Biology 109-M, Spring 2013

Ecology of Vernal Pools


Instructors:    Rick Koval,

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

Text:   Colburn, Elizabeth.  2004.  Vernal Pools:  Natural History and Conservation.  McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, VA.  ISBN 0-939923-91-2.

Class Meetings:  second half of the semester; Wednesday 2-5 pm in Capwell 202; one required all day field tip in late March; occasional trips may take place at other arranged times. Inclement weather meeting time:  2:30-3:50 pm

Court ObjectivesWhen this course is complete, you will

  1. understand the unique ecosystem known as a vernal pool
  2. be able to describe vernal pool hydrology
  3. identify the fauna of vernal pools, especially the amphibians
  4. explain the ecological importance and the need for protection of vernal pools.
Tentative Course Schedule


Topic  Assignment for next week
March 17 What is a vernal pool?  Read Chapter 1 and 2
  24 Installing the sonde. Read Chapter 1 and 2
  31 Set drift fencing Read Chapter 3 and 11
April 7    
May 5    
  10 Finals Week; final exam Monday, 4-6 pm  

Streamside Vernal Pool Data