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Course Descriptions


BIO 1034: From Fins to Fingers: Vertebrate Natural History and Evolution
This course is an introduction to evolutionary theory, the nature of science, and natural history of the region as studied through the case of the vertebrates. In this course students will learn the history and natural history of the regional vertebrate fauna, the theory and methodology of evolutionary biology using vertebrates as an example, and explore the nature of science through the example of evolution. This course serves as an introduction to evolution and the nature of science. This is a fall semester introductory biology course.
3 class hours 2 laboratory hours weekly
4 credits

BIO 3021: Conservation Biology
Explores how ecological knowledge can be brought to bear to protect diverse ecosystems, maintain viable populations of native species, and perpetuate ecological and evolutionary processes. Students will investigate scientific uncertainty and research priorities. Case studies will be used to investigate how to predict the effects of habitat fragmentation, resource depletion and pollution, habitat loss, and other human effects. Biology will be applied to ecosystem management, landscape design, and regional conservation planning. Prerequisites: BIO 2025 Ecology or permission of instructor.
3 class hours
3 credits

BIO 3023: Vertebrate Population Monitoring
Course Description: Covers methods to obtain reliable estimates of population size and survival, with an emphasis on the relationship between scientific hypothesis testing and management of wildlife populations. This course consists of a mix of lecture, computer labs, and biodiversity surveys on the GMC campus. Students will come away from this course with an overview of both field methods and standard data analysis tools and software for estimating these important parameters. Prerequisite: BIO 2025 Ecology and MAT 1015 Introduction to Statistics, or permission of instructor.
3 class hours, 2 laboratory hours
4 credits

BIO 3073: Animal Behavior
An ethological approach to the study of animals, this course includes an examination of the physiological, developmental, and evolutionary bases of behavior. Topics include sensation, motivation, learning, instinct, communication, social behavior in an evolutionary context. Prerequisite: One of the following: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers, or BIO 2025 Ecology.
3 credits

ELA 1112: Wildlife Ecology
Wildlife ecology is a study of the ecology and life histories of animals, their habits and habitats. This course will address the history of wildlife concerns and practices in this country, the population and ecological principles that govern wildlife populations (e.g. predation, competition, disease. etc.), ecological physiology and inter relations between wildlife and people. We will examine wildlife conservation practices including past species reintroductions (beaver, fisher, turkey, marten in Vermont), the issue of biodiversity, and in particular the present issues surrounding reintroduction of large carnivores. Finally the course will touch on the issues surrounding urbanization, acid rain, mercury pollution, and global warming as they impact wildlife. There will be brief homework and lab exercises involving analysis of wildlife population data, along with observation and measurement of biological specimens, and identification of selected mammals.
3 credits

ENV 2061: Biodiversity Issues in Agriculture--Livestock
A diverse array of livestock breeds are disappearing across the globe at alarming rates. The landscapes, management practices, and cultural traditions associated with these livestock are also threatened. The remaining predominate breeds suffer from perilous genetic erosion. This course will examine the conservation strategies and issues surrounding rare breeds of livestock in the U.S. and abroad.
3 credits

ENV 2067: Animal Husbandry
Appropriate animal husbandry is a critical economic, ecological, and ethical element of farming. This course will provide an overview of basic physiological processes and needs of common livestock species, with an emphasis on management techniques that can help maximize livestock health and minimize veterinary investments and interventions.
3 credits

ENV 3026/PHI 3025: Animal Ethics
What is the appropriate ethical relationship between humans and nonhuman animals? This course is a systematic study of animal ethics, a field that has emerged as a response to the profound impact of human practices on other species. Topics will include animal experimentation, hunting, bushmeat, livestock agriculture, landscape sustainability, biodiversity, companion animals, vegetarianism, activism, suffering, animal intelligence, animal cultures, animal emotions, animal rights law, and the tension between animal rights and environmental ethics.
3 credits

ENV 3028: Wildlife Law & Policy
This is a course about the birds and the bees. –No not that kind of course, but one where we look at how we as a society protect wildlife through laws and policies. In the first part of the course we will examine the wildlife law and policy in the United States. We will look at the various actors and their roles in the system. In the second part of the course we will turn out focus beyond the domestic borders and look at how international law addresses wildlife protection. Students will get to select specific topics for case studies in the final portion of our course.
3 credits

ENV 3054: Sustainable Farming Systems
“Sustainable agriculture” tends to progress from scientific/ecological theories to a set of guiding principles to on-farm applications to evaluations of economic viability. These sets of guiding principles generally evolve into systematic approaches to agriculture and how some farmers in our region have utilized these systems in farm design and practice. Systems studied will include holistic farm management, grass-based farming, Amish systems, agroforestry, and permaculture. Students will spend extensive time on an assigned farm and will design an agriculturally-based campus land use model.
3 credits

NRM 3065: Hunting: History, Ethics & Management
To kill or not to kill, that is the question. Hunting in North America today is a decidedly different enterprise than that which our forebears practiced even up to one hundred years ago. Hunting has shifted from a practice borne out of utilitarian necessity to an endeavor based on choice and leisure preference. It has grown from a rural chore to a full-fledged recreational industry with superstores, luxury guided vacation packages, and a full slate of ESPN programming. This course will trace the history of hunting, the ethical debates surrounding it, and the current wildlife management models built upon hunting pressure.
3 credits

PHI 3025/ENV 3026: Animal Ethics
What is the appropriate ethical relationship between humans and nonhuman animals? This course is a systematic study of animal ethics, a field that has emerged as a response to the profound impact of human practices on other species. Topics will include animal experimentation, hunting, bushmeat, livestock agriculture, landscape sustainability, biodiversity, companion animals, vegetarianism, activism, suffering, animal intelligence, animal cultures, animal emotions, animal rights law, and the tension between animal rights and environmental ethics.
3 credits

PSY 1003: Introduction to Psychology
This course serves as a general introduction to psychology as the science of the mind and behavior, and as such, is a survey of the different specialties and approaches within the broad field of psychology. Topics include development, learning, and aspects of mental health.
3 credits

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