E-Term 2014 Bulletin - page 12

Cold Buggers: Winter Entomology and the Appreciation of Insects
Peter Van Zandt
Open To:
All Students
Grading System: Letter
Max. Enrollment: 15
Meeting Times: MW F 1:00pm-4:00pm
While humans think they dominate the planet, the truly successful group
is the insects. They occupy every niche imaginable, and many that are
unimaginable or nightmarish. The project will serve as an introduction to
the cultural and economic impacts of insects, as well as their diversity,
ecology, and adaptations. There will be several field collecting trips, visits to
entomological museums, discussions of text books (see below) and papers,
and viewings and critique of insect-related films. Students will be evaluated
based on participating in class discussions, several written commentaries
on insect-related topics, a final paper (8-10 pages), a final 10-minute
presentation, and a curated collection of winter insects.
Estimated Student Fees: $50
Directed Research
Jason L. Heaton
BI 470, Instructor Consent
Open To:
Senior Biology Majors
Grading System: Letter
Max. Enrollment: 15
Meeting Times: M Tu WTh F 9:00am-5:00pm
An advanced exploration of the practices and techniques of biological
research focusing on the design, execution, and presentation of experiments,
data analysis, and information retrieval. This course may serve as the second
of a minimum of two terms of research required for all biology majors.
Students are expected to complete 30-40 hours per week on this project
as they carry out the scientific aims crafted during BI 470. This research
will culminate in (1) a 15-20 page thesis written in the format of a scientific
article and (2) an oral presentation at the Science and Mathematics Senior
Conference in the spring semester.
Exploring the Galapagos Islands: Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation
Megan Gibbons, Barbara Domcekova
Instructor Consent
Open To:
All Students
Grading System: Letter
Max. Enrollment: 18
Meeting Times:
M Tu WTh F 9:00am-1:00pm
This project will focus on the study of the ecology, wildlife, and conservation
of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. We will spend the first portion of the
term on campus (meeting daily from 9-12, and some days until 2:30 pm)
studying the history and ecology of the islands, while introducing students to
numerous species that are endemic to the Galapagos (i.e., they exist nowhere
else in the world). On-campus activities may include lectures, movies,
guest speakers, and discussion sessions. We will then fly to the Galapagos
Islands via Guayaquil, Ecuador. The next week will be spent on a private
yacht visiting several of the islands. Grades will be based on a) completion
of reading assignments and worksheets, b) one written exam, c) a natural
history journal, and d) a personal journal maintained during the trip. Spanish
proficiency is helpful, but not required.
Estimated Student Fees: $6100
Field Ornithology
Scot Duncan
Open To:
All Students
Grading System: Letter
Max. Enrollment: 12
Meeting Times: varies; see description
Explore the forests, lakes, rivers, fields, and coast of Alabama while tracking
down and studying Alabama’s birdlife. Much of the course will be spent
outdoors finding, identifying, and studying different species of birds. No
experience necessary – this course designed for beginners! We will visit
local birding hotspots, but also more distant locations such as Wheeler
National Wildlife Refuge and the Talladega National Forest. An overnight trip
to Dauphin Island is planned to study coastal birds. Some indoor lab time will
be spent learning about bird ecology, behavior, anatomy and physiology, and
other bizarre attributes of birds. Students should be fit - field trips will involve
hiking in rough terrain and being outdoors in cold weather. Grades are based
on attendance, participation, field notebooks, and exams. Students may
provide their own binoculars, but binoculars will be available for check-out.
NOTE: Meeting times will include four field trips/labs per week. All trips start
at 7:30am: two long field trips each week (end by 5:00pm), two short trips
each week (end by 1:00pm), one overnight field trip to Dauphin Island during
the workweek (e.g., all dayThand F). Scheduling of trips within the week is
dependent on weather conditions.
Estimated Student Fees: $100
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