Western Sandpiper; drawing copyright Bridget Keimel
Basic Course Information
Meets: Fridays, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m, TLS 371
Instructor: Dr. Margaret Rubega
Office: PharmBio 500 Phone: 486-4502
Office Hours: By appointment
Your emails to me MUST contain the phrase "EEB 4261” in the subject line; email received without that phrase, and especially those with a blank subject line, will be DELETED, unread.
Teaching Assistant: Chris Field
Office: PharmBio 310 Phone: 486-3005
Office Hours: Wed. 12-2, or by appointment
MANUAL OF ORNITHOLOGY (Yale Univ.), by N.S. Proctor and P.J. Lynch
BIRDS OF STORRS (Natchaug Ornithological Society) by G.A. Clark, Jr.
SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRDS (Knopf), by D.A. Sibley.(Eastern or North American Edition)
(very subject to change; check back before every lab)
|Date||Required Reading||Subject||Meeting notes, and other resources|
|Jan 20||P & L p. 274-281,286-287; Sibley p. 9-14; Clark p. 1-19||Tools of the trade: Optics, Field Guides, Field Notes and Journals||Come dressed and ready to bird; meet in TLS 371|
|Jan 27||P & L p. 22-37, 47-65, 263-265; Sibley p. 15-21; Clark p. 21-40/ P & L p. 66-77||North American bird Orders; Topography and Field Marks; Feet, Beaks and Body Form; Opportunities in Ornithology||Bring P & L to class; meet in TLS 371|
|Feb 3||Handouts||Tour of Mansfield birding spots|
|Feb 10||Handouts||Specimen preparation demonstration||Come dressed to bird|
|Feb 17||P & L p. 81-105||Feathers & Aerodynamics|
|Feb 24||P & L Chapters 6 & 7, 205-209, 219-226||Anatomy: musculature and internal organs||NO BIRDING - we will need the whole class period for dissections. Bring your Proctor and Lynch to class!|
|March 2||P & L Chap. 5||Anatomy - Skeletons||Check for weather, and come dressed to bird|
|March 9||MIDTERM EXAM; birding after|
|March 16||NO CLASS - SPRING BREAK - GO BIRDING!|
|March 23||Handouts||Field Techniques: Survey methods|
|March 30||Proctor & Lynch p. 266-273||Weather and Bird Movements: Go Outside to EXPERIENCE both!||Monitor bird movements with Dave LaPuma! Clemson University Radar Ornithology Lab Birds and Weather worksheet|
|April 6||Bird, Bird, Bird – outside all four hours|
|April 13||Handouts||Field Techniques: Behavioral observations|
|April 20||Bird, Bird, Bird – outside all four hours|
|April 27||Bird, Bird, Bird - outside all four hours|
|April 30||8:00 – 10:00 am||FINAL EXAM in TLS 371|
Grading in this course is done on a straight percentage-of-points basis, i.e., to obtain an A, you need to earn 90% or more of the available points. The grades will not be "curved", and there will be no opportunities for "make-up" or "extra-credit" points. Attendance on the field trips is required. If you miss a field trip, you lose 5 points. If you miss a test, you will receive a score of zero. If you have a legitimate reason (for example, a death in your family) to miss a field trip or test, you may be excused (at the discretion of the instructors) IF AND ONLY IF you provide written documentation (for example, an obituary documenting a death in your family) within one week of missing the class or test. In cases where the instructors determine you have a legitimate excuse, there still will be no make-ups administered: you will be graded only on the basis of the points contained in the field trips and tests you did complete. NOTE that this method reduces the number of points you can afford to lose and still do well in the course.
SICK? First, do your level best to let us know before the field trip/class exercise/test. Second, if you are sick, believe us when we say that we don't want to see you in lab --- please be responsible, and don't spread germs by coming to class with a fever, or hacking and coughing. For illnesses, we pro-rate your grade on the basis of the point-bearing exercises you didn't miss. If you are sick for the final YOU MUST INFORM THE OFFICE OF STUDENT SERVICES in order to be allowed to take a make-up after final exam week is over. The final exam is the only point-bearing exercise for which a make-up is possible.
