Courses

FW 5601 Fisheries Population Analysis. 3 cr.
Introduction to theory/methods for estimating vital statistics of fish populations. Using microcomputers/statistical software to describe, analyze, model attributes of fish populations. Case studies from literature of marine/freshwater fisheries management.

FW 5003 – Human Dimensions of Biological Conservation – 3 cr.
Survey of social, psychological, economic, policy aspects of managing/conserving wildlife, fisheries, and related resources.

FW 5051 -- Analysis of Populations – 3 cr.
This course covers the basics of experimental design and sampling techniques as they relate to fisheries and wildlife conservation. We examine methods for estimating population size, population change, and population vital rates (i.e., components of birth, death, immigration, and emigration rates). It is appropriate for seniors or graduate students in FWCB, EEB, Cons Bio, ESPM and others who have a basic understanding of ecology and statistics. The first hour of each class session will be lecture format and the remainder will involve discussion and/or hands-on problem solving using computer programs.

FW 4401 – Fish Physiology and Behavior – 3 cr.
More than half a billion years after the first fish-like creature impressed itself upon the fossil record, modern fishes are represented by more than 25,000 species that fill almost every aquatic habitat. In Fish Physiology and Behavior, we journey through time and around the world to explore the fascinating array of physiological and behavioral adaptations for life in these aquatic habitats, and how these adaptations govern everything from individual well-being and fitness to species distributions and interactions. The course builds on the understanding of fish biology and physiology that you acquired though FW4136 or a similar course. Specific topics include homeostasis (e.g., osmoregulation, gas exchange), bioenergetics (i.e. growth, feeding), reproduction, movement, and ecotoxicology. Emphasis is on those adaptations and habitats that are relevant to conservation, management, aquaculture, and anthropogenic change (especially in Minnesota). We approach these topics through interactive lectures, readings, case studies, a short review paper, and two exams. This course is required for FWCB students in the Fisheries area of specialization, and can also count towards the American Fisheries Society’s Certified Fisheries Professional designation.

FW 4136 – Ichthyology -- 3 cr.
This course covers the biology and diversity of fishes. Topics covered include evolution, classification, anatomy, locomotion, and behavior. Fishes are a large and diverse group of organisms; therefore these topics will be covered at a general level, focussing in large part on the constraints imposed by the aquatic environment. The laboratory will cover anatomy and diversity of fishes, focussing on the Minnesota fauna. Students will learn the use of dichotomous keys to identify Minnesota fishes and will be expected to learn common and game species by sight. There will be two afternoon field trips during the semester. Assessment is based on 3 lecture exams, 2 lab exams, 1 paper, and participation in lab. Lecture notes and other supplementary material will be available on the web. Students in this class are usually upper level undergraduates or graduate students.

FW 3104 - Skills for Field Techniques in Habitat Assessment, Research, and Conservation - 2 cr.

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 demonstrate readiness for fieldwork by conducting an independent, field-focused project. This course is taken concurrently with the field session.

FW 4603 - Preparing Research Proposals for Wildlife Biologists - 1cr.

The course material will focus primarily on how to identify research questions, develop a budget, construct a written proposal, and present the proposal verbally. Students will work in small groups throughout the semester to develop their proposal and will gain skills in peer review and reference management.

FW 4301 - Conservation Genetics - 3 cr.

This course introduces students to fundamental principles of population genetics and molecular phylogenetics and explores their applications to problems in the conservation, management, and restoration of biodiversity.

FW 3925 - Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife Management - 3 cr.

Human dimensions of fish and wildlife concerns. Theory and methods from social sciences to address challenges and issues of managing fish and wildlife resources. Integrating social science information into fish and wildlife decision-making. Guest lecturers.

FW 3106- Important Plants of Fisheries and Wildlife Habitat – 1 cr.
Students study the field identification of approximately 100+ plant species. They are introduced to plant community concepts and the natural history of selected species. This course strives to teach the special role of many plant species in relation to fulfilling food, cover, nesting, and escape needs.

