice this has not happened.
The class averages for any given exam are usually below 75.00%.
The final grade is based on the same procedure, but using the
average of the averages.
Exam format: Multiple choice exams machine scored.
Students with disabilities:
If you have a physical, psychiatric/
emotional, medical, or learning disability that may impact on your
ability to carry out assigned course work, you are strongly urged
to contact the staff in the Disabled Student Services Office
(DSS), Room 133 Humanities Bldg., 632-6748. The DSS will review
your concerns and determine, with you, what accomodations are
necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is
All exams must be taken. Makeup exams will be available
only to those who have a valid (in the instructor's opinion)
excuse for missing a regular exam. Except under most unusual
circum- stances makeup exams must be taken within one week of any
exam missed, at a time and place to be indicated by the
instructor. Because of the size of the class, this will be
strictly adhered to, and multiple makeups will not be given.
Therefore, make every effort to take an exam at the time it is
regularly scheduled, and take every precaution to avoid missing
The following topics will be discussed in
lecture. For a more detailed coverage, consult the text.
- 1. Human population growth: lessons from demography.
- 2. Farming systems: Development, Productivity, and Sustainability.
- 3. Plant biotechnology: an overview.
- 4. Plants and human nutrition.
- 5. Growth and development of flowering plants.
- 6. The role of energy in plant growth and crop production.
- 7. Nutrition from the soil.
- 8. Life underground.
- 9. The molecular basis of plant breeding and genetic engineering.
- 10. Ten thousand years of crop selection.
- 11. The green revolution and beyond.
- 12. Pests and pathogens.
- 13. Strategies for pest control.
- 14. Valuable chemicals from plant cell and tissue culture.
- 15. Plant genetic engineering: new genes for old crops.
- 16. Towards a green agriculture.
Some of these topics will be dealt with more briefly than others.
In addition, several video tapes will be shown, and the lectures
will be accompanied by projection slides when this is instructive.