These policies have been developed over years of teaching this and other courses, and are designed to ensure fair treatment of everyone by eliminating discrepancies in testing and evaluation, and by eliminating differences in the amount of field and study time available to students. I am very willing to discuss my reasoning for these policies, but if you try to talk me into making an exception to them for you, you will fail, and probably make me grumpy to boot.
Point Structure for Grading
COURSE POINT TOTAL 300 POINTS
Test 1: 60 points, March 9
Final: 60 points, April 30
Field Notebook: 30 points
Worksheets/Quizzes 50 points (5 at 10 points each)
Independent Field Observations: 35 points
Field Trips: 45 points (Field trips are required: you lose 5 points for every missed trip. Note that field trips are VERY subject to change, depending on birds, weather, circumstances, and whim. Don't assume you know what you are going to miss!)
Collections Work: 20 points (4 hours at 5 points per hour).
You are also expected to keep a Field Notebook. Notebooks will be collected for grading, at random, throughout the course of the semester. You will earn up to a maximum of 30 points for your notebooks (no more than 10 points per grading event); you may not begin work on your independent observations until you have earned at least 20 points on your notebook.
All students should be aware of the guidelines on academic integrity contained in the Student Conduct Code. The Conduct Code is available at http://www.dosa.uconn.edu/student_conduct.html.
If you have questions, by all means collar me or email me and ask. I will post both the questions (questioners will be anonymous) and answers here.
Useful and Amusing Links
Online field guides
Feather Identification Resource Online! The Feather Atlas of North American Birds provided high-resolution scans of flight feathers of the major groups of birds; useful for comparison with found feathers whose origin you aren't sure of.
Field guide apps
Apps for finding birds
David Sibley's Blog, wherein the field guide guy riffs mostly on the finer and philosophical points of bird identification, and reports his experiments in window treatments to prevent bird strikes.
North Coast (Oregon) Diaries Comments on photo documentation versus detailed notes. See also the March 2, 2008 post on Ugly Gulls (browse Main calendar).
Jobs in Ornithology
Jobs in Ornithology, the job board for the Ornithological Societies of North America. THE central clearing house for field research internships and jobs.
ECOLOG-L listserve postings Job postings, other miscellaneous information and discussions about field ecology.
Collections Work Hours Sign Up
Vertebrate Collections Manager: Sue Hochgraf firstname.lastname@example.org 860-486-8945
To sign-up, let Dr. Rubega or Chris know which date/hours you would like to work; refer here to see hours already taken. No more than 2 students in an hour block simultaneously, unless Sue Hochgraf approves it.
|Date||9 am||10 am||11 am||12 pm
(can only be worked consecutively after an 11 am block)
|1 pm||2 pm||3 pm|
|Feb 2||Jeff C|
|Feb 9||Jeff C|
|Feb 16||Jordan R||Jordan R||Jeff C||Steph M||Erin C|
|Feb 23||Jordan R||Jordan R||Jeff C & Molly Z||Molly Z||Steph M||Melissa K + Erin C||not available|
|Mar 1||not available||Molly Z||Molly Z||Steph M||Emily|
|Mar 8||Zack M||Zack M|
|Mar 22||Alex S||Zack M||Zack M||Melissa K + Erin C|
|Mar 29||Alex S||no NEW students, Sue away||Melissa K + Erin C||no NEW students, Sue away|
|April 5||Alex S||Ryan||Jenna K||Jenna K + Emily|
|April 12||Alex S||Ryan||Jenna K + Steph M||Jenna K + Emily|
|April 19||Ryan||Steph M + Jenna||Jenna + Ben||Ben|
|April 26||Ben||Ben + Ryan||Emily|