The course will integrate biotic interactions and abiotic processes with studies of paleoclimate and future climate change to understand the distribution and function of major landscape units. Emphasis will be on biodiversity and ecosystem function, reconstruction of paleoclimate and past species distribution, and models that attempt to predict climate change and future species. Topics covered in the course the structure of ecosystems, energy flow and nutrient availability, biodiversity, the role of natural disturbance, all in the context of current global change.