FW 3108 -- Field Methods in Research and Conservation of Vertebrate Populations – 3 cr.
Planning and implementation of research and management projects, collecting and analyzing data in groups, group and individual oral and written reports; each student keeps a field journal.

FW 4101- Herpetology – 3 cr.
Reptiles/amphibians, their systematics, behavior, ecology, physiology, development, and morphology. Diversity of reptiles/amphibians. Focuses on Minnesota fauna. Lab.

FW 4102 – Principles of Conservation Biology – 3 cr.
Introduction to themes/concepts of diverse, dynamic, and interdisciplinary field. Biological/social underpinnings of conservation problems/solutions.

FW 4103 – Principles of Wildlife Management – 3 cr.
Students are exposed to both basic science and non-science factors that influence the application of science, policy, laws, and social science to the management of wildlife populations and their habitat.

FW 4107 - Principles of Fisheries Science and Management - 3 cr.

This is primarily a lecture-based course that also integrates field trips, group discussions, and activities. We use exams to measure comprehension, and case studies and assignments to encourage practical application.

FW 5121 - Conservation Planning - 3 cr.

This course will present structured approaches to problem-solving and decision-making from a conservation perspective, and students will leave with tools for structuring and solving complex environmental problems.

FW 4001- Biometry – 3 cr.
Basic statistical concepts such as probability, sampling space, and frequency distributions. Descriptive statistics: sample tests, linear regression (simple and multiple), ANOVA, goodness of fit, nonparameteric method and other relevant selected topics (e.g., clustering and classification).

FW 1001 Orientation in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology – 1 cr.
This course is designed for entry level students (e.g., freshmen; transfers) who seek to major in Fisheries and Wildlife. Other students are welcome in the class as well. Opportunities are presented for students to gain knowledge and skills about the major and future employment. Course content includes: overnight weekend field trip to Cloquet Forestry Center; guest speakers representing careers in academic, state, federal and non-profit institutions and agencies.

FW 2001W – Introduction to Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology – 3 cr.
Humans rely on fish and wildlife resources to support a wide range of values. As we make decisions about management of landscapes, we are making decisions about conservation, about the future of our fish and wildlife. This class helps students become more informed citizens by learning about fish, wildlife and other forms of biodiversity, including single species, populations, ecosystem, and landscape approaches. The class is experiential and highly interactive, using decision-case studies to explore current issues.

FW 2003 – Introduction to Marine Biology – 3 cr.
Our planet is nearly three-quarters ocean in which the majority of world's organisms are found in a wide variety of fascinating and complex ecosystems. Understanding these systems is both interesting and critical to the survival of our species. This course provides an introduction to the major themes of life in the oceans including the nature of the oceans and aquatic life, the diversity and ecology of the organisms found in them,, and the effects of marine fishes, marine mammals, and pollution addressed in more detail. Text, reading and movies are employed. The overarching goal of the course is to make you a well-informed global citizen who could take advanced courses in marine biology. Students taking this course are qualified for a 2-credit marine field course in the Bahamas 'marine Biology and Shark Ecology'

FW 5603W –- Habitats and Regulation of Wildlife – 3 cr.

This course will give students hands-on experience with the quantitative analysis of wildlife-habitat relationships. The course material will include a large quantitative component; however, only a basic understanding of statistical and ecological principles is required, as is a general familiarity with the natural history and ecology of terrestrial vertebrates. Students will complete two major lab projects during the semester. For the first lab, groups of 3-4 students will design and conduct a wildlife habitat survey. For the second lab, groups will work with animal relocation data in a GIS environment to develop statistical descriptions of wildlife-habitat relationships. In addition to the lab projects, students will work in small groups throughout the semester to develop a research proposal suitable for submission to a graduate fellowship competition. Students taking this course will: (1) read and interpret primary scientific literature; (2) collect field data from which they will create GIS layers of wildlife habitat; (3) quantify spatial patterns of habitat components; (4) quantify patterns of animal habitat use; and (5) communicate their findings in both written and presentation formats. By the end of the course students will understand how to develop and interpret basic statistical models that provide insight into wildlife-habitat relationships, while also understanding the limitations of those models.

