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Web Schedule Spring 2018

Revision Date: 08-Nov-17

BIO-1250-VN01Z - Wildlife Ecology

Synonym: 172343
Location: Newport
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Tuesday, 09:00A - 12:00P
Semester Dates: 02-06-2018 to 05-01-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-22-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-28-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Elise Lawson | View Faculty Credentials
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration
This section meets the following General Education Requirement(s):
Global Perspective/Sustainability
Scientific Method
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Browse the Moodle Site for this class.

Course Description:

This course is the study of the ecology and life histories of common animal species and their habitats. The underlying scientific and technical principles will be examined as they relate to wildlife conservation efforts by federal, state, and private agencies. This course places special emphasis on Vermont's wildlife.

Essential Objectives:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the methods of scientific investigation in wildlife ecology including observation, and hypothesis testing.
2. Analyze wildlife population dynamics as expressed both by population growth equations and by basic quantitative population measures including sex ratio, birth rate, recruitment, survivorship, and mortality.
3. Analyze the effects of genetic diversity and environment on wildlife behaviors including predation, competition, territoriality, mating systems, and reproductive strategies.
4. Explain basic population sampling theory and modeling, as well as techniques including census, estimate, and index.
5. Analyze the integral relationships within and between wildlife and their habitats including selection, adaptation, and preferences.
6. Examine the life histories of common mammals, fish, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in making field observations by following scientific protocols, keeping accurate records, and writing detailed reports.
8. Examine the impact of human behavior on wildlife populations including, but not limited to, species extinction, habitat loss and climate change.
9. Evaluate the methods and impacts of current wildlife management practices and policies at private, state, and federal levels including protection, harvesting, habitat management, stocking and re-introductions.
10. Discuss laws and politics related to wildlife ecology including the Endangered Species Act, US and VT Fish and Wildlife Service, and Conservation Commissions.
11. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, evaluating, and applying quantitative data and information.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:

I look forward to meeting you. 

Whenever possible, we will be outside for parts of some Tuesday classes. I also hope to have one Saturday class scheduled for on April 14th. Although outside time will not be strenuous, please dress appropriately for being outside. We will discuss this during the first class. 


  • Small-group and whole-class discussion
  • Lecture
  • Tests and small research papers
  • Field trips and observation
  • Current event homework
  • Exploration project and formal presentation

Evaluation Criteria:

15% = class attendance, participation, informal oral reports

15% = test

15% = two short papers

20% = semester long exploration project

10% = presentation for exploration project

15% = weekly current event summary

10% = reading summary assignments and assigned homework

Grading Criteria:

 A+ through A-: For any work to receive an "A," it must clearly be exceptional or outstanding work. It must demonstrate keen insight and original thinking. It must not only demonstrate full understanding of the topic or issues addressed, but it must also provide a critical analysis of these. In addition, an "A" grade reflects a student's ability to clearly and thoughtfully articulate his or her learning.

B+ through B-: For any work to receive a "B," it must be good to excellent work. It must demonstrate strong originality, comprehension, critical thinking, and attention to detail. In addition, a "B" grade reflects a student's ability to clearly articulate his or her learning.

C+ through C-: For any work to receive a "C," it must meet the expectations of the assignment. It must demonstrate solid comprehension, critical thinking, and attention to detail. In addition, a "C" grade reflects a student's ability to adequately articulate his or her learning.

D+ through D-: For any work to receive a "D," it must marginally meet the expectations of the assignment. It demonstrates minimal comprehension, critical thinking, and attention to detail. In addition, a "D" grade may reflect a student's difficulty in articulating his or her learning.

F: Work that receives an "F" grade does not meet the expectations or objectives of the assignment. It demonstrates consistent problems with comprehension, organization, critical thinking, and supporting details. In addition, an "F" grade reflects a student's inability to articulate his or her learning. Students are strongly urged to discuss this grade with their instructor and advisor.

P: Equivalent to D (+/-) or better and therefore course will not count as credit for specific program requirements or competence area requirements.

NP: indicates failure to meet course objectives and/or failure to meet grading criteria for successful completion as described in the instructor's course description.


Spring 2018 textbook data will be available on December 4. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

The last day to use a Financial Aid advance to purchase textbooks is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.

Contact Faculty:

Email: Elise Lawson
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Kathleen McIsaac

Attendance Policy:

 Attendance Policy: Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential components of a student's success in college and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. Please be aware that missing more than three (3) classes will result in a non-satisfactory grade. A pattern of late arrival or early departure will constitute absence at the instructor's discretion.

Attendance and class participation – 15%

You are expected to attend and participate in each of the scheduled class sessions. This class will have some lectures, but most of your learning will be through class discussions, debates, activities, group work, and field exposure. We will spend some of our class time outside, as well as have two all-day field trip classes on Saturday. Missing a Saturday field trip is equivalent to missing two regular classes. 



