Level I elective (Fall, Winter, Spring)
This course runs from Fall term, through Winter and Spring. Conservation Ecology investigates the interrelationship between wild and human developed landscapes, systems, services and interactions. Students will explore issues and topics through a series of problem based learning (PBL) units. This course is designed as an upper-level elective designed for those students interested in exploring the various aspects of wildlife research, land management, and conservation ecology. The college prep structure involves reading for understanding, extensive fieldwork, as well as research, writing techniques, and class lectures.
Students will be able to relate to what they learn through lecture, readings, etc. They will develop the capacity to appreciate the complexities inherent in various ecosystems and will be able to articulate their knowledge via presentations, blogs, sharing of journal entries and group projects. Students will demonstrate improved competency of field science skills.
Fall term investigates how changes in the landscape tend to impact wild populations differently. PBL on hunting, trapping and timber harvesting are featured. Students will learn about the laws, impacts and history of such actions.
Winter term will focus on honing outdoor skills (fieldwork) to perform transect and plot studies to understand the biodiversity of our local habitats. The primary PBL unit will focus on building a series of interactive trail stations that teach others about populations and conservation. Students will become proficient in mammal tracking, scat identification, and tree ID.
Spring term will focus on wetland ecology, bird and frog ID. Students will use their developing field science skills to contribute to the Natural Lens mapping project.
Forest Forensics- A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape, by Tom Wessels,
Peterson’s Field Guide to Mammals,
Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign, by Paul Rezendes
Various additional reading materials given out by the instructor.