images of car shovel and animals with class name
  • Welcome to Scientific Research & Design (aka Conservation Biology/Wildlife)!


    Introduction and Course Description:

    Welcome to my classroom! I hold a Bachelor of Science from Tarleton State University with a degree in Animal Science and a Biology minor. My approach to teaching is to "Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange." (Novalis)


    This course serves as a fourth-year science for students interested in conservation and outdoor projects. Conservation Biology will focus on the design and implementation of a series of scientific field studies and outdoor projects. These projects will almost entirely be student-led and require problem-solving, collaboration, excellent communication skills, organization, and working with community partners.


    Beyond the problem and project-based learning, students will explore the adaptations and habitats of animals and plants found in the coastal prairie and gulf coast ecosystems as well as captive populations. Content will also include field research, career exploration, and the wildlife trade by partnering with local and state conservation and management organizations.


    Course Objectives

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

    • Design, complete, and market their chosen project.
    • Describe unique flora and fauna of regional ecosystems and threats to their survival.
    • Distinguish the conservation needs and challenges of animals and plants in a variety of habitats.
    • Describe various careers available in the field of wildlife studies.



    • PowerUp Laptop (provided by HISD)
    • 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


    Grading Policy

    • 60% Major Assignments
      Includes, but not limited to: completion of semester goals, presentations, semester and end-of-year portfolio, workdays, project photos, and special events (examples: Earth Day Showcase and annual City Nature Challenge)     
    • 40% Minor Assignments
      Included, but not limited to: weekly work logs, portfolio spot checks, progress photos/data, partner communication, field trips, case studies, notecards and/or other activities

                       **All assignments and grades are cumulative


    It is vital that you follow instructions for properly submitting your work to receive full credit. Houston ISD emphasizes not only the TEKS but also the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TCCRS). These standards are based on cognitive skills that will increase students’ college preparedness. 


    Student Responsibilities and Classroom Procedures (Class Culture)

    • Conservation Biology 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 complete a meaningful project. Your project is only as strong as your own work ethic.
    • Come to class on time, prepared and ready to work. You must be signed in to be counted on time. If you are delayed elsewhere within campus, you will need to secure a legible written pass to be admitted. The pass is only for admittance purposes.  
    • Attend to your personal needs while in between classes. You do not need to ask permission to get water, snacks, or go to the bathroom but you must inform me of where you will be on the sign out sheet should I need to locate you quickly.
    • This class is heavily based on technology and outdoor activities. You are expected to stay on task at all times and follow your project plan. 
    • Academic Integrity: Cheating, copying, plagiarizing, and/or falsifying documents (example: submitting duplicate work logs) will not be tolerated in this course. Any student displaying academic dishonesty will be reported and referred to the Assistant Principal. The student will receive grade of “0” on the assignment and there will not be an opportunity to make up the assignment.  
    • Safety first! Violations of safety rules will result in a maximum grade of 70. Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be removed from the activity and earn a grade of “0” for that particular activity.
    • Always write your first and last name and the full date to get credit for all work you submit.
    • Not everything we do will be for a grade. Some things are just to help you improve in class.


    Consequences: Any/all of steps 1-3 may be skipped; dependent on the severity of the incident.

    1) Verbal warning.

    2) Personal conference with teacher and parent/guardian contacted.

    3) Parent/teacher/student conference.

    4) Referral to Administration.


    Assignment Calendar

    A calendar of the semester will be posted on the class whiteboard and in the course OneNote Notebook. You are expected to refer to it regularly to know assignments and deadlines as well as note any changes and/or updates!



    You are expected to attend class every day. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to communicate with your group to ensure assignments are submitted on time.  Any assignments or project components not made up from an absence will result in a zero.


    Late Work/Missing Assignments

    All assignments are due ON TIME. Late work will not be accepted as all work is provided in-class time and is not considered homework. If you are on campus the day an assignment is due, you are required to turn it in, even if you miss your class period. All work can be submitted electronically regardless of your presence or absence on campus. If possible, notify your instructor of unforeseen circumstances.


    Assignment Resubmission  

    Resubmissions are permitted at my discretion.


    Extra Credit

    I do not offer extra credit.


    Field Trips/Speakers

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



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