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FW 5603W – Habitats and Regulation of Wildlife (WI)

(3.0 cr; Prereq-Biol 3407, FW4103; A-F or Aud, fall, every year)
This course will give students hands-on experience with the quantitative analysis of wildlife-habitat relationships. The course material will include a large quantitative component; however, only a basic understanding of statistical and ecological principles is required, as is a general familiarity with the natural history and ecology of terrestrial vertebrates. Students will complete two major lab projects during the semester. For the first lab, groups of 3-4 students will design and conduct a wildlife habitat survey. For the second lab, groups will work with animal relocation data in a GIS environment to develop statistical descriptions of wildlife-habitat relationships. In addition to the lab projects, students will work in small groups throughout the semester to develop a research proposal suitable for submission to a graduate fellowship competition.

Students taking this course will: (1) read and interpret primary scientific literature; (2) collect field data from which they will create GIS layers of wildlife habitat; (3) quantify spatial patterns of habitat components; (4) quantify patterns of animal habitat use; and (5) communicate their findings in both written and presentation formats. By the end of the course students will understand how to develop and interpret basic statistical models that provide insight into wildlife-habitat relationships, while also understanding the limitations of those models.

Class Time: 40% Lecture, 5% Student Presentation, 55% Laboratory (field data collection and computer lab). Work Load: 15 pages reading per week, 20 pages writing per term (1 paper in the form of a research proposal; 2 lab reports), 2 presentations, 10 quizzes, 10 homework assignments. The paper and presentations will be completed in small groups of 3-4 students. Lab projects will also be completed in small groups, but lab reports will be written individually. Grade: 45% group project, 35% lab reports, 15% quizzes, 5% homework.

FW 3108 – Field Methods in Research and Conservation of Vertebrate Populations

(3.0 cr; Sophomore status, FW major; A-F or Aud, summer, every year)
The course is divided into seven major units. Each unit consists of background information, classroom instruction and practical fieldwork. Topics covered are:

  • Introduction to Minnesota geography and ecological zonation
  • Species identification
  • Statistical analysis
  • Field projects
  • Aquatic Ecological Assessment
  • Wildlife Management and Policy