Spring 2012
Fully Enrolled

SCIE 619
Biology of Mammals


03/16/2012 - 03/20/2012
Note: Special Schedule 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Science Tower 137

Special Schedule: Friday to Tuesday, March 16-20

This course investigates the biology of non-marine mammals and focuses on those inhabiting northeastern North America. We examine the lives of familiar mammals such as bears, coyotes, and moose, as well as the secretive existence of shrews, bats, and mice.

Lectures and discussions focus on questions of ecology, behavior, and conservation, such as: What are the different strategies for surviving winter? How do herbivorous mammals cope with toxic chemicals in plants? Why do mating seasons differ so drastically among mammals that inhabit the same environment? How do the various groups of mammals perceive their world? What is the function of the star-nosed mole's peculiar snout? Why are coyotes in New England larger than those in the West? What factors influence a squirrel's decision to eat an acorn or bury it for later use? How do mammals affect and reflect ecosystem characteristics? What is the current status of the gray wolf and mountain lion (cougar) in New England? Why has the Allegheny woodrat disappeared from the region? What is white-nose syndrome?

The course also includes daily field trips and a practical component in which we identify mammals using external physical characteristics, skeletal material, tracks, and other signs.

Enrollment limited to 18 students.

This course is not open to auditors.

Immersion courses are worth three units of credit and are academically as rigorous as a regular term course, only the class meetings are compressed into a very short time. Students interested in immersion courses should be aware that the syllabus usually requires that students prepare for up to a month prior to the first class meeting and complete assignments in the weeks following the course. Please click here for more information about immersion courses.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Friday, February 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm. Please visit our website for a complete list of registration and withdrawal dates for this session.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
SCIE 619

Geoffrey Hammerson (B.S. University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder) is a research zoologist at NatureServe and is author of more than 70 reports and publications, most recently, The conservation status of the world's reptiles (Biological Conservation, 2013, with M. Bohm et al.) and Rapid assessment of plant and animal vulnerability to climate change (in Wildlife Conservation in a Changing Climate (University of Chicago Press, 2012, with Young et al.) Click here to read an article about Geoff and his GLS courses.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 19

Texts to purchase for this course:
Whitaker, J. O., Jr., and W. J. Hamilton, Jr., Mammals of the eastern United States, Cornell University Press, Ithaca. ISBN-10: 0801434750

Elbroch, M., Mammal Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species, Stackpole Books, ISBN-10: 0811726266

Elbroch, M., Animal Skulls: A Guide to North American Species, Stackpole Books. ISBN-10: 0811733092

Reading Materials are available at BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 Broad Street, Middletown, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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