•  Welcome to Wildlife Studies

    (Scientific Research & Design)!

    Course Description

    This course serves as a fourth year science for seniors interested in wildlife and working on outdoor projects around campus. Broken into five primary units, Wildlife Studies will focus on the animals and plants found in the following ecosystems: marine, land, farm, and zoological parks. In addition to wildlife exploration, students will be researching, planning, and implementing their own outdoor project on campus. Projects include gardening, animal operant conditioning and enrichment, landscaping, prairie restoration, composting, and environmental efforts.


    The course provides a hands-on, exploration-based class allowing the students to make an in-depth analysis of wildlife and ecosystems. Students study the habitat needs, anatomy, physiology, uses, conservation, protection, and research of various plants and animals. This course includes required reading.


    Course Objectives

       At the end of the course, each student will be able to:

      • Describe unique flora and fauna of major ecosystems;
      • distinguish the conservation needs and challenges of animals and plants in a variety of ecosystems;
      • distinguish the origin, needs, and uses of domesticated livestock;
      • apply their knowledge of wildlife needs to maintaining a healthy captive population, and
      • describe various careers available in the field of wildlife studies.
      • Present a product related to their chosen project as listed above.



    • 1 Pair of gardening/work gloves with your name on them, written in Sharpie
    • 1 Reusable water bottle (Nalgene or camelback style) with your name written in Sharpie
    • A hat or cover to protect your face while working outside
    • Sunscreen


    Classroom Expectations                           

    Be respectful.                                           

    Be on time and on task.                            

    Be prepared.                                            

    Be responsible.                                        


    Grading Policy

    • Class Work & Participation          40%                                  
    • Projects                                    30%
    • Other                                        30%                                   


    Topic Outline

    The following is the outline for the Wildlife Studies curriculum:



    UNIT 1

    Marine Ecosystems

    a)       Freshwater vs. Saltwater characteristics

    b)       Freshwater plants and animals

    c)       Saltwater plants and animals

    d)       Field Work and Career Exploration

    UNIT 2

    Land Ecosystems

    a)       Arid plants and animals

    b)       Tropical plants and animals

    c)       Arctic plants and animals

    d)       Field Work and Career Exploration

    UNIT 3


    Agriculture – Domesticated Plants and Animals

    a)       Factory farming vs. traditional (small) farming

    b)       Domesticated Plants

    c)       Domesticated Animals (livestock) 

    d)       Field Work and Career Exploration        

    UNIT 4

    Captive Populations – Zoological Parks

    a)       Zoos vs. Wildlife Parks vs. Sanctuaries

    b)       Zookeeping

    c)        Zoo Diet & Nutrition

    d)       Zoo Health

    e)        Zoo enclosure design

    f)        Zoo animal psychology and behavior

    g)        Field Work and Career Exploration

    UNIT 5

    Wildlife Trade and Forensics

     Note: Schedule is approximate and subject to change. This course will have required reading!


    Student Responsibilities and Classroom Procedures

    Class Culture

    Wildlife Studies is an elective, meaning you CHOSE to take this course. I expect a high level of interest and participation as I assume you are genuinely here to learn about wildlife and participate in outdoor projects around campus.


    Come to class on time, prepared and ready to work.  You must be signed in and seated to be counted on time.  If you are delayed elsewhere on campus, you will need to secure a legible written pass to be counted as on time.   


    This class is heavily based on online exploration and discussion activities. You are expected to stay on task all the time and follow your signed technology contract.  Disregard of classroom expectations or misuse of time will result in loss of field trip and guest speaker privileges as well as low scores in the Work & Participation category.


    Cheating, copying, and plagiarism are major offenses in any academic setting.  If caught, you will not get credit for that work, receive a discipline report, and referred to the Assistant Principal for administrative sanctions. 


    Safety first!  We want to keep you safe during any lab activity therefore it is important that you observe safety rules.  Violations of safety rules will result in a maximum grade of 70.  Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be timed out from the activity. Once that happens, you automatically get a zero for that particular activity.


    Field Trips/Speakers

    It is a privilege to attend a field trip or speaker event. Students who disregard my classroom expectations or misuse their time will not be allowed to attend any field trips or speaker events.



    If you are absent, it is your responsibility to promptly gather the assignments and schedule any tests that you missed. I will not remind you of missed assignments, you must take the initiative to find out what you missed. Any assignments not made up from an absence will result in a zero. Check the posted calendar on the whiteboard and the HUB for handouts or assignments.


    Make-ups and Deadlines

      • Late work will be not be accepted in this course.  Work is submitted online so even if you are not on campus, your group is still expected to have timely submissions.
      • There is no make-up for missing or incomplete work due to being off task.
      • There is no make-up for long-term assignments or for group work.
      • Grades are project-based so there is no retake option but credit recovery may be available at my discretion.

    *Anything not covered here is subject to the rules and regulations of the Student Handbook and/or my discretion.