Experimental field ecology: BIOL 322

 

course description

This course is designed to give participants experience in the design and execution of ecological field experiments, and to enhance awareness and appreciation of the natural history and ecosystem dynamics of the eastern Sierra Nevada.  Fieldwork will be performed during four weekend trips to the Whittell Forest and Wildlife Area ('Little Valley') located in the Carson Range 25 miles south of Reno. There will also be seven evening meetings on campus for discussion of relevant topics and presentation of students' research results. Specialists in several related fields (e.g., ornithology, forest management, bear biology) will give guest lectures at weekend campfires.

syllabus (.pdf)

meal schedule (.pdf)

course schedule

instructor information

instructors:    Jacob Dittel and Christopher Moore

offices:    Fleishman Agriculture (FA) 145 (JD), 142 (CM)

instructor phones:    (775) 784-6781 (JD), (775) 784-1270 (CM)

email addresses:    jdittel[appropriate email symbol]unr.edu, cmmoore[appropriate email symbol]unr.edu

office hours:    by appointment

week 1

week 2

week 3

week 4

week 5

week 6

lecture: 23 May

weekend: no fieldwork (Memorial Day)

lecture: 30 May

weekend: 02 to 03 June

lecture: 06 June

weekend: 09 to 10 June

lecture: 13 June

weekend: 15 to 17 June

lecture: 20 June

weekend: 22 to 24 June

lecture: 27 June

topic:

introduction to course, Little Valley (.pdf), keeping a field notebook (.pdf)

topic:

paper critique #1 discussion, scientific methodologies (.pdf), history of ecology (.pdf), camping preparation (checklist)

assigned:

  1. 1.paper critique #1 due in class, 30 May (click here to download the paper critique template)

  2. 2.read: Little Valley General Information

topic:

natural history of Little Valley

assigned:

  1. 1.have fun

  2. 2.learn

  3. 3.begin plant press

  4. 4.begin field notebook

assigned:

  1. 1.paper critique #2 due in class, 06 June

  2. 2.prepare for camping

assigned:

  1. 1.paper critique due in class, 06 June

  2. 2.prepare for camping

  3. 3.pre-proposal due Friday morning, 09 June

   (click here for pre-proposal template;

    example pre-proposal)

  1. 4.final proposal, due in class 13 June

    (click here for final proposal template, experimental design questions to consider when writing a proposal)

topic:

long term ecological research, data collection

assigned:

  1. 1.have fun

  2. 2.collect data

  3. 3.continue plant press

  4. 4.continue field notebook

topic:

paper critique #2, designing successful field studies (.pdf), experimental and sampling designs (.pdf)

topic:

data analysis, program R (.pdf)

assigned:

  1. 1.in-class statistics workshop assignment (just data entry from the previous weekend)

topic:

group research project data analysis

assigned:

  1. 1.data analysis (R quick help: http://cran.r-project.org/doc/contrib/Short-refcard.pdf)

  2. 2.potential project refinement

  3. 3.final research paper

    (click here for research paper template)

due:

nothing

due:

  1. 1.paper critique #1, in class

due:

  1. 1.paper critique #2, in class

due:

  1. 1.group research project proposal, in class

2. in-class statistics workshop assignment

topic:

final group research project presentations (fun and useful presentation tips: http://www.utpa.edu/faculty/zfaulkes/Presentation_tips.pdf; Chris Moore’s presentation laws: .pdf)

due:

  1. 1.group research project presentation

  2. 2.final research paper, 29 June

  3. 3.field notebook, 29 June

  4. 4.plant presses, 29 June

topic:

  1. 1.group research project experimental set up

  2. 2.data collection

  3. 3.continue plant press

  4. 4.continue field notebook

topic:

  1. 1.group research project data collection

  2. 2.finish plant press

  3. 3.finish field notebook

due:

  1. 1.pre-proposal due Friday morning, 09 June

last updated: 25 June 2012 @  9:17 AM

**science and ecology definitions (.png)

example critique (.pdf)

*garter snake ID (.pdf)