WSES5385 & WSES4185

Ecosystems Graduate Seminar

Syllabus Spring 2015


Tarleton State University
Department: Wildlife, Sustainability, and Ecosystem Sciences
College: Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Catalog Listing Description

A graduate seminar with content varying according to the needs and experiences of students and the instructor of record. May be repeated for up to three hours credit as content varies. Credit for more than a combined total of 3 hours of WSES 5385, AGRI 5385, ANSC 5385 or ENVS 5185 will not be granted.

Scheduling & Mechanics

Learners will read the text, synthesize a partition of the text (a Chapter), present the salient scholarly tenant to the seminar participants, and preside over discussion/question & answer session.

Seminar Topic

Holocene Environmental History

Required Text

Roberts, Neil. 2014. The Holocene: An Environmental History. 3rd ed. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN–13: 978–1405155212 ISBN–10: 1405155213
May be purchased as print or electronic version from numerious online and brick and mortar outlets. Need right away.

From the Text Publisher Wiley:

“… how the natural world has been transformed since the end of the last Ice Age around 15,000 years ago. This period has witnessed a shift from environmental changes determined by natural forces to those dominated by human actions, including those of climate and greenhouse gases. Understanding the environmental changes - both natural and anthropogenic - that have occurred during the Holocene is of crucial importance if we are to achieve a sustainable environmental future.”

Contact/Instructor Info

Donald G. McGahan, Ph.D.
Office: 204B Autry (Agriculture)
Telephone Office: 254–968–9701
Web page: [Online at]
Please remember to identify yourself in correspondence.
The preferred contact method is via campus email address.
Always begin subject line with “WSES2357,” without quotes, to keep the message from the spam/junk folder, and for a more prompt response.

Office Hours: By appointment. Please suggest several day (at least three) and start and stop time combinations for each day for the most prompt scheduling for an appointment to reduce back and forth emails for scheduling a date and time to meet. Should one of the suggested dates not be acceptable the instructor will suggest a date and time combination. No appointment is easily arraigned if you ask for an appointment using phrases like “sometime in the afternoon of…” Take a stand and request a day time combination.

The instructor can sometimes alternately meet digitally using FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, or Collaborate.

Required Materials

Attendance is Mandatory
We will not meet face-to-face the following dates:


It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws. If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact the Center for Access and Academic Testing, at 254.968.9400 or The office is located in Math 201. More information can be found at or in the University Catalog.

Academic Affairs Core Value Statements
Academic Integrity Statement

Tarleton State University’s core values are integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence, and service. Central to these values is integrity, which is maintaining a high standard of personal and scholarly conduct. Academic integrity represents the choice to uphold ethical responsibility for one’s learning within the academic community, regardless of audience or situation.

Students guilty of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource materials. From the Tarleton State University catalog:

Sharing online test answers, or discussing and otherwise seeking help with online assessments is dishonest. The hint of impropriety in this manor is grounds for failure and/or dismissal.

Academic Civility Statement

Students are expected to interact with professors and peers in a respectful manner that enhances the learning environment. Professors may require a student who deviates from this expectation to leave the face-to-face (or virtual) classroom learning environment for that particular class session (and potentially subsequent class sessions) for a specific amount of time. In addition, the professor might consider the university disciplinary process (for Academic Affairs/Student Life) for egregious or continued disruptive behavior.

Academic Excellence Statement

Tarleton holds high expectations for students to assume responsibility for their own individual learning. Students are also expected to achieve academic excellence by:


Date Chapter Presenter
February 26, 2015 Chapter 1 Donald
February 26, 2015 Chapter 2 Graham
April 9, 2015 Chapter 3 Tom
April 9, 2015 Chapter 4 Amber
April 9, 2015 Chapter 5 Jetton
April 16, 2015 Chapter 6 Ryan
April 16, 2015 Chapter 7 Tara
April 16, 2015 Chapter 8 Patrick