Course Descriptions

BIO 31303 ADVANCED ORNITHOLOGY (spring semester)

This course examines the roles of birds in the web of planetary life, and their adaptive radiation into all of the Earth's ecosystems through time. Avian life histories, anatomical and physiological adaptations, and mating systems will be emphasized. Breeding species of local occurrence will be utilized as examples when possible. Course fee required. Prerequisite HC BIO 271

BIO 32303 MAMMALOGY (spring semester) 

This course is an introduction to mammalogy. Evolutionary history and development of the mammals will be presented with a focus on the characteristics and attributes that separate the mammals from the other classes of animals. Mammals will be compared and contrasted based on order characteristics and strategies. Skulls and dental characteristics will be covered with emphasis on representatives at the order, family, and genus taxonomic levels. Course fee required. Prerequisite HC WLM 156

BIO 35304 FIELD BIOLOGY & METHODLOGY (fall semester)

The course focuses on the various types of terrestrial and aquatic communities and ecosystems common to the region with an emphasis on biotic and abiotic components and their relationships.  Laboratory work will include use of specimen collection techniques, use of taxonomic keys, use of soil and water analysis equipment, and other ecological field methods.   Students are required to do inquiry-based investigations and analysis of data.

BIO 36303 LOCAL FLORA (fall semester)

This course covers classification, morphology, distribution, and identification of the woody and herbaceous plants. emphasis is on the recognition of the plants and plant communities of the region. Course fee required.


This course is a broad survey of genetic principles and techniques as they apply to the management and conservation of wildlife populations.  Beginning with an overview of foundational genetic concepts, the course will progress through contemporary techniques of measuring and characterizing genetic diversity to basic modeling of population genetics.  Special emphasis will be placed on the genetics and evolution of small and fragmented wildlife populations. Some lab activities will be incorporated to complement and reinforce concepts and materials covered in lecture. Three hours lecture. PREREQUISITES:  HC BIO 121 and BIO 122 or equivalent.

(fall semester)

This course is a study of how Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are used in the management and conservation of natural resources. Beginning with an overview of GIS software and basic functions, the course will then address fundamental applications of GIS, including: habitat mapping, watershed analyses, species distribution modeling, disease risk mapping, and conservation area planning. The lab component will consist of conducting mini-projects using ArcGIS in each of the fundamental applications listed. Two hours lecture; two hours lab. PREREQUISITES:  NONE

BIO 41304 LIMNOLOGY (fall semester)

A comprehensive study of inland waters. The course focuses on the physical, chemical, biological and morphological characteristics of lakes, streams, rivers, estuaries, and wetlands. Emphasis is placed on theory and concepts of limnology in lectures and practice the techniques of water sampling and data collection and analysis in laboratory field studies. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite HC NRM 217 or similar course.

BIO 42303 HUMAN - WILDLIFE CONFLICTS (fall semester)

Theory and practice of assessing and controlling damage done by wild and feral vertebrate animals, especially mammals and birds.  Content covers the philosophical, biological, and practical basis for conducting vertebrate pest control.  It includes basic information on use of traps, toxicants, repellents, exclusion and other wildlife control methods.  Emphasis is on protecting agricultural crops and livestock, forest resources, and property. Prerequisites HC WLM 156, HC WLM 245.

BIO 43103 APPLIED POPULATION BIOLOGY (spring semester)

This course is designed to introduce students to essential elements of population biology and basic mathematical models as they apply to real-world management problems.  The course is organized into three main sections.  The first section covers the background to the science of applied population biology, provides an overview of study design and analysis, and introduced population vital rates.  The second section covers the population processes relevant to management, ranging from growth functions, to predation, to basic population modeling.  The last section aims to synthesize material from previous sections with applications to problems faced by declining, small, or harvestable populations.  The course is anchored in case studies and students will be exposed to a variety of issues faced by wildlife and conservation biologists.  The lab component is intended to reinforce lecture concepts by introducing students to common analytical techniques and engaging students in computer-based modeling exercises. Prerequisites HC Math 250 or similar course.


This course examines concepts and practices to communicate environmental and natural resources technical information. Oral and written formats currently used for scientific conferences and publications (both agency and peer-reviewed) will be emphasized. Prerequisites ENG 11103 or equivalent, ENG 11203 or equivalent, and COM 11103 or equivalent with C or better.

BIO 45303 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY (spring semester)

Conservation Biology is the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. Topics covered include: 1) the role of ecology, biogeography, and genetics in maintaining species and ecosystem diversity, 2) the effects of human activities on the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity with consideration of strategies developed to combat these threats, and 3) key economic and ethical tradeoffs required to sustain biodiversity, 4) key legislation and policies affecting conservation, 5) the role of non-governmental organizations in conservation, and 6) the design and roles of nature preserves, zoos, and botanical gardens. Prerequisites HC NRM 210, HC NRM 217.