Field Ecology Bio 303 Instructor: Jim Taulman

Summer 2006 Oglala Lakota College




Course Description This course will provide students hands on training and experience in ecological field research methods in ecosystems in southwestern South Dakota. Training will include use of common field research equipment. Techniques for sampling vertebrate and plant communities, as well as characterization of soil type and water quality will be covered.


Required Text none, but we will use Field and Laboratory Methods for General Ecology, by Brower, Zar, and von Ende. ISBN 0697243583.


Attendance A student may be dropped after 3 consecutive absences and will automatically be dropped after 5 total absences.


Homework Students may be asked to perform some data analysis during time away from class, but most work will be done in the field or classroom.

Grading Three quizzes will be given covering course material. Those tests will each count 1/3 of the final grade.


A = 90 - 100

B = 80 - 89

C = 70 - 79

D = 60 69

F = 59 and below



Schedule of classes


Week One


June 19, Monday Introduction, use of the compass, GPS, other equipment,

Statistical analysis review, homework assignment

June 20, Tuesday Field orientation using compass and GPS. Training with field equipment

June 21, Wednesday Lay out 5 habitat macroplots in one forest type and begin taking measurements

June 22, Thursday Finish measurements in first habitat


Week Two


June 26, Monday Lay out macroplots in second forest type and begin taking measurements

June 27, Tuesday Finish taking measurements in second forest type

June 28, Wednesday Analyze data from habitat plots in classroom

June 29, Thursday Quiz #1, Discuss vertebrate sampling methods for birds, mammals, herps, and work on herp drift fence materials


Week Three


July 3, Monday Holiday

July 4, Tuesday Visit each forest site and set mammal traps, construct herp drift fence, establish bird survey plots and take bird survey data

July 5, Wednesday Return to each forest site. Check mammal traps and reset, check herp array, do more bird surveys

July 6, Thursday Return to each forest site. Check and collect mammal traps. Check and pick up herp array. Final bird surveys.


Week Four


July 10, Monday Quiz #2, Discuss telemetry methods, equipment, computations, field telemetry simulation and computations

July 11, Tuesday Water analysis at Minnesota ridge mine

July 12, Wednesday Trip to Hot Springs waste water treatment facility

July 13, Thursday Quiz #3, night final orientation practical