BIO 256: Applied Insect Ecology

The Particulars: This course will allow you to gain experience in ecological research in a team setting. We will study two ecological issues, one at the community and one at the population level. You can get major credit in BIO, ENV (NS depth or SS/HUM breadth), or minor credit in DIG. The prerequisites are: BIO 112/114, ENV 201, or permission. Weekly meeting times will be determined during first week of classes, if not before.

Course Meeting Times: We need to schedule a weekly meeting for all of us to meet and two blocks of time that you’ll commit to working.  At least one of those times should coincide with one of my free blocks of time, which are T, W, Th, and F afternoons.  Your time will be spent performing a variety of tasks, including, but not limited to, independent research, cleaning and equipment maintenance, data entry, data analysis, and reading literature.

Your OBJECTIVES are to…

  • Learn how to conduct independent research focusing on applied ecology.
  • Develop an expertise and working knowledge of the literature and ecological concepts related to your topic.
  • Become familiar with scientific writing and presentation of research via a poster, meaningful discussion in lab group meetings, an annotated bibliography, and a research blog.
  • Develop skills useful for performing research and analysis, including those encountered in field methods (transects, sampling, identification) and digital technology (blogs, drones, statistical analysis, database management, GIS, GPS).
  • Develop skills useful for working on a research team.

Here are the PROJECTS that we will all work on together

Here are the LABORATORY responsibilities



SCHEDULE, tentative of course, due to the nature of field ecology!

My PHILOSOPHY for group investigation is that by working as a team a synergy will develop that will allow us to accomplish far greater deeds and works than can be accomplished by any one of you alone doing an independent study. Our projects work best when at least 2 team members work together, so you will often be working on another team member’s primary project.  When you need help with your project, it is your responsibility to request it and organize the field trip or laboratory space/time at our weekly meeting. Your first assignment is to decide, as a team, who will take primary responsibility for which project and laboratory duty. You have an opportunity to perform ecological research, gain experience in experimental design and field biology, work as part of a team, and possibly publish your research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  Take full advantage of this opportunity to discover and further develop your strengths as a scientist and a member of a team.