Keystone College

BIOL 1066
Field Biology - Winter 2016

Woodland Survival/Winter Ecology

Course Photos   Final Exam Materials


photo photo


Instructors:  Richard Koval and Dr. Jerry Skinner, Capwell Hall 211; phone: 945-8404;

Required Text: Brown, T. and B. Morgan.  1983.  Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival.  Penguin.  NY.  287 pp.  ISBN 978-0-425-10572-6

Class Meetings: First half of semester; Monday 2-5 pm in Capwell 202, and Keystone College grounds.  Trips may take place at other arranged times.


1. Students will learn about plant and animal adaptations in winter.
2. Students will be able to compare and contrast human winter survival with that of plants and animals.
3. Students will learn short-term winter survival skills including hypothermal prevention.
4. Students will safely identify edible and medicinal plants found in winter forest settings.
5. Students will become knowledgeable at friction fire making and wild food preparation.




Assignment for next week

18- Jan

Course review, survival shelter discussion, edible plant walk
Winter Survival PowerPoint-Koval

Develop 3 questions about winter ecology and survival that spark your curiosity based upon

Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival

25- Jan

Winter Survival Shelter  "Construct the Hut"

 Assignment due

1- Feb

Edible and Medicinal Plants - identification and preparation

8- Feb

Fire Making Principles-  friction fires, ferro rods magnification lens, tinder plant identification and preparation


22- Feb

Survival Shelter Inspection - Fire Making Contest (Teams)

 Final Exam review

29- Feb

Final Exam


FIELD TRIPS: Come prepared to be outside for the entire class. Dress accordingly for cold weather conditions. Field trips will include woodlands, stream corridors, fields and roadsides.

Winter Ecology is a study of physical and biological processes and their interaction in wintertime snow-covered environments. Wintertime offers insights into the natural history of plants and animals that are not often appreciated in summer visits to the field.  Woodland Survival is the knowledge and confident application of life saving techniques which will enable you to survive in winter conditions.  Survival shelter construction, fire making by friction and other applications and wild edible plants found in woodland settings offer three key components in overnight survival. Through class work, fieldwork, teamwork and individual demonstrations, you will become confident in woodland survival skills and knowledgeable in winter forest ecology.

The field exercises will be fun, exciting, educational and life-saving. Students will visit winter woodland settings and learn about winter ecology, plant and animal adaptations.  We will learn how to survive overnight or short term during the winter. Teams will construct a winter survival shelter with the use of wood materials, learn the principles in friction fire construction, identify and prepare edible and medicinal plants. There might be times when we will spend more than 3 hours at a location, so bring snacks and water. We will be conducting field trips in forests, fields, streams and wetlands, so embrace for snow wind and cold weather and dress according for these conditions.

Students will be graded on participation, ethics, work assignments, teamwork and exams including actual survival shelter construction, fire making, edible plant identification and preparation.




Exam (Survival Shelter)


Exam (Fire Making)


Exam (Edible Plant Identification and Preparation)


Written Exam


Instructor's subjective evaluation