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 Ecology field trip to The Nature Conservancy's Abita Flatwoods Preserve.
Ecology field trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Abita Flatwoods Preserve.

Natural History of Louisiana has two components. Half of the course is a survey of the ecosystems of southern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, from upland forests to barrier islands. Class meetings cover the diversity and ecology of regional plant and animal communities, with reference to environmental issues including invasive species, hurricane disturbance, conservation and management. Information about the geology, history, and culture that contribute to the formation and maintenance of each ecosystem are included. The other half of the course entails observing local diversity on campus and in Audubon Park. Be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time outside… where nature is!

Diversity of Animal Behavior introduces you to basic biological principles, research methods, diversity of and ecological and evolutionary influences on animal behavior. The study of animal behavior is fascinating because it allows you to learn about phenomena you may have observed in nature, to understand mechanisms that also operate in humans, and to appreciate the importance of preserving the environment in which these organisms live.

Theory and Methods in EBIO is an introduction to the fundamentals in ecology and evolutionary biology for EBIO and ENVB majors. You will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in your major through direct, active experiences evaluating and communicating scientific evidence. The course topics are designed to reflect current research interests in the department, such as tropical ecology and behavioral evolution, as well as classic case studies in the discipline. Irrespective of topic, the course emphasizes a practical understanding of the scientific process and will focus on developing the skills needed for upper-level courses in EBIO. The course also provides opportunities for you to become familiar with the research interests and experiences of our faculty members, and identify potential research opportunities.

The goal of the Ecology Laboratory is to teach the practice of ecology through hands-on experience. The labs integrate data collection in local ecosystems, computer-based data analysis and hypothesis testing, experimental design, modeling, and communication of scientific findings through lab reports in the format of scientific papers and oral presentation. The labs are intended to teach and enhance a variety of specific skills preparatory to careers in ecology.

I’m excited to be teaching Ornithology for the first time in Spring 2017!