Last Updated: 11/11/2009
Faculty: Alison Styring ornithology, zoology, natural history
Major areas of study include ornithology, zoology, evolutionary biology and natural history.
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
Birds are the most diverse vertebrates found on the earth. We will explore the causes of this incredible diversity through a well-rounded understanding of general bird biology, the evolution of flight (and its implications), and the complex ecological interactions of birds with their environments. This program has considerable field and lab components and students will be expected to develop strong bird identification skills, including Latin names, and extensive knowledge of avian anatomy and physiology. We will learn a variety of field and analytical techniques currently used in bird monitoring and research. We will take several day trips to field sites in the Puget Sound region throughout the quarter to hone our bird-watching skills and practice field-monitoring techniques. Students will keep field journals documenting their skill development in species identification and proficiency in a variety of field methodologies. Learning will also be assessed through exams, quizzes, field assignments, group work, and participation.
Because much of the learning in this program will occur in the field and the lab, participation is of utmost importance. Field trips and labs cannot be repeated or made up if missed, and even one absence from a lab or field trip is grounds for reduced credit. At the end of the program, students will have the opportunity to share their learning via an in-depth research project and species monograph.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in ecology, ornithology, zoology and biology.