FW 5604W – Fisheries Ecology and Management – 3 cr.
This is a senior-level major and introductory graduate course; a background in resource ecology is assumed. The course provides a basic coverage of fisheries, ecology and management, with an emphasis on human intervention and regulation of use to achieve management objectives for managed species of interest. We will cover the tools of fisheries management that may be implemented to achieve specific objectives and goals and how to assess their efficacy. The course starts with a general coverage of applied limnology and fish ecology, followed by management approaches and planning, the development of an information base and identification of problems. Approaches to manage fishery populations and habitats will then be covered along with methods to assess management outcomes. Applications to specific fisheries will be demonstrated. A series of homework tasks and problems will be used to develop real-world problem solving skills; problem sets and readings from the primary literature will be discussed in periodic sessions. A paper, that outlines and critiques current management of specific fisheries resource and proposes new strategies, is required; the first draft will be graded and returned for final revision.

 

Courses ordered by course-designator number.

Courses listed are those included as required or options in the core or specializations.

SUST 3003 – Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet—3 cr.
Sustainability recognizes that social equity, environmental integrity, and economic prosperity are all worthy goals, but these goals compete, so it is difficult if not impossible to maximize all three of them concurrently. Some objectives of sustainability are therefore often realized at the cost of other equally valid objectives. How do we collectively move towards an ideal balance of these different aspects of sustainability? In “Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet” we will approach sustainability from multiple viewpoints and explore various models for understanding sustainability. Through a variety of real-world case studies, we will explore the conflicts and trade-offs that occur from trying to put sustainability into practice. We will also examine different approaches to sustainable living, so you can consider whether and how to integrate sustainability into your own life. “Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet” is intended for sophomores and above. There are no other prerequisites, but you should have previous exposure to critical reading, writing, and thinking.

ESPM 3011W -- Ethics in Natural Resources – 3 cr.
Often, in our goal-oriented society, little time and thought is given to considering WHY we approach the natural world in the way we do. In this course, you will have the opportunity to explore the ?why?s? that motivate humans to action. What are the fundamental value differences that cause intractable resource conflicts? How can you help people find win-win solutions? The course is designed to explore natural resource issues in the context of environmental ethics.

ESPM 3012 – Statistical Methods for Environmental Scientists and Managers – 4 cr.
This course focuses on both the foundations of statistical methods (the mathematical principles that underlie the methods) and the application of those methods. It is unlike similar courses in the emphasis it places on context. Methodological approaches will be motivated using applications from environmental science and management. With that as background, we will be able to more meaningfully study the principles, theory and foundations of the methods, including important theorems and proofs.

FR 3104- Forest Ecology – 4 cr.
Ecology, the study of the interactions of organisms and their environment, forms the essential foundation of the management and conservation of the world's ecosystems. This course examines basic ecological principles through the lens of forest ecosystems, exploring the theory and practice of ecology at various levels of organization from individuals to populations, communities and ecosystems. At each level we examine past and current theoretical advances and use case studies to evaluate the impacts of increasing human domination of global systems on forested ecosystems. The course covers diverse topics including global climate change; individual and population growth; community assembly; invasive species; biodiversity; and alteration of water, carbon and nutrient cycles. During two class periods per week we explore forest ecology through a combination of lecture, group learning and problem solving, and discussion. Labs include group research projects and trips to local natural areas, urban forests, and the north shore of Lake Superior. Lab sessions are designed to complement and reinforce material covered in regular class periods.

ESPM 3108— Ecology of Managed Landscapes – 3 cr.
Ecology of ecosystems primarily composed of managed plant communities. Managed forests, field-crop agroecosystems, rangelands, and certain nature reserves, parks, and urban open spaces. Intended to serve as an introductory ecology course, from an applied perspective. As a result of your participation in this course, you should be able to

ESPM 3111 Hydrology and Water Quality Field Methods – 3 cr. Not currently in our curriculum
This course is about applied methods used by the industry to define hydrology and water quality. Most of the time we will be on a field trip to learn about flood forecasting, using water quality sondes, CR10's, auto-samplers, sampling monitoring wells, surveying stream channels and measuring streamflow. You will be required to think & write about system design. Plan on attending at least one weekend field trip in April.

