Birds are considered important indicators of habitat quality and are often the focus of conservation-oriented research, restoration, and monitoring. This program is intended to foster the development of strong bird identification and natural history skills, and to expose students to a variety of field and analytical methods commonly used in bird monitoring and avian research. We will link theory to practice in via a series of lectures, data analysis workshops, quizzes, and field activities aimed at linking observational skills with data collection and analysis. Students will demonstrate their learning through active participation in course activities and assignments including weekly meetings and information sharing, field journal entries, research assignments, quizzes, and a final project.
Instruction will be in hybrid format with some instruction occurring remote/online, and other instruction occurring in-person. Learning will include recorded lectures and video-conferencing sessions. Instruction in field methods will occur in-person, outside, in the campus forest. We will work in cohorts and will practice COVID-19 safety precautions. Our approach to remote learning will emphasize participation in synchronous (live) sessions; however, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.
No prerequisites are required to enroll. Students interested in attempting upper division science credit or graduate credit must have met the prerequisite coursework described in the "Graduate Credit Option" and/or "Upper Division Science Credit" sections of this description.
Course Reference Numbers
Ornithology, Ecology, Wildlife Conservation
To be awarded upper-division science credit, the student must:
1. Have completed the following pre-requisite coursework: General Biology with Lab (12 credits), College-level Math such as Precalculus, Calculus I, Statistics 1 (4 credits).
2. Complete an independent project. Near the beginning of the program students will be introduced to a series of potential field project topics from which to choose. There will also be an overview of commonly-used statistical analyses. Interested students will choose a project topic, formulate a testable hypothesis, design a study to test the hypothesis, implement the study design and collect data in the field, conduct statistical analysis, and interpret and communicate study results via a scientific report and presentation.