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Biol 354 Ecology and the Environment
Fall 2008 – 2021
Credit hours: 3

Examples of student evaluation from previous semesters:

  • “Excellent. Loved it. Thanks for an excellent course SDSU!”
  • “Prof. Lai took time to answer students’ questions, which is significant considering that it is a lecture-hall style class.”
  • “Ecology is cool!”

Biol 535 Plant Ecology
Fall 2017 – 2021
Credit hours: 3

Biol 544/ENV 544 Terrestrial Ecosystem and Climate Change – lecture
Spring 2007 – 2021
Credit hours: 3
Prerequisites: Biol 354
This course examines factors that control fluxes and stocks of elements (carbon, water and nutrients) within terrestrial ecosystems based on the principles of ecosystem ecology. Findings from recent research are given as examples to illustrate how ecosystems respond and feedback to climate change. Human-induced climate change will be discussed within the context of scientific evidence. Topics include climate system, energy balance, water transport in soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, production and decomposition, nutrient cycling, stable isotopes in ecology, and spatial and temporal integration.

Examples of student evaluation from previous semesters:

  • “Thank you very much for a great semester both in lecture and lab, it was one of my favorite classes I have ever taken, and probably the most rewarding. “
  • “This has been about the most interesting and informative class I have taken at SDSU.”
  • “Dr. Lai really impressed me with his knowledge in this class. I had initially signed up for the course solely because I needed the units, but he really stimulated my interest…Appreciated the way he presented lectures – reading graphs and interpreting data instead of spoon feeding us information on slides – great!”

Biol 596 Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Lab
Spring 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Credit hours: 2
Focus will be on ecological methods used in ecosystem and climate change science, including chemical analysis (stable isotopes) and meteorological measurements. Students are required to perform sample collection, analysis, data interpretation, and presentations.

Examples of student evaluation from previous semesters:

    • “This is an extremely valuable course that teaches subject matter and lab practices that cannot be found in any other undergraduate course. This lab teaches students to propose, design, implement, analyze, and present their own unique experiments, something that should be taught to more students before graduating.”
    • “This was a fantastic lab, and really helped me understand what was taught in the corresponding lecture. It was also amazing to have such a small class and personal attention from the instructor. Dr. Lai is so enthusiastic about the subject he teaches.”
    • “This was the best lab I have taken at SDSU…This class should be a permanent addition to this major.”

SCI 596 Global Climate Change and Vulnerability
Summer 2013 – 2017
Credit hours: 3

Global climate change has broad implications for science policy and socioeconomic impacts. This international summer course brings international and US students together for two weeks in Xiamen, China. More course information can be found here.

Biol 645 Theory and Principles in Ecology – Part 1
Fall 2008
Credit hours: 3

Biol 688 Stable Isotope Ecology – seminar
Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2015
Credit hours: 2

Examples of student evaluation from previous semesters:

  • “Great class! It was interesting and stimulating, and I enjoyed its flexibility. I would love to take more classes like this. Now I eat, breathe, dream stable isotopes!”
  • “I really enjoyed this course. Chun-Ta is very supportive and helpful, truly cares about his students, and ensures we are successful in our learning process.”
  • “I loved the format of this course as well as the content. Very interesting.”

Biol 745 Theory and Principles in Ecology – Part 2
Spring 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022
Credit hours: 3