FR 3131 – Geographical Information Systems – 4 cr.
FR 3131 is an introduction to Geographical Information Systems, focusing on spatial data development and analysis in the science and management of natural resources. Topics covered include basic data structures, data sources, data collection, data quality, geodesy and map projections, spatial and tabular data analyses, digital elevation data and terrain analyses, cartographic modeling, and cartographic layout. Laboratory exercises provide practical experiences that complement the theory covered in lecture.

ESPM 3202W Environment, Conflict Management, Leadership and Planning – 3 cr.
Negotiation of natural resource management issues. Use of collaborative planning. Case study approach to conflict management, strategic planning, and building leadership qualities. Emphasizes analytical concepts, techniques, and skills.

FR 3204 – Landscape Ecology and Management - 3 cr.
This course is an introduction and survey of landscape ecology. The major theme of the class is the role of spatial configuration on ecological patterns and processes. We examine the landscape ecology in its application to research, analysis, conservation, and management. Topics include: sources of landscape pattern, introduction to landscape quantification, ecological scale, population dynamics, reserve design, and patch dynamics, and disturbance. Special topics are introduced on an annual basis.

FR 3114 Hydrology and Watershed Management – 3 cr.
Introduction to the hydrologic cycle and water resources with an emphasis on rural watersheds. Applications of hydrologic concepts to evaluate impacts of land use and management on water yield, storm flow, flooding, erosion, sedimentation, and stream channel - riparian processes. The role of hydrologic information in achieving integrated watershed management is emphasized throughout the course. State, national and international examples are presented.

ESPM 3241W -- Natural Resource and Environmental Policy – 3 cr.
Basic concepts of political/administrative processes important to natural resource policy and program development. Case study approach to policy/legislative process, participants in policy development, and public programs. Federal/state laws/regulations, international issues. Having successfully completed this course, you will be able to:

ESPM 3261W—Economics in Natural Resources – 3 cr.
This course is designed to give students an understanding of and appreciation for the role economics plays in the management, use, and protection of natural resources. Its focus is to build student capacity to think critically about natural resources using economic decision-making criteria. The course emphasizes the practical application of economic principles and concepts to natural resource problems. The first third of the course focuses on developing an understanding of basic microeconomic concepts. The middle third of the course covers the tools and techniques used to value natural resources and evaluate natural resource projects using economic and financial criteria. The last third of the course extends these economic concepts, tools, and techniques to the management of various natural resources (e.g., forests, water). Prerequisite math skills for this course are limited to solving problems using algebra.

ESPM 3271 -- Environmental Policy, Law, and Human Behavior – 3 cr. 
What is necessary to achieve sustainable societies? What influences societal deliberation/decisions about environmental issues? How do our behaviors affect natural systems? Key theoretical concepts of environmental social psychology and political sciences. How people respond to policies, using theoretical concepts from social psychology about attitudes, values, and social norms; applying these ideas to specific environmental problems and ethical debates. After taking this course, you should be able to:

ESPM 3575 -- Wetlands – 3 cr.
This course is an introductory course addressing issues related to wetlands. These include: loss/protection of endangered, threatened, and protected species; loss/protection, improvement, or restoration of critical waterfowl and wildlife habitat; wetlands and climate change; agricultural production and agricultural drainage; surface and groundwater quality and quantity; sustainable land use management; effects of wetland drainage/destruction on stream baseline and peak streamflows; environmental aesthetics; and the complex relationship between humans and their environments. These principles and issues are examined from the viewpoint of: differing cultural views of wetlands and wetland values; the changing societal views of wetland uses, values, and importance over the last two centuries in the US; scientific understanding of wetland function through hydrology, biogeochemistry, and wetland ecology; ecosystem services of wetlands and economic considerations to wetland losses, mitigation, and restoration; and the history, implementation, and effectiveness of national and state policies regarding wetlands.

