FWCB Field Classes

All FWCB students complete three field classes as part of their degree requirements.  During these classes, students are immersed in the study of Minnesota's flora and fauna in both aquatic and terrestrial settings. Your path through the curriculum will be most successful if you take these classes during sophomore or junior year. The classes help you develop critical field skills that are used through the remainder of your undergraduate experience.

FW 3104 Skills for Field Techniques in Habitat Assessment, Research, and Conservation is a 2 credit, online class taught in Fall and Spring semesters. FW 3106 Vegetation Sampling for Habitat Assessments is a 1 credit class offered in fall only. FW 3108 Field Methods in Research and Conservation of Vertebrate Populations is 3 credits and is offered fall and spring.

Students have two options for taking the field course series (FW3104, FW3106, FW3108).

For both options, students can take FW3104 in fall or spring but it must be completed before taking FW 3108 (pre-requisite). For FW3106 and FW3108, the choices are:

  1. Begin both courses at Itasca Field Station (last week in August) and complete them as fall semester courses (FW3106 –7 weeks, FW 3108-14 weeks). The fees associated with the courses for this option are approximately $220.
  2. Begin FW3106 in the Twin Cities during last week of August and complete as a fall semester course (7 weeks). Take FW 3108 in spring semester (several one day field trips are planned). The fees associated with the courses for this option are approximately $700.

Course Descriptions

(Information on logistics provided in info-sessions during the preceding semester)

 

FW 3104

Skills for Field Techniques in Habitat Assessment, Research, and Conservation (2 cr, Fall, Spring, Online)

In this field-preparation and application class, students develop skills required for the field session (FW 3106 + FW 3108) and future professional positions in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology. Students complete a series of online activities that prepare them to use analytical tools (e.g., tools for statistical analysis, GIS/GPS, spatial methodology, advanced lab- and field-based skills). Students build knowledge about Minnesota species including identification and natural history information of plants, amphibians and reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals. Students demonstrate readiness for fieldwork by conducting an independent, field-focused project.

FW 3106

Vegetation sampling for habitat assessment (1 cr. Fall)

Common vegetation sampling methods used for habitat assessments. Identify approximately 75 vascular plant species typical of Minnesota terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems using taxonomic keys and readily observable traits. Importance of plants for providing food, cover, and nesting habitat.

FW 3108

Field Methods in Research and Conservation of Vertebrate Populations (3 cr, Fall, Spring, FW 3104 pre-req).

Planning/implementation of research/management projects. Collect/analyze data in groups. Group/individual oral/written reports. Keep field journal.