Courses

 

Fall Semester

    General Ecology (BIOL322/323)    Lecture Notes

Course Description: Lecture - Examines the interactions which determine the distribution and abundance of plants and animals in nature. The relationship among theoretical, laboratory, and field studies will be emphasized. The course is designed for science majors. Prerequisites: One year of general biology and general zoology and botany. Lab - Provides field and laboratory experiences associated with BIOL322. Corequisite: BIOL322.

     Ecological Methods: Populations (BIOL657)    Taught the first half of the semester (lecture notes)

Course Description: For graduate students of environmental biology. One of three courses on field methods in ecology. Covers basic field techniques, planning of field experiments, collection and analysis of data, and interpretation of result in the study of populations. Topics include the collection and analysis of capture-mark-recapture data, survival analysis, density estimation, analysis and quantification of population dynamics, the effects of predators on insect population dynamics, and the effects of herbivores on plant population dynamics. Prerequisites: BIOL322/323 and STAT520 or equivalents; BIOL455 and STAT820 recommended.

This course makes extensive use of SAS and MARK.


Winter Semester

    Natural Areas Ecology (BIOL622)   Lecture Notes

Course Description: Lecture - Through readings and discussions, the course will attempt to synthesize several ecological subdisciplines, paying particular attention to landscape ecology. The primary emphasis will then be to apply the synthesis to restoration, preserve design, and environmentally sound land use practices. Topics covered will include the restoration of prairie, woodland, and wetland; the location, size, and shape of nature preserves; and methods used for identifying and linking natural areas. Prerequisites: BIOL322/323.

Summer Field Course (one of the following three)

    Mammalogy (BIOL555/556)    Lecture Notes

Course Description: Lecture - Diversity within the class Mammalia will be covered. Emphasizes the common characteristics of mammals generally. Specific attention given to the mammals of the Great Lakes region in terms of distribution, morphology, physiology, and behavior. Prerequisites: BIOL322/323. Lab - The lab is intended to provide more practical, hands-on experience through identification and methods associated with fieldwork.  Specific attention will be given to the mammals of the Great Lakes region.

This courses has a strong field component - you must like working hard outside if you enroll in Mammalogy.

     Natural History of Raptors (BIOL544)    Lecture Notes

Course Description: Introduction to the biology of raptors: hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls. The course will emphasize the common characteristics of raptors, including distribution, morphology, physiology, behavior, conservation, and ecology.  The laboratory portion is intended to provide more practical, hands-on experience through identification and methods associated with fieldwork.  Specific attention will be given to the raptors of the Great Lakes region.  A three-day field in northern Michigan is required.

The time in northern Michigan is spent in the Keweenaw Peninsula.  The Keweenaw is a peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior and contains one of the few, true wilderness in the Midwest, with large cliffs and ridge lines.  It is its position along the largest fresh water lake in the world coupled with thermals rising of the cliffs and ridges that results in one of the top raptor migrations in Northern America.

    Tropical Ecology (BIOL516)

Course Description: The course integrates tropical ecology with current resource use practices, economics, and history of the Mayan culture in Belize. The course provides a broad-based overview of tropical ecosystems through “hands-on” experience and workshops dealing with such diverse subjects as climate, biodiversity, ethnology, and human influences on the environment. Prerequisites: BIOL306 and permission of instructor.

Belize is a small country with the lowest population density in Central America.  It is this low density that has resulted in large, extensive track of uninhabited wet forests.  Coupled with the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, Belize is an ideal location for studying tropical ecology.  The rainforest portion of the course is in Chiquibul Preserve at Las Cuevas Research Station while the marine portion is at the University of Belize's Marine Station on Turneffe Atoll.