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Field Courses

Our Biology field courses provide students with the opportunity to explore hands-on techniques in ecology and conservation, while gaining insight into the impacts at the population and community-wide level.  Through these small-class experiences, students focus on diverse habitats, organisms, and their ecology and evolution by conducting course-based research studies both at McMaster and beyond.

Biology 3JJ3- Field Methods in Ecology

Course Instructor: Dr. Susan Dudley

Biology 3JJ3-Field Methods in Ecology provides students with hands-on, experiential learning in field ecology within the local McMaster community (e.g. at the MacForest). Students complete labs related to community, population, conservation, evolutionary and behavioural ecology, and learn to identify organisms from dichotomous and computer-based keys. During this 3-unit course, students also learn the theory behind sampling, and then implement their own sampling protocols in the field. By the end of the course, students will be able to design an experiment, critically think about issues in field measurement of ecological variables, and recognize the importance of an organism’s natural history.

Biology 3R03/4J03 – Field Biology I/ II

Course Coordinator: TBD / Course Administrator: Nicole Smith

The Department of Biology participates in two programs that provide students with unique opportunities to gain field biology experience locally and around the world.

Both programs allow a McMaster student to take field courses offered by other universities in Ontario (OUPFB) and through Operation Wallacea (OPWALL) without having to apply for transfer credit (letter of permission courses).

For specific detail about each program’s procedures, please see the following links:

Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology (OUPFB) – full module listing

Operation Wallacea (OPWALL)

Field Bio trip to Tanzania in 2011 with Dr. B Evans and Dr. J. Kolasa:

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology