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Ecosystems of California

University of California, Santa Cruz via Coursera


This course surveys the diversity, structure and functioning of California’s ecosystems through time and the ways they have influenced and responded to human activities and stewardship. Topics include ecosystem drivers such as climate, soils, and land use history; human and ecological prehistory of the state; comparative marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystem dynamics; and managed ecosystems such as range, fisheries and agriculture in California. The course also emphasizes important skills to understand as a scientist or consumer of scientific information, including data collection, natural history, and writing.


  • Drivers of Statewide Patterns
  • Marine Systems
  • Mountains, Lakes, & Deserts
  • Lowland Systems
  • Conclusion

Taught by

Erika Zavaleta


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 48 ratings

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