A new team-taught course will be offered this fall at Virginia Tech!

The Science and Policy of Invasions (GRAD 6984; Special Topics; 3 credits)

The class will meet once per week during Fall Semester 2017; Time TBD

Jacob Barney (jnbarney@vt.edu), Bryan Brown (brown51@vt.edu), David Haak (dhaak@vt.edu), Erin Hotchkiss (ehotchkiss@vt.edu), and Scott Salom (salom@vt.edu)

Invasive species are one of the five elements of global change that shape ecosystem structure and function worldwide. This course will take a “deep dive” approach to identify and advance one fundamental unknown related to biological invasions. This approach will involve researching previous knowledge, current status, and perhaps proposed solutions during the semester. Possible topics include sociological, economic, ecological, process-based, or policy aspects of invasions. The idea is to set the foundation and then investigate the identified issue with the whole class participating in the effort. The course will consist of weekly meetings that are a mix of baseline materials, lectures from subject matter experts, methods of literature review and meta-analyses, with the majority being student-led discussions based on research findings. We will also discuss and reinforce professional development topics related to guidelines for successful multi-author collaborations and publications. The result of this work will be the basis for a high-impact review or opinion article that can be further developed the following semester by those willing and interested to pursue it to that end.

Students enrolling in this course should be graduate students in good standing. Enrollment will not be restricted, however, Interfaces for Global Change IGEP Fellows will be given registration priority.

Learning Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Critically interpret literature that is based in biological invasions.
  • Compile published data to analyze and assess the current state of a research topic.
  • Synthesize results in a detailed summary and provide the latest viewpoint within the context of society today as it relates to the subject.
  • Successfully propose, discuss, and implement guidelines for multi-author collaboration agreements.
  • Develop skills in working cooperatively with individuals that have different disciplinary areas of expertise.

For additional questions, please email Dr. Scott Salom (salom@vt.edu).