Problem-based learning (PBL) is an educational approach that uses a problem as the starting point for learning. The idea is that in working towards a problem solution, learners on a problem solving team identify the topical areas relevant to the problem, conduct individual searches of that material out of class, and bring what they have learned through their research into the problem space. Individual learners are charged with making their findings accessible and learnable to others on the team.
Ecology (2335) is a traditional course where students work on applied problems, including those associated with climate change, invasive species, overexploitation etc. The focus is on the ecological concepts, looking at either sustainability or community, with reference to the other, through units, labs, assignments, and activities.