Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci. 16 - Field Studies in Biology/Ecology: General Overview

(units vary / lect. & lab. combined - does not qualify as a lab. science for general ed.)

Courses are not offered consistently; offered on a rotational basis as time, funding, and seasons permit. See class schedule for current offerings.

Full-Time Faculty Lead: Shawna Martinez & Joe Medeiros

Catalog Description: Designed to cover field study activities and topics relevant to biology not covered by regular catalog offerings. Field studies in biology courses provide information and hands-on experiences at selected sites which best demonstrate the biological principles being studied. Topics and places will vary with each subtitle listed below. See class schedule for current semester's offerings. Each subtitle may be taken once.

Additional Info.: Bio. Sci. 16 (series A-Z) Field Studies in Biology is part of a special trademark or feature of Sierra College's unique instructional offerings. This series of field study offerings take students to prime study locations which best illustrate the variety of biology concepts and ideas being studied as well as the opportunity to explore some of the world's special environments. Actual course content may vary depending on specific instructors interest and site availability. For specific class titles in background information on a specific class see college catalog or title five class documents. Students are provided with practical experiences, working in the field, which can either introduce them to biology and its concepts or reinforce classroom learning by providing actual, environmental examples, first-hand. Many students enroll in these classes prior to taking many of our other, more formal classes. As academically rigorous classes, students are challenged to learn in the field as the class progresses, which may require additional time commitments, wilderness camping, strong group interaction and cooperation and hiking or other related field skills. Although additional challenges are present, the students receive additional educational benefits from this style of learning.

Typical class outline might include: (general class structure/pattern)


Class requirements, schedule (classroom & field study sites), Basic background concepts & terminology (biology/ecology), Specific topics and activities relative to course subtitle

Field Experience(s):

Consist of planned lecture and laboratory time at selected study sites and additional activities and information between sites. Time is allocated to provide a variety of practical, personal experiences in the field, working with actual environments. Observation of community/ecosystem structure, function, constituents (representative plants and animals), and relationships (between organisms, populations, ecosystems and their physical environments.) Analysis and comparisons of sites visited in order to comprehend and conceptualize more complex biological/ecological processes. Introduction to environmental sampling and measurement techniques and data analysis. Natural variations are noted, and actual data are evaluated to illustrate general trends or concepts. Roughly assess current status of sites including current and historical interactions with mankind and/or evidence of ongoing natural changes.


Review of concepts and experiences, Additional "follow-up" current information presented (for some subtitles only), Student evaluation by means of written assignments, special projects and exams.

•Back to listing of courses

(For official course listings, please consult the Sierra College online course catalog.)

W3C Logo: Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional W3C Logo: Valid CSS