BIOL 1037
Spring 2014

Introduction to Field Ornithology

Instructor:   Dr. Jerry Skinner; Capwell Hall 211; phone: 945-8404;

Peterson, Roger T. and V. Peterson.  2002. A Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies, 5th ed. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 427 pp. Or any other field guide you wish to use.

Class Meetings:  Friday, 7:30:-9:15  am; occasional optional trips may take place on weekend mornings or at other arranged times. There is a required weekend-long field trip in late April

Course Objectives

Tentative Course Schedule
March 21 Introductory meeting:  course business.  Origin & evolution of birds; Avian genealogy. Bird Anatomy
  28 Migration; first species summary due.
April 4 Duck ID; Hawk ID; second species summary due.
  11 Hummingbirds
  18 PA Breeding Bird Atlas; endangered summary due.
Apr 25-27 WEEKEND Coastal NJ trip--hawks, waterbirds & land migrants. MANDATORY ATTENDANCE
May 2 Last day of class; bird banding.  Technical article review due.
  9 Finals week:  Field final exam.
Backup Topics:  Bird senses; song; preparation of a museum style bird skin (optional); reproduction: territories, nests, care, strategies; bird banding, evening field trip:  Woodcocks, Owls, and a Snipe Hunt; Conservation: petrels & puffins;  feathers and flight, anatomy of birds--bodily systems. Field Trip (all day)-Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell.

The Wilson Bulletin (1889-1999) and The Condor (1889-2000) (as well as several other bird journals) are available online for free. They are quarterly publications consisting of major articles based on original studies of birds and short communications that describe observations of particular interest. Each issue also includes reviews of new books on birds and related subjects, as well as ornithological news. The principal focus is the study of living birds, their behavior, ecology, adaptive physiology and conservation.

Quizzes (4 @ 10 pts) 40
Final written examination 50
Final field examination 50
Instructor's subjective evaluation 30
Summary of technical article 20
Life histories of three species (at least one endangered) @15 pts 45
Maintain checklist 50
Weekend field trip attendance 300

Grading scale:   93%=A, 90+A-, 87=B+, 83=B, 80=B-, 77-C+, 70=C, 60=D, <60+


The Fine Print:

Keystone College does not discriminate in any of its programs on the basis of disability. While there is not a deadline for the disclosure of a disability by a student, in order to facilitate the documentation and accommodation processes, students are encouraged to voluntarily and confidentially disclose and disability requiring an accommodation prior to the beginning of class. This disclosure should be made to Owen Conaghan, , College Counselor & Coordinator of Disability Services.  Students who disclose a disability, and who are seeking an accommodation, ultimately will be expected to provide documentation verifying the disability.

Academic Honesty – Division of Natural Science and Mathematics
All students are subject to the College's policy and procedure on academic dishonesty;  see the current Keystone College catalog. 
The Natural Science and Mathematics Division recognizes that any form or degree of academic dishonesty challenges the principles of truth and honesty which are among the most important founding principles of science and mathematics discovery.  Keystone College treats academic dishonesty as a serious violation of academic trust.  It penalizes all students found to have engaged in such behavior.
Academic honesty within the College and the Natural Science and Mathematics Division must be a cooperative enterprise of faculty, students and administrators. Acts of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:

  1. The illegitimate use of study materials or electronic devices in any form during a quiz or examination.
  2. Copying answers from the quiz or examination paper of another student.
  3. Plagiarizing or falsifying materials or information used in the completion of any assignment which is graded or evaluated as the student's individual effort. Plagiarism includes submitting as one's own the ideas or work of another, including the laboratory data, written materials or the computer files of another, regardless of whether that information is used verbatim or in paraphrased form.  The same applies to anything derived from the Internet, including research papers purchased online. 
  4. Obtaining, through theft, bribery, or collusion, or otherwise improperly securing an examination paper prior to the time and date for the administration of the examination. Also, use of an examination paper previously administered (e.g., during an earlier term) without the consent of the instructor who authored the examination.
  5. Impersonating a candidate at an examination or availing oneself of such an impersonation in any traditional or online class. 
  6. Intentionally interfering with any person's scholastic work, for example, by damaging or stealing laboratory experiments, computer data files or library materials.
  7. It is presumed that material submitted by a student for an assignment is original to that assignment and, therefore, submitting the same work for more than one course without the consent of the instructors of each course in which the work is submitted is considered dishonest.  Submission of previously graded work from prior assignments is considered dishonest. 
  8. Aiding or abetting any act of academic dishonesty including but not limited to such offenses as described above.

Any student caught cheating, or using someone’s work as their own, will be reported to the Academic Dean of the College.  A grade of zero will be recorded for that assignment/test/quiz. For more information on dishonest acts including plagiarism, cheating, and fraud, consult your Student Information Guide.

Keystone College states that all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s Keystone email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a Keystone account. This allows the College to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individuals and the security of transmitted information.  Keystone College furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with College personnel

The College has set deadlines for withdrawing from courses. These dates and times are published in the course catalog and on the Academic Calendar. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. The proper paperwork must be completed to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend once you are enrolled. If you are considering withdrawing from a class, consult your Advisor and refer to the College Catalog.

An “I” (Incomplete) will only be given under extenuating circumstances.  It will not be given to students who simply fail to do the work or miss an exam.  If an “I” is given, students must complete the work within four weeks into the following semester, or receive a grade of “F” for the course.

Keystone College offers tutoring assistance for many of its courses. For more information, or to schedule an appointment,

consult the Tutoring web page