2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Animal Behavior & Zoology

Revised Last Updated: 11/17/2008

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Heather Heying biology

Academic web site: academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/abz/

Faculty Signature Required: Students must submit an application to be considered for this program. Assessment will be based primarily on relevant background in the sciences, and writing and critical thinking skills. Application forms are available on the program website at http://academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/abz/, and completed applications should be sent to Heather Heying, via email. Applications received by May 16, 2008 will be given priority; students are encouraged to come to Academic Fair to discuss the program before submitting an application.

Major areas of study include animal behavior, evolution, zoology, population ecology, statistics, tropical ecology, and field research. Upper division science credit will be awarded in these areas for students who complete the work satisfactorily.

Class Standing: Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.

Prerequisites: One year of college-level biology; at least eight credits of college-level writing.

This program will not be accepting new students winter quarter.

What do animals do, how do they do it, and why? In this year-long investigation of animal behavior, students will answer these questions through extensive use of the scientific literature, in-depth discussions of the evolutionary and ecological theories that are fundamental to the study of behavior, independent research projects, and several weeks in the field, including two weeks in the Pacific Northwest during fall quarter, and a multi-week trip to tropical ecosystems in Panama during winter quarter.

Animals hibernate, forage, mate, form social groups, compete, communicate, care for their young, and so much more. They do so with the tools of their physiology, anatomy, and, in some cases, culture, for reasons having to do with their particular ecology and evolutionary history. In this program, we will begin with a review of animal diversity, and continue our studies of behavior from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Students will be expected to engage some of the complex and often contradictory scientific predictions and results that have been generated in this field, through lectures, workshops and take-home exams, as well as to undertake their own intensive field research.

In fall quarter, students will conduct short-term field projects, and become skilled in library research. In winter quarter, we will continue to learn theory and statistics, and will travel to Panama to study the differences and similarities between the neotropics and the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the animals and their behavior. Particular attention will be paid to the herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) that live in lowland rainforests. In spring quarter, having studied the methods, statistics, and literature frequently used in behavioral research, students will generate their own hypotheses and go into the field to test them through extensive, independent field research. This work might be in Panama, the Pacific Northwest, or through an internship. Students will return to campus for the last two weeks of spring quarter to complete their data analysis and present their research.

Some topics covered in this program will include mating systems, territoriality, female mate choice, competition, communication, parental care, game theory, plant/animal interactions and convergent evolution. Several readings will focus on the primates, including Homo sapiens.

Students will be allowed to participate in winter quarter only if they do high-quality work in the fall, and are fully prepared for tropical field work; full credit in fall is not sufficient to guarantee a spot in winter.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 25

Internship Possibilities: Spring only with faculty approval.

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: $200 for Pacific Northwest field trips in fall. $1750 for field trip to Panama in winter, plus airfare. Supplies and travel funds as required for independent research project in spring.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in field biology, evolution, ecology, and other life sciences.

Planning Units: Environmental Studies, Scientific Inquiry

Program Revisions

Date Revision
March 28th, 2008 A faculty signature has been added for admission into this program in all quarters.
November 17th, 2008 Restriction against joining program winter quarter added.