ESPM 4061 – Water Quality in Natural Resources – 3 cr.
The science and art of water quality decision making, with a strong international focus. We discuss ecology of aquatic ecosystems, how they are valuable to society, how they are changed by landscape management, and how we make informed decisions about that management. We rely heavily on case studies, impaired waters and the TMDL process, and student engagement in simulating water quality decision making.

ESPM 4096 – Professional Experience Program: Internship. 1-6 cr.
Students create oral/written report based on paid or volunteered work or field experience.

EEB 4129 -- Mammalogy – 4 cr.
A course in mammalian biology, including topics in anatomy, evolution, biogeography, behavior, and ecology. Lab emphasizes identification, distribution, and natural history of mammals, with a focus on North American species. Course is targeted towards upperclass undergraduate biology majors and first or second year graduate students.

EEB 4134 – Introduction to Ornithology -- 3 cr.
Birds constitute one of the better known groups of organisms. In this course, we will deal with many aspects of bird biology in a lecture, field, and laboratory setting. Students will learn to identify many species of birds occurring in Minnesota through examination of specimens in lab and through field identification in weekly walks around the St. Paul campus. We will spend considerable time learning about ecology and behavior of birds, and students will gather data on the behavior of a common local species which will be pooled with observations of other class members. We will consider how the scientific study of birds can lead to better conservation practices. Course will be web-enhanced. Target Audience: Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.

PBIO 4321 -- Minnesota Flora – 3 cr.
Identification of common vascular plants of Minnesota and surrounding region. Distinguishing characteristics of local taxa. Descriptive terminology. Use of manuals of floras. Lab, field trips.

EEB 4609W – Ecosystem Ecology – 3 cr. 
Regulation of energy and elements cycling through ecosystems; dependence of the cycles on kinds and numbers of species within ecosystems; effects of human-induced global changes on the functioning of ecosystems The course is roughly divided into halves. The first half will provide some background on the history of ecosystem ecology and on climate and soils, but will focus primarily on element cycling, particularly carbon and nutrient cycles. We will examine the energy base of ecosystems?what controls carbon fixation by plants and what is the fate of that fixed carbon. We will also study nutrient inputs to, cycling through, and losses from ecosystems. The second half will focus on interactions and perturbations, including those resulting from human-induced global changes. We will examine transfers of energy from primary producers to higher trophic levels and how herbivory and disturbances such as fire affect primary production and nutrient cycling. We will examine how elevated CO2, changing climate, increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition, biological invasions, and losses of biodiversity alter ecosystem processes. We will also discuss human dependence on ecosystems.

ESPM 5071 --Ecological Restoration – 4 cr.
In this course, you’ll learn about the factors that affect ecological recovery and how people intervene to reverse human-caused degradation. The course includes examples from ecosystems around the world, with more emphasis on those found in Upper Midwest. In general, Mondays are lectures, Wednesdays are discussions, and Fridays are field trips and problem-solving cases. There are 5 required field trips during the semester.

ENT 5361 – Aquatic Insects. 4 cr.
Taxonomy, natural history of aquatic insects including their importance in aquatic ecology, water resource management, recreation, and conservation. Emphasizes family-level identification of immatures/adults. Field trips scheduled to local aquatic habitats. A collection is required.

EEB 5601 – Limnology – 3 cr.
Welcome to Limnology, the study of freshwater ecosystems. One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of limnological study is that it relies on synthesis of physical, chemical, and biological disciplines for both basic and applied understanding of freshwaters. Limnology is the primary disciplinary example of the mechanistic examination of feedbacks between organisms and their environment, and serves as a model for the study of other ecosystems. Like many limnology courses, the focus is primarily on lakes, and to lesser extent rivers, but we will consider other habitats too, just in less detail. This is a course intended for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Its goal is to provide an in depth characterization of fundamental features of lake ecosystems, with emphasis on interaction of biological processes, and physio-chemical conditions in freshwaters. The course also considers the complex ways that humans influence lakes. Students will be expected to access and interpret diverse reading material ranging from textbooks to primary literature, and will access widely available limnological data for problem sets during the semester.