Ecology of New England

BIO 772L

Activites from 3/14/00 - Organism Report - General Ecology

Instructor: Dr. Gary J. Senn, USC - Aiken,

Class: Ruth Patrick Science Education Center 5:00 - 8:00 PM, Tuesdays March 14 - May 3, 2000, Field Trip to New England June 8 - 21, 2000

See Participant personal pages
See Pictures of the Class Trip

Fees: $1,000 (includes transportation, meals and lodging)

Office Hours: By Appointment: 641-3769

Text: National Audubon Field Guide to New England. - (will be provided)
Visit the plant images for the course

Suggested Gear: Sleeping Bag (tents will be provided), Flashlight, Toiletries, hiking shoes, backpack, canteen, rain poncho, binoculars, camera, bathing suit, towels, sweatshirt and/or medium weight jacket that fits in backpack, hat, toilet paper (biodegradable preferred), See the Appalachian Mountain Club site for Trip Planning.

Description: This course is a classroom/field oriented course designed to introduce participants to the ecology of the New England. In addition to the classroom activities, there will be some short, local field trips and an extended field trip to New England. Teachers will learn about the ecology of Long Island Sound along the coasts of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Some time will be spent on Cape Cod, Massachusetts to explore the unique ecological features of that region. Rocky shoreline ecology will be investigated along coastal Maine. The ecology of the Northern Appalachians will be encountered in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. General aspects of New England ecology will be studied in Vermont.

Course Topics:

  1. Geologic activity in New England
  2. Glaciation and the effects on vegetational communities
  3. Abiotic factors that effect the plant and animal populations
  4. Plant morphology
  5. Plant taxonomy
  6. Exotic species and their effects on native species
  7. Use of map and compass

Objectives: By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  1. describe the various geological activity that affected New England
  2. describe how glaciation affected the present day plant in New England
  3. describe how abiotic factors affect the vegetational
  4. use a compass and map
  5. describe how exotic species have affected the ecology
  6. identify the plants that dominate the vegetational communities

Course Requirements:

  1. Attendance and participation (30%) - Participation will be subjectively assessed.
  2. Quizzes (25%) - there will be a series of quizzes (most will be during the field trip). Quizzes will cover plant and community identification.
  3. Final Exam (20%) - the final exam will test the participants' knowledge of topics covered in the classroom.
  4. Field notebook (20%) - participants will be required to keep a field notebook, recording observations and activities while on the field trip. The instructor will keep the field notebook permanently. The teacher must make a copy before submitting the notebook if a copy is desired. The following sections are to be included in your field notebook:
    1. Daily Log - in this section you should include the date, times and activities performed during that day.
    2. Trail Log - in this section you should include
      1. date, name of trail/location, weather conditions.
      2. description of trail/location (types of communities, plants, slope exposures, canopy types, etc.)
      3. plant species list - common and scientific names
      4. animal species list - common and scientific names
    3. Evaluation Section - Give a one paragraph evaluation each person on the trip, including the instructor.
    4. Complaint Section - in this section you are to write down all the complaints you have while on the field trip. Try to do this every day so that you don't forget something.
  5. Lesson (5%) - participants will be required to develop a lesson that demonstrates what they learned in the course. Participants will be required to present their lesson to the class two weeks after returning from the field trip.

Contact Information:

Brewster, MA
Nickerson State Park
White Mountains, NH
Pinkham Notch Hut (with radio link to Lakes of the Clouds Hut)- Appalachian Mountain Club
603-466-2721 ext. 0
Kennebunkport, Maine
The Beachwood Resort
Plymouth, VT
Coolidge State Park (Might have to go to another park in the area)