Class #1: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 9:00AM – 12:00PM

Class Topic: Introductions.  Introduction to wildlife and wildlife ecology. 

1. Read Chapters 1 and 4 of Wildlife Ecology and Management
2. Group #1 report on assigned sections of text
3. Research a historical person important in fisheries or wildlife. Prepare a one page essay on the major contributions they made to the science or human understanding. Be prepared to discuss the person you researched informally at the start of the next class. Sign up before leaving class. 
Class #2: Tuesday, February 13, 9:00AM - 12:00PM

Due: Presentations by students in Group #1.Presentation on historical figure research, and hand in one page summary.

Class Topic and Activity: We will be going outside for part of this class looking at natural communities in our area. 

1. Research paper – choose one wildlife species and describe it in 3-5 pages – topic to be discussed should include:
a. Distribution
b. Development and reproduction
c. Ecology and habitat requirements
d. Conservation and management status
2. Read Chapter 5 – Population Ecology
Class #3: Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 9:00AM – 12:00PM

First paper due. Informal class presentation on paper in class.

Class Topic and Activity: Population Ecology
1. Read Chapter 6 – Animal Behavior and Wildlife Management 
2. Group #2 to report on assigned sections
3. Current Event homework – one page summary – be prepared to share informally in class
4. Spend time outside on your exploration project. Feel free to share your experiences if you want
Class #4: Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 9:00AM – 12:00PM

Presentations on reading by Group #2. Presentations on current event homework. 

Class Topic: Animal Behavior and Wildlife Management – examples from the field and research
1. Read Chapter 7 – Food and Cover
2. Group #1 to report on assigned sections
3. Current event homework
Class #5: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 9:00AM-12:00PM

Presentations/discussion by Group #1

Discuss current events. 
Class topic: Food and Cover – we will be going outside for part of this class 
1. Read Chapter 9 – Predators and Predation
2. Second research paper – choose one endangered or threatened species, describe its ecology, habitat needs, and what management practices we can do to help the species recover.
Class #6: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 9:00AM-12:00PM

Informal presentations on research paper. 

Class Topic: Predator/Prey Dynamics – Isle Royale study. 
Homework: Study for test – will be in class at the start of the next class
a. Catch up on reading
b. Review any notes
c. Review in class lectures – all slide shows on Moodle
2. Read Chapter 10 – Hunting and Trapping. Think about why we have hunting and why some people/organizations are opposed
3. Current Event Homework
Class #7: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 9:00AM-12:00PM

TEST in class – open book and will be online

Current event discussion
Class topic: Hunting and Trapping in Vermont
1. Read Chapter 11 – Wildlife and Water
2. Group #2 to report on assigned sections
3. Current Event Homework
Class #8: Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 9:00AM-12:00PM

Presentations/discussion by Group #2. Discussion of Current Event homework.

Class Topic: Wetlands and Wildlife Habitat. We will go outside for part of class
1. Read Chapter 15 – Forest Management and Wildlife
2. Group #1 to report on assigned sections
3. Current Event Homework
Class #9: Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 9:00AM-12:00PM

Presentations/discussion by Group #1

Current Event presentations
Class Topic: Soil to Trees to Wildlife Program – We will go outside for part of the class
1. Reach Chapter 21 – Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management
2. Group #2 to report on assigned sections
3. Study for Test #2 – Topics include 
    a. Conservation of Wildlife
    b. Forestry and Wildlife
    c. Wetlands, Water and Wildlife
    d. Anything else we have covered so far
Class #10: Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 9:00AM-12:00PM

In class Test 

Saturday field trip logistics
1. Prepare for final presentation on your exploration project
2. Bring in anything you took home from the field along with your field notebook
3. Have a slide show or photos documenting things you found
Class#11: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 9:00AM – 4:30PM (This is not confirmed...will do so as a class)

Field trip: Meet at CCV Parking area at 9:00AM, bring a lunch

Travel/carpool to VINS – Vermont Institute of Natural Science. We will be inside and outside for most of the day, so plan accordingly.
1. Prepare for final presentation on your exploration project
2. Bring in anything you took home from field and your field notebook
3. Include a slide show documenting what you found – this will be a formal presentation
4. Extra Credit – Current Event (recommended especially if you missed one previously)
Class #12: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 9:00AM-12:00 PM


Current Event discussion
Formal Presentations on your final project
Time dependent we will visit a local wetland to wrap-up. 
Possible Make-up class - April 24, 2018 - 9:00AM-4:00PM
Possible make-up class - May 1, 2018 from 9:00am to 12:00pm

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

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