Klemow, K.M. 1992. ECOLOGY IN THE UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM: RESULTS OF A NATIONAL SURVEY. Contributed paper: Pennsylvania Academy of Science meeting. Abstract: Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 65:185-186.
Despite the importance of ecology as a subdiscipline of biology, little is known about its current status in the undergraduate curriculum. Many ecologists and other organismal biologists are concerned that undergraduate institutions are becoming increasingly focused on molecular and cellular biology, and that the requirements for ecology have diminished over the past decade. To determine whether those perceptions are correct, a survey was conducted during the early summer 1991 to assess the curricular requirements and offerings in ecology in undergraduate institutions throughout the U.S. About half of the responding institutions were liberal-arts colleges with <5000 students, while the rest were larger institutions offering graduate degrees in biology. Most schools did not report a decline in either the number of organismally-oriented students or ecologically-oriented faculty during the past decade. About 60% of the schools require at least one upper-level ecology course of their majors. Those courses are typically taken by a diverse mixture of students intending careers in the organismal and sub-organismal areas of biology. Thus, the survey did not support the notion that ecology is being de-emphasized in the curriculum at most institutions.
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