Your task is to prepare a proposal that describes a feasible research project that addresses an interesting problem in community ecology. Feasibility is defined by the likelihood that the proposed research could be accomplished during a reasonable stay in graduate school (2-4 yr.). Community ecology will be broadly defined as any ecological phenomena involving 2 or more species. Your readings for the course should provide an entry into the realm of "interesting questions".

The format of your proposal should conform roughly to NSF guidelines for doctoral dissertation improvement grants. Details about these guidelines can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/. The important guidelines are:

1) Length: a maximum of 15 typed double-spaced pages. The text should include the following sections:

2) a clear statement of the problem (question) and its relevance to community ecology,

3) a brief review of the relevant ecological literature, and

4) a description of your proposed research. The description of proposed research should specifically address a) the hypothesis to be tested, b) the experiment or observations required to test the hypothesis, c) the data you will collect, and d) the analysis you will use to test your hypothesis.

Tables, figures and data used to support your argument should be included in an appendix. You should also include a bibliography of literature cited, and a clear concise summary (limited to no more than 18 typed lines of text) of the proposed research. The appendix, bibliography and summary are not included in the 15 page limit.

You should discuss the topic of your proposal with Morin, in person or via e-mail, no later than Nov. 3.

One copy of your proposal should be handed in no later than 1:10 PM on the date indicated on the syllabus.