Fall 2000 Natural History of the Southwest (Honors 324 and 324L)
Class Schedule (Biology 402 & 402L)
|Date||Seminar & Lab|
|Aug. 22-24||Introduction, Physical Geography & Field Trip|
|Aug. 29-31||Physical Geography & Field Trip|
|Sept 5-7||Climate, Soils & Field Trip|
|Sept. 12-14||Biomes and Biotic Communities, no lab|
|Home assignment due Mon, Sept 18, at noon|
|Sept. 19-21||Biotic communities & classification, Plant I.Ds|
|Sept. 26-28||Plants & Student presentations, Inverts|
|Oct 3-5||Plants & Inverts, Lab practical|
|Oct. 10-13||Inverts & Student presentations, Fall Break|
|Oct. 17-19||Fishes & student presentations, Fish|
|Oct. 24-26||Amphibians & Reptiles, presentations|
|Oct 31- Nov. 2||Birds, Presentations, Birds|
|Nov. 7-9||Mammals, presentations, Mammals|
|Nov. 14-16||Mammals & Lab Practical, Field Trip|
|Nov 21-23||Human History, Take home due Nov 22 - Thanksgiving|
|Nov 28- 30||Human History & Bosque Trip|
|Dec 5-7||Conservation Symposium|
Seminar: Tuesday and Thursday 11-12:15; Lab: Thursday 1-3:50
Students are required to participate in both the seminar and lab portions of this class.There is a special course fee of $30 to cover costs of the field trips.
Faculty Office Hrs:
Ursula Shepherd Rm 30 University Honors firstname.lastname@example.org
Tu 12:15-1:30 and by appointment ( I am generally here on Wed)
Sandra Ligon Rm 104 Biology email@example.com
M 2-3 pm and W 11-12 pm and by appointment
How we value landscape is directly related to what we know about that place. The Southwest is fragile and sometimes harsh, and in order to appreciate and protect it, each of us should have the chance to discover at least something of its unique biology. This class will provide the opportunity for students to gain an understanding the natural history of the region in which we live. In this field biology course, we will discuss the biogeography and biology of the Southwest. In particular, we will focus on land, the climate, and the flora and fauna of the region. We will learn to recognize deserts, grasslands, montane areas and their associated organisms. We will pay particular attention to the area closest to Albuquerque. Since there are other courses in the biology department that focus specifically on deserts and on the Rio Grande Bosque, we will not spend as much time on these systems as we might otherwise. We will discuss deserts and will talk about the deserts of the Southwest. However, we will pay particular attention to the areas of the Colorado Plateau, the Southern Rocky Mountains, and the Short-Grass Prairie. Students will develop the skills to identify plants, bugs, reptiles, birds, and mammals. There will be several field trips during scheduled lab times. We have invited guest speakers who are experts in their fields to talk with us on their fields: arthropods, geology, historical land use by both Native Americans and Hispanic settlers, and others.
Assignments will include one in-class presentation on an organism in the region and two take home assignments. In the lab section, there will be two practicals. One of these will be connected with the second home assignment. These will be an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to identify different groups of organisms. Your final project will consist of an oral presentation on a current conservation issue facing the Southwest. This will result in a semester-end symposium on this topic.
Required texts and equipment:
A Sierra Club Naturalists Guide: The Southern Rockies. Audrey DeLella Benedict
Grasslands: The Audobon Society Nature Guides
Class Reading Packet (purchase from Honors Office)
Suggested text: Flowering Plants of New Mexico, Robert Ivey
Also, we encourage you to beg, borrow, or buy a field guide for birds for trips.
Students are required to bring binoculars to all field trips.
As is often the case in science courses with a lab component, the grade received will be cumulative for the seminar and lab portions calculated together, so you will receive one grade for the four units. As is normal in most such courses, the anticipated work between the two parts of the course should NOT be expected to be reflected by the distribution of those units. That is, lab will take about the same amount of effort as the seminar and assignments will sometimes overlap.
Total Points for the course = 500
How points will be distributed:
Presentation on an organism: 50
Final Symposium Presentation: 75
Take Home writing assignments: 75 for each
Field Notebook: 25
Lab Practicals: 75 each
Attendance and Participation: 50
You can calculate the number of points required for each letter grade.
Email List: Please send your email address to Ursula Shepherd ASAP to sign up on a class email list. Then, do check that list for updates and questions during the semester.