Ecology Through Animal Tracking
This course will provide students with a field experience based understanding of animal ecology. How do animals interact with their biotic and abiotic community? What are the key resources animals need to survive a New England winter? What different strategies do mammals use to acquire these resources? We will seek answers to these questions through the lens of animal tracking. This low-tech, non-intrusive technique can provide both rigorous and intuitive understanding of wildlife habits and habitats. The bulk of the course will be spent in the field visiting the major local habitat types. In each habitat, we will discuss the interactions among the animal, plant, and abiotic components occurring there. Each student will be expected to undertake an independent project related to animal tracking as well as keep a daily journal and keep up with assigned readings in texts and scientific literature. This course will entail considerable winter hiking. Course fee: $20.