Field Biology (BIO 310)

                                                  Department of Biological Sciences

                                            State University of New York at Cortland


Course Information:                                                  Instructor Information:

Credit Hours:    3                                                                      Instructor:         Dr. Steven B. Broyles

Semester/Year: August 2003                                         Phone:              607.753.2901

Location:          Outdoor Education Center                                Office:              Casino & Cedars Cabin

Required Texts: (1) Peterson=s Field Guide to                Office Hours:    Mon.CSat. 8 A.M.-9 P.M.

to Wildflowers; (2) Peterson=s Field Guide to                E-mail:

Trees and Shrubs; (3) Barron=s Guide to

Mushrooms; (4) additional papers.


Course Description: Examination of biological diversity and ecology in terrestrial and aquatic communities of New York.  This course is taught during August at Cortland=s Outdoor Education Center in Adirondack State Park.  Daily and evening classes include field trips, laboratories, and lectures.  Students are assessed a fee for room and board.  Required of biology majors in programs for adolescence biology education and environmental science concentration.  Prerequisites: BIO 110-111 or BIO 201-202.


Goals/Objectives of the Course: This course will introduce students to the major components of biotic communities in the Northeastern United States.  Field Biology is designed with the intention of exposing students in Adolescence Biology Education and Environmental Science to many areas of field studies.  Students will demonstrate taxonomic knowledge of land plants, algae, amphibians, fungi, insects, and birds.   Students will develop a conceptual understanding of ecological processes, organismal behavior, biological interactions, and natural history through intensive field study and experimentation.  Students will design, perform, and interpret individual and/or group projects on the Adirondack biota.


Course Attendance Policy: Due to the nature location of the course, ALL CLASSES, FIELD TRIPS, and MEALS ARE MANDATORY.  Classes generally run form 9:00 to 11:30 A.M.; 1:00-5:00 P.M.; and 7:30-9:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday.  Any foreseen absence should be brought to the attention of the instructor in advance of arriving at Raquette Lake.  Please be on time for lectures and scheduled field trips.


Evaluation and Grading: Students will be graded on two half-day examinations, an individual / group project/presentation, daily journal entries, and plant/insect collections.  Exams usually include short answer and essay questions, but may also include identifications from projection slides, preserved specimens, and living specimens.  Fair exam material includes reading assignments not directly discussed in class.  Questions regarding possible grading errors should be discussed as soon as possible with the instructor.


If you are a student with a disability and wish to request accommodations, please contact the office of Student Disability Services in B-40 Van Hoesen Hall or call 607.753.2066 for an appointment.  Information regarding your disability will be treated in a confidential manner.  Because many accommodations require early planning, requests for accommodations should be made as early as possible.



Specific Assignments and Grades:


Exam 1BSaturday, August 2                                                                  100 points

This exam will include taxonomic questions and identification of trees and shrubs, flowering plants, fungi, and insects.  Students will also be expected to assimilate information, describe data, and draw conclusions for experiments conducted during the first week.


Exam 2-Saturday, August 9                                                                  100 points

This exam will include taxonomic questions and identification of birds, wetland plants, algae, and stream macroinvertebrates.  Students will also be expected to answer conceptual questions on water quality, limnology, forestry techniques, wetland biology, and the relationships between glaciation, bog ecology, and palynology.


PowerPoint Presentation and Digital Photography                                  100 points

Each student is required to learn how to operate a digital camera and import photographs into meaningful PowerPoint Presentations.  The Presentation should included a title slide, a reference slide, and a minimum of 10 text/photo slides.  Students should select their Presentation in consultation with Dr. Broyles.  Topics are variable, but we need to keep the interest of the audience in mind.  Since you will share these with others in the course who will in turn become educators, you should direct the instructional level toward students and educators of grades 8-12.


Journal and Project Notebook                                                  100 points

Every project, worksheet question, graph, figure, interpretation should be written and maintained in a well-identified section of your notebook (preferably a small three-ring binder).  In addition, Dr. Broyles will frequently ask reflective thought questions that should be answered completely and thoroughly in the Notebook.  These question often provide insight into concepts that Dr. Broyles believes are important, and therefore, are likely to appear on examinations.


Personal-Small group Project and Report                                              100 points

Each student is required to design and conduct a personal field biology project during the third week of the course.  Students will need to develop clear, testable, hypotheses, experimental methods, and data collection protocol.  Students will need to conduct appropriate statistical tests, construct graphs, and tables.  Upon returning to Cortland, students have three weeks to complete library research for references and write a report following a standard scientific format.



