Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci. 16D - Biology of Waterfowl and Marsh Birds: Course Detail

(1/2 unit - approx. 13 hrs. min.)

Catalog Description: Field experience with identification and observation of marsh birds (primarily: ducks, geese, hawks, perching & shorebirds), general waterfowl biology and ecology emphasizing migration, reproductive cycles, current population trends, and habitat needs. Operational needs and conflicts of our national and local wildlife refuge system is investigated and discussed.

(typical class outline might include:)

Specific Topics:

Waterfowl and marsh birds identification characteristics; Operational needs and practices of the national and state refuge system; Evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of migration; Variety of migration patterns and examples of birds for each; Biological, habitat needs for waterfowl and marsh birds.

General Concepts and Topics to be emphasized:

Classification & Taxonomy; Genes and genetic processes (traits); Homeostatic responses of Organisms; Enzymes and life energy utilization; Diet - Carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, etc.; Energetic efficiencies; Food chains and webs (trophic levels); Production of Aquatic ecosystems; Nutrient limitations; Lakes and Pond biology; Aquatic Environments - Importance of & variation; Behavior - Animal and/or plant; Migration and Dormancy; Organism response to seasonal changes; Responses to stimuli (photoperiod, chemical, etc.); Food gathering - energy costs; Distribution - plant and animal geography; Variation with a population; Density Dependence & Independence; Pesticides and Heavy Metal Pollution; Conservation - Problems / solutions; Environmental Ethics, resources (use/abuse); Concepts of Resource Management; Urban Problems / Needs

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

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