Irena CreedFaculty of Science

Past

Undergraduate | Graduate

Undergraduate Courses

Biology 3220: Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Field Course (0.5 FCE)
This two-week field course on terrestrial and aquatic ecology was held at Algonquin Park.  Together with Dr. Robert Scott, we developed a comprehensive 60-page field manual for the course where we included both theoretical and practical components to the study of ecology.  We were ambitious (perhaps overly, if the loss of 10 lbs during the two week period by this instructor is any measure!).  The students appreciated our energy and enthusiasm and that they learned a great deal about both terrestrial and aquatic ecology. 

Environmental Sciences 494: Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol (0.5 FCE)
Environmental Science 494G is designed for Honors’ Students in Biology with Environmental Science. In this course, students, in consultation with me, present the fundamentals of a topic to the rest of the class. Once the fundamentals are presented, experts are invited to present the “state of the art” in terms of scientific understanding of the topic. From this foundation, we create a forum of critique and debate that delve into the topics more deeply. Students are evaluated on their ability to “think on their feet”, through a number of exercises. Students are also given opportunities to interact with scientists who are actively involved in research on different aspects of the environmental topic – both formally in the classroom and, after class, informally at the graduate club at UWO.

Geography 306, Plant Sciences 452 and Geography 548:  Watershed Ecosystem Analysis (0.5 FCE)
I created a course that introduces students to ecological analysis of landscapes. Ecosystem science is a multidisciplinary science, with strong links between biological, geological, and chemical studies. Specific topics include nutrient cycling, nutrient fluxes within and across ecosystem boundaries, and the impacts of disturbance and recovery of nutrient dynamics within ecosystems.  This course introduces the basic principles of ecosystem science and, using distributed simulation models, applies these principles to ecosystems. No single textbook is appropriate for this course – lectures are based on chapters from several textbooks and from scientific papers and laboratories are based on a comprehensive manual that I developed. This course builds on the foundation provided by Geography 380, and has been taught both in the Department of Geography (as Geography 306) and Biology (as Plant Sciences 452).

Geography 380, Plant Sciences 452: Environmental Modelling (0.5 FCE)
This course was intended to be one of my regular course offerings.  I was asked to develop an advanced course (i.e. fourth year equivalent) in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Developing on experiences I had with similar courses at U. Toronto and U. Victoria, I designed this course from scratch, investing a significant effort in developing a web-based course that was housed on the BIOCORE server.  In contrast to undergraduate students from U. Toronto and U. Victoria, the UWO students lacked some of the bare essentials required to complete this course (e.g. basic statistics, spreadsheet analyses, etc.).  These deficiencies in the undergraduate students’ background were not only experienced in my course, but in other senior undergraduate courses.  During this time, there have been internal and external reviews of the undergraduate program in Geography, and a restructuring of some of the core courses.  In addition, there has been a continuing critical review of all of the GIS courses within the undergraduate program in Geography.  With the lack of GIS fundamentals required by students to take this course, I had to redevelop Geog380/PS452 completely for the following year.

Geography 213: Biogeography (0.5 FCE)
My involvement in this course was as a sabbatical leave replacement.  I delivered this course once. I was given no course materials and therefore had to develop the course from scratch.  The lectures were power point presentations and were made available to the students.

 

Graduate Courses

Geog9220A Hydrology (0.5 FCE Graduate Course)
A lecture and seminar based graduate course where students in biology, geography and earth sciences learn about the water balance and the uncertainties and errors associated with calculating a water balance for a broad range of systems. Irena Creed coordinated the course.  Co-taught with Chris Smart (Geography) and Brian Branfireun.

Bio9412B Ecosystem Ecology (0.5 FCE Graduate Course)
A lecture and seminar based graduate course where students in biology, geography and earth sciences learn about lakes, from a physical, chemical and biological perspective. Charlie Trick coordinated the course. Co-taught with Irena Creed.

Environment and Sustainability 642/9200: Interdisciplinary Consulting Project (1.0 FCE, for the course-based MES graduate program)
The course-based graduate program in Environment and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary program that uses project-based learning to enhance skill sets for a career in the environmental field.  I spent a significant amount of time developing the course curriculum for one of the core courses, the Interdisciplinary Consulting Course.  This is an intense course where students form a consulting group and work with “real” clients selected from government and industry sectors.  This course teaches students how to work in a group, how to communicate in a wide variety of forms, how to develop a response to a Request for Proposals, how to conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses, how to request Ethics Approval, and how to develop a project management plan and budget.  In addition to developing the curriculum, I made contacts and developed project ideas with real clients.  The students completed major reports (about 100 pages) for the client and made a presentation to the clients and the Western community at the IDEAS forum (a forum to showcase the consulting projects) at the end of the course.  The course is a 1.0 FCE, but the workload was remarkably more, with me serving as primary advisor for the consulting projects.  See Appendix B for course outline.

Biology 512: Global Biogeochemical Cycles: From Microbes to Gaia (0.5 FCE)
I offered this graduate course together with Dr. Trick, Dr. Southam and Dr. Rick Bourbonniere. This graduate course focuses on the interactive impacts of hydrological and ecological processes in landscapes.  This graduate course consists of seminars and presentations. Course evaluation is based on two 1-hr seminars given by each student, a project that required both a report and presentation, and participation. I marked the seminars, the project and presentation, and participation.

Geography 516: EcoHydrology (0.5 FCE)
I created a graduate course that focuses on the interactive impacts of hydrological and ecological processes in landscapes. This graduate course consisted of seminars and presentations. Course evaluation was based on two 1-hr seminars given by each student, a project that required both a report and presentation, and participation. I marked the seminars, the project and presentation, and participation.

Environmental Sciences 506:  Environmental Sciences – A Life Sciences Perspective (0.5 FCE)
This course was intended to be one of my regular course offerings. However, with the complete restructuring of the Environmental Science Graduate Program, I delivered this course once.  I designed this course from scratch, responding to complaints from graduate students in the Environmental Science Graduate Program.