The University of Tennessee at Martin’s Reelfoot Lake Environmental Field Station is happy to announce its 2017 Maymester/Summer field courses. Anyone interested in enrolling in courses should contact Dr. Tom Blanchard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.utm.edu/departments/reelfoot/ for application form and more information about the field station.
(ZOOL 327/527) – 3 semester hours)
Course schedule: May 15-June 2 (Monday–Thursday for week 1 and 2, Tuesday – Friday for week 3)
Daily meeting time: 9 am – 12 noon and 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Dr. Tom Blanchard (University of Tennessee at Martin)
phone: (731) 881-7594
The Reelfoot Lake area provides a great variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats that supports a diverse assemblage of amphibians and reptiles. The lake itself is a relatively shallow, natural lake with abundant emergent and submerged vegetation and extensive areas of periodically flooded cypress forests. The loess bluffs that are to the east and south of Reelfoot Lake offer upland habitat unlike that which is found throughout most of northwest Tennessee. This course offers a great opportunity to observe a number of amphibian and reptile species in their natural habitats. The course will focus on the basic ecology of amphibians and reptiles, common techniques used to capture, handle, and mark various species, and the analysis of ecological data. Each day will include a 1 – 2 hr. lecture, followed by field trips to different habitats around the Reelfoot Lake area. Night-time sampling will be a common activity during this course. Prerequisites: introductory biology (BIO 130 and 140) or instructor’s approval.
(ZOOL 306/506– 3 semester hours)
Course schedule: June 5-June 28 (Tues., Thurs., alternate Frid., Full day)
Daily meeting time: 9 am – 12 noon, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm)
Instructor: Dr. Ron Jones (Eastern Kentucky University)
Aquatic and Wetland plants is a field-oriented course designed to introduce students to the biology, ecology, and taxonomy of aquatic and wetland plants, with an emphasis on sight recognition and identification of species using diagnostic keys. The course includes field trips to various aquatic and wetland habitats around the Reelfoot Lake area where students will collect plant material that will then be identified through the use of keys. Students will also learn how to dry and preserve plant specimens for the herbarium. Some brief coverage of aquatic and wetland plant adaptations and the biological classification of hydrophytes will be developed in lectures. As many private, state, and federal agencies are interested in hiring people with plant identification skills, this course may be of particular interest to students planning to pursue careers in wetland consulting or rare species biology, as well as in other areas of environmental biology or ecology. This course requires field work involving physical activities such as hiking, wading and canoeing. Prerequisites: introductory biology (BIO 130 and 140) or instructor’s approval.
(BIOL462/BIOL720 Special Topics – 3 semester hours)
Meeting time: June 8 – July 7 (Thursdays 5 pm -11pm; Fridays 8am – 2pm )
Instructor: Dr. Nancy Buschhaus (University of Tennessee at Martin)
phone: (731) 881-7177
Looking for experience with a variety of live capture techniques for non-game mammals? Want to know more about the practical application of conservation biology in the field? This course will examine several different techniques for observing mammals, the advantages and disadvantages of each, some of the mathematical and statistical mechanisms for interpreting data collected from these techniques, as well discuss the framework of the biological aspects of conservation biology associated with non-game mammal species. As a part of the course, we will learn to: eliminate some of the biases associated with field surveys of mammals, set up and monitor small mammal trapping grids, deploy and interpret wildlife camera “traps”, recognize the uses of radiotelemetry and PIT tags, record and identify bat calls, mist net bats and apply WNS decontamination protocols, establish behavioral sampling techniques, recognize the importance of habitat and life history characteristics on our ability to survey mammals, identify the mammals we capture and learn their basic taxonomy, and apply population level analyses and inferential statistical techniques to some of the data that we accumulate (e.g. maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), occupancy models, the effects of false positives and false negatives, etc.). All meeting times for the course are required. We will be out in the field most of the class time on Thursday evenings and some of the class time on Friday mornings. We will spend the rest of the time on Fridays learning in-class application of the data we collect, as well as lecture information regarding the basics of conservation biology as it applies to mammals. On Thursday evenings (and some Friday mornings), we will be in and next to a large wetland, mostly in the dark, in the summer, requiring the willingness to participate in extensive field work involving hiking in and around the high-humidity habitats near the shore of Reelfoot Lake and other semi-aquatic regions in the area. Prerequisites: introductory biology (BIOL 130-140) or instructor’s approval.