Field Animal Behavior

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EEB 3898: Field Animal Behavior

May Term, May 13th - 31st, 2013 MTWThF 1-4pm

Instructor: Dr. Kristiina Hurme

Office: TLS 379

Phone: 860-486-5434

Office hours: variable & flexible (call, email, drop by)

Course Objectives

➢ Learn how to observe animal behavior

➢ Notice animal behavior in our daily lives

➢ Learn how to take field notes

➢ Learn and apply basic field techniques, study design, and data analysis

➢ Develop a research project

➢ Improve collaboration skills

Course Materials


• Required

o Binoculars (available from us if you don’t have any)

o Field notepad/notebook

o Watch with countdown timer that beeps

o Closed-toe shoes (no sandals) or hiking boots, & proper outdoor clothing (poison ivy, weather)

• Recommended

o Field Guides for New England


o Insect repellent (ticks, mosquitoes)

o Sunscreen

Tentative* schedule

Day Topic Day Topic Day Topic
M 13 Course introduction and timeline; Bird identification M 20 Pdficon small.gifOrtega & Capen 1999, Field notebooks (First Submission) M 27 Individual project data collection II (Final)
T 14 Field exercises, start project thinking T 21 Individual project presentations; Paper submission (Introduction and Methods) T 28 Survey of coastal birds / Field notebooks (Final Submission)
W 15 Field research techniques, hypotheses testing, study design, and data analysis W 22 MIDTERM EXAM; birding after W 29 Project presentations and assisted work on the paper
Th 16

Survey of local birds (Mansfield Hollow), Project guidelines discussion and selection (written ideas)

Th 23 Individual project data collection I (Methods adjustment) Th 30 Review session in preparation for the final; PAPER SUBMISSION (FINAL)
F 17 F 24 F 31 FINAL EXAM; Instructor evaluations

*: Schedule is subject to change pending weather conditions, or unforeseen observation and research opportunities.


Exams: May 22nd (MIDTERM) [50 points]; May 31st (FINAL) [50 points]

Project Paper: May 21st (Intro and Methods) [30 points]; May 30th (Final) [50 points]

Project Presentations: May 21st (Intro and Methods) [20 points]; May 29th (Final) [25 points]

Field Notebook Submissions: May 20th (First) [20 points]; May 28th (Final) [25 points]

Field trips = Birding exercises (5 points each): Dates will be weather dependent [30 points]

Total: [300 points]

Grading scale: A = 100-90%, B = 89-80%, C = 79-70%, D = 69-60%, F = 59-0%. Plus/minus system will be used for the final grade.

Additional References & Websites

• Stiling P. 1999. Ecology: theories and application. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

• Clark, G. A. 1999. Birds of Storrs, Connecticut and vicinity. 3rd Ed. Mansfield, CT: Natchaug Ornithological Society & Joshua’s Tract Conservation and Historic Trust.

• SORA (Searchable Ornithological Research Archive):

• Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”:

• Natchaug Ornithological Society: (esp. “local hotspots”

• Connecticut Ornithological Association:

• CT Audubon Society:

• CT Department of Environmental Protection:

Website design by Diego Sustaita

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