Grades:   A+    487.5-500 pts. B+       437.5-449.9     C+       387.5-399.9     D+       337.5-349.9

  A       462.6-487.4                 B          412.6-437.4     C         362.6-387.4     D         312.6-337.4

  A-      450.0-462.5                 B-        400.0-412.5     C-        350.0-362.5     D-        300.0-312.5




Daily Schedule:

Week 1

Sunday, 27 July            2:00-5:30 P.M.            Check-in at Outdoor Education Facility

6:00 P.M.         Dinner

7:00 P.M.         Orientation and Class


Monday, 28 July           Routine meal schedule (8:00 A.M.; NOON; and 6:00 P.M.)

Morning:           Tree Identification and Forest Biology

Afternoon:        Canoe Certification, Adirondack History, Forest Transects

Evening:            Diversity Statistics, Data Interpretation

Concepts:         Evapotranspiration, mycorrhizal interactions, woody tree adaptations, dendrochronology.


Tuesday, 29 July           Morning:           Herbaceous Flowering Plant Families

Afternoon:        Hummingbird Foraging and Nectar Biology

Evening:            Film: Sexual Encounters of a Floral Kind

Concepts:         Coevolution, pollination biology, economy and ecology of flowering plants, nitrogen fixation and legumes, chemical diversity of plants.


Wednesday, 30 July     Morning:           Limnology

Afternoon:        Limnology

Evening:            Algae of Raquette Lake

Concepts:         Water chemistry, lake definitions, stratigraphic sampling of dimetic lakes, biology of algae.


Thursday, 31 July         Morning:           Goodnow Mountain

Afternoon:        Goodnow Mountain

Evening:            TBA

Concepts:         Forestry techniques, adaptation, community changes on elevation transects


Friday, 1 August           Morning:           Water Quality and Macroinvertebrates

Afternoon:        Water Quality and Macroinvertebrates

Evening:            Sound, Avian Vocalizations & Microphone DesignBOwl Prowl

Concepts:         Eutrophication, water chemistry, pollution, indicator species, physics of sound, design of parabolic reflectors, circuits and microphones.


Saturday, 2 August       Morning:           EXAM 1

Afternoon:        Completion of Exam

Evening:            Free


Sunday, 3 August         Free TimeBMeals schedule TBA


Daily Schedule:

Week 2           

Monday, 4 August        Morning:           Fleshy FungiCDr. Baroni

Afternoon:        Identification of Fungi

Evening:            Toxicology

Concepts:         Morphology of fleshy fungi, ecology of fungi, phylogeny of fungi.


Tuesday, 5 August        Early Morning:Bird Surveys

Morning:           Bog Ecology and Palynology

Afternoon:        Bog Ecology and Palynology

Evening:            Free Time

Concepts          Glaciation and land history; climatology, pollen indicators of climate and forests, adaptations to wetlands, avian vocalizations.


Wednesday, 6 August   Morning:           Community Ecology on Whiteface Mtn

Afternoon:        Community Ecology on Whiteface Mtn

Evening:            Lake Placid Dinner

Concepts:         Forest stratification and diversity, community migration in response to climatic change, forest adaptation.


Thursday, 7 August       Morning:           Insect Biology

Afternoon:        Insect Population Size Estimates

Evening:            Travels of the Monarch Butterfly

Concepts:         Arthropod morphology, ecological diversity and evolution of insects, capture-mark-recapture techniques for estimating population sizes; chemical coevolution, migration and navigation of animals (star, sun, and magnetic compasses).


Friday, 8 August           Morning:           Ferns and Clubmosses

Afternoon:        Scavenger Hunt Challenge & ReviewCFinish Capture-Mark-Release study

Evening:            Study Time


Saturday, 9 August       Morning:           EXAM 2

Afternoon:        Completion of Exam

Evening:            Free


Sunday, 10 August       Free


Daily Schedule:

Week 3

Monday, 11 August      Morning:           Hypotheses Construction, Statistics Review, Project Design

Afternoon:        Project Design

Evening:            Evening Plane Ride

History of Adirondack ParkBDr. Pasquarello


Tuesday, 12 August      Morning:           Projects

Afternoon:        Projects

Evening:            Bill EvansBMonitoring Songbird Migration


Wednesday, 13 AugustMorning:           Projects

Afternoon:        Projects

Evening:            Guest Speaker


Thursday, 14 August     Morning:           PowerPoint Presentations are Due

Afternoon:        Presentations and Projects

Evening:            Analysis and Lab Packing


Friday, 15 August         Morning:           Analysis, Clean-up, Departure