ESCI 425: Environmental Biology of Fishes

Winter Quarter

Writing Assignments

Due Dates: (Fridays) TBA; Final paper is due TBA

You will be responsible for one final written assignment at the end of the quarter, which will be divided into four shorter assignments due at two-week intervals throughout the course of the quarter. You will select a taxonomic family of fishes, and each two-week period I will assign you to evaluate an aspect of the ecology of one or more species within your selected family using scientific literature. The reason that I am having you select a family rather than an individual species is that for many species the ecological information is simply not available, and we must then rely on ecological information about a closely related species as the next best source.

The first assignment is to describe the physical attributes of a species in your selected family and the distribution and range of a species within that family, noting factors that appear to limit the distribution. The due date is TBA.

The second assignment is to address environmental tolerances, such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, and toxic limitations of your species, and adaptations to these. The due date is TBA.

The third assignment is to provide an evaluation of reproductive biology, including factors such as time and place and reproductive strategies, such as parental care, fecundity, and frequency. The due date is TBA.

The fourth assignment is to address the role the fish plays in the trophic web, identifying predators, prey, competitors, and pathogens. The due date is TBA.

Three or four students will be asked each week to present their findings to the class. At the end of the quarter you will organize your summaries into a single cohesive document.

Your assignments should be approximately one and a half to two pages double-spaced. Criteria for grading are content, organization, technical merit, and comprehensiveness. I expect you to write in your finest technical style, and I expect full, correctly formatted scientific citations. The style to be used is as follows:

Nielsen, L.A., and P.B. Summers, Jr. 1979. Journal citation use in fisheries as determined by citation analysis. Fisheries 4: 103-119.

Authors are to be separated by commas, last name first for first author only and initials only for first and middle names of all authors. Authors, date, title, and journal are all followed by periods. The journal or book title is in lower case except for the first letter and proper names. The journal title is spelled out in full, and significant words of the journal title begin with capital letters. The journal title is followed by the volume, not the issue number, a colon, and then the inclusive page numbers.

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