Fundamentals of Ecosystem Ecology (FEE)

The scientists at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies are offering a short course from January 3-16, 2019 designed to provide an intensive overview of ecosystem ecology for graduate and upper level undergraduate students.


Rolling admissions
Applications can be submitted from August 1- November 1, 2018; admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis.

Application >

This interactive course includes critical examination of ideas through lectures, extensive readings, group discussions, and exercises covering diverse topics including:

  • The ecosystem concept: History, approaches, theories, and utility
  • Energy flow: primary and secondary production, decomposition, and food webs
  • Biogeochemical cycles at local to global scales, including C, N, and P
  • Current topics in ecosystem ecology (specific topics TBD; examples from recent years include heterogeneity, urban ecology, ecological stoichiometry, ecosystem engineering, disease ecology, conservation science, use of stable isotopes, stress and disturbance, and invasive species)

The course will be held at the Cary Institute’s rural campus in Millbrook, NY. Students should plan to be in residence during the entire course and devote their full time to the course. Comfortable dormitories are available on site.

The cost of the class is $1,500 per student, which includes course fees, materials, a copy of Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science, and lodging. Students will need to provide their own transportation to and from Cary and, with the exception of light snacks and coffee, their own meals (kitchens are available in the dormitories).

A limited number of partial waivers (up to $1,000) of the course fee are available to students who can demonstrate that they do not have personal or institutional resources to pay the full course fee. Many universities and departments have money available to help students pay for off-campus courses such as this one; Cary is willing to provide documentation to help applicants apply for such university funds, if necessary. If such resources are truly unavailable, the applicant should contact us as soon as possible to inquire about a partial fee waiver.

This course is intended for graduate students in ecology, environmental studies, or related fields. Upper-level undergraduates with appropriate background may be admitted if space permits. The course is listed by Rutgers University for 4 semester-hours credit; students may wish to arrange to receive credit for the course through their home universities under “special topics”, “seminar”, or a similar heading.

For further information about the course content or eligibility, contact the Lead Instructor: Dr. Emma Rosi (rosie@caryinstitute.org). For all other information about the course, please contact Ms. Cassandra Harrison (harrisonc@caryinstitute.org).

To apply for the course, please complete the online application. Applications for the 2019 class will be accepted on a rolling basis from 1 August until 1 November 2018; admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis until the course is filled.

This course is very popular so be sure to apply early. International students should anticipate visa applications that require substantial lead time and are thus encouraged to apply as soon as possible. If visa issues prevent attendance in 2019, we will consider your application for the 2020 course.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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