Summer courses for 2016

"The best courses I've ever taken at Pitt!" 

- PLE student evaluation

In 2016, we have an amazing collection of top-quality field courses that are sure to pique your interest. Courses span 3 weeks and they run in sessions from mid-May through the end of July.  Click on the PDF thumbnails below to check out the syllabi for the courses.

 

Session 1 : 16 May - 3 June 2016

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Ecology & Lab

(Biosc 0370/0390)

Dr. Anthony Bledsoe
Univ. of Pittsburgh
4 Credits

What better way to learn ecology than to be outdoors seeing it for yourself! Lectures and laboratory exercises emphasize environmental factors, populations, communities, ecosystems, and biodiversity. Dr. Bledsoe’s outdoor experiments and field trips are a great way to help understand the lecture material. Pitt students should enroll in both the lecture (BioSc 0370) and the Lab (Biosc 0390).

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Conservation Biology

(Biosc 1610)

Dr. Steve Latta
National Aviary
3 Credits

To protect and conserve the diversity of plants and animals in nature, we need to understand how to integrate ecology, management, and public policy. Dr. Latta uses activities such as bird banding and trips to Powdermill Nature Reserve to offer hands-on demonstrations of conservation principles.

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Forest Ecology

(Biosc 1160)

Dr. Walter Carson
Univ. of Pittsburgh
3 Credits

In this course, you’ll study the ecology, management, and conservation of forests. Pack your sleeping bag for an overnight field trip to study a major regional forest type, the beautiful Allegheny National Forest. Lectures, labs, and an independent project will get you on your way to understanding the ecology of PA forests!

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Field Entomology

(Biosc 1340)

 

Dr. Randy Layne
Slippery Rock Univ.
3 Credits

This course examines the fascinating biology of insects! You will learn to sample natural communities and identify different body structures, ecological relationships, life cycle dynamics, physiology, and taxonomy. Also learn about physiological ecology and coevolved interactions with plants.

Session 2 : 6 June - 24 June 2016


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Ecology & Lab

(Biosc 0370/0390)

  

Dr. Denise Piechnik
Univ. of Pittsburgh-Bradford
4 Credits

What better way to learn ecology than to be outdoors seeing it for yourself! Lectures and laboratory exercises emphasize environmental factors, populations, communities, ecosystems, and biodiversity. Dr. Peichnik's field trips are a great way to help understand the lecture material. Pitt students should enroll in both the lecture (BioSc 0370) and the Lab (Biosc 0390).


Ecology of Fungi

(Biosc 1360)

Dr. Shannon Nix
Clarion Univ.
3 Credits

This is an exciting course designed to introduce you to collecting, observing, and identifying a variety of fungi from a range of habitats. Students will learn the taxonomy/ecology of fungi with a focus on observational and experimental methods to understanding the fungi of northwest PA. You'll see fungi first hand in a natural environment.

Wetland Ecology (Click to view video description)

(Biosc 1310)

Dr. Bob Booth
Lehigh Univ.
3 Credits

Discover the wonders of wetlands! This course will help you discover them and provide an understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur within and around wetlands and how these processes relate to the management of wetland systems for wildlife. Visit many different types of wetlands in the Pymatuning area!

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Ecology of Birds (Ornithology)

(Biosc 1230)

Dr. Anthony Bledsoe
Univ. of Pittsburgh
3 Credits

Have you ever wished you could learn the birds of PA and distinguish among bird calls? Then this class is for you! Learn all about the biology of birds, with an emphasis on bird anatomy, physiology, behavior, reproduction, and ecology. This course combines lectures and laboratory experiences with superb field trips to Presque Isle, Powdermill Nature Reserve, and the Allegheny National Forest.

Behavorial Ecology

(Biosc 1140) 

Dr. Nina Thumser
Edinboro University
3 Credits

Why do animals do what they do? This course covers the principles of animal behavior with an emphasis on observing animals in nature. Through lectures, reading, experiments, and field observations, you'll learn about how animals make decisions related to feeding, mating, territoriality, predator defense, habitat selection, and parental care.

Session 3 : 27 June - 15 July 2016


Disease Ecology

(Biosc 1220)

 

 

Shane Hanlon
American Geophysical Union
3 Credits

This course is designed to introduce you to some of the major plant and animal diseases, including diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Through a combination of lectures and fun field trips, you will build on your knowledge of ecology and apply it to the fascinating world of diseases.  (Please note that this course has a pre-requisite of Ecology)

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Ecology of Fish

(Biosc 1270)

Dr. Andy Turner
Clarion Univ.
3 Credits

The Pymatuning area’s lakes, ponds, and streams are perfect for studying fish! Learn about population and community ecology of freshwater fishes, including identification, age and growth, life history differences, trophic interactions, and the biogeography of fish. Daily trips to various aquatic habitats will provide valuable field experience.

Session 4 : 18 July - 5 August 2016

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Field Techniques in Ecology and Conservation

(Biosc 1390)

Dr. Josiah Townsend
Indiana Univ. of PA
3 Credits

The course is designed to give practical, hands-on experience in a variety of field techniques used in aquatic and terrestrial ecology and conservation. Topics include orienteering, vegetation sampling, GIS & GPS, animal population sampling, aquatic insect surveying, and the design of research studies.

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Wildlife Management

(Biosc 1420)


 Dr. Gabriel Karns
Ohio State University
3 Credits

The core concepts and techniques of wildlife management will come alive to you through
hands-on field trips around the Lake Pymatuning area and through stimulating discussions around the campfire.  Wildlife management is the natural product of where theory meets application.  Class experiences will focus on diverse taxa (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more) and incorporate all of Leopold’s 5 tools of management – “fire, ax, cow, gun, and plow.”

 


Undergraduate Research (Biosc 1903) PLE Faculty
1 - 6 Credits
This course entails the execution of independent research, developed and supervised by Pymatuning faculty. Prior consent of faculty advisor is required. The number of credits depends on the design and duration of the project.