Thank you for your commitment to the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at UC Santa Cruz!
Our current funding campaign is in support of our undergraduate field classes including our renowned capstone immersion courses in field ecology. The success of these courses relies on small class size, extensive mentorship by faculty and support staff, and funds to support field research by the students. Much of the cost for these courses comes in the form of class fees that are in addition to normal tuition. With decreasing state support for the UC System and the resulting increase of fees to students, we are very concerned that these courses, which have such a profound impact on the education experience, will become unaffordable to many students. Your contribution will be used to: (1) support these courses, (2) reduce or eliminate the class fees.
These courses provide a comprehensive research and mentorship environment for undergraduates and thoroughly prepare each student for ongoing studies in graduate school or placement in positions in the private sector, governmental institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Below is a partial list of the field courses the department offers.
Ornithology Field Studies Field trips introduce students to field identification skills and field investigation of census, foraging behavior, migration, social behavior, and communication. Examination of specimens in the laboratory will be used to highlight the diversity and taxonomy of birds.
Field Methods in Herpetological Research Field trips introduce students to natural history, censusing techniques, physiological ecology, and behavioral analysis of reptiles and amphibians. Laboratories introduce students to techniques for analyzing behavior and physiology. Field studies culminate with a group project in a natural setting. Some field trips may be held on weekends due to weather considerations.
Behavioral Ecology Field Course A field-based course introducing students to concepts and methods for studying behavioral ecology in nature. Students will conduct observations and field experiments on various local model organisms including elephant seals, hummingbirds, sparrows, lizards, ants, bees, frogs, and salamanders.
Field Methods in Plant Ecology Hands-on exploration of the concepts and techniques of plant ecology. A combination of lab, greenhouse, and field-based exercises (irrespective of weather conditions). Statistical analysis and scientific writing.
Ecological Field Methods Laboratory Field-oriented course in the study of animal ecology and behavior. Combines overview of methodologies and approaches to field research with practical field studies.
Professor Pete Raimondi instructing students in the department's Marine Ecology Lab course.
Marine Ecology Laboratory Supervised individual field research projects in experimental marine biology. Students carry out a complete research project, including (1) the formation of hypotheses; (2) the design and implementation of experiments; (3) collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; and (4) write-up of an oral presentation.
Kelp Forest Ecology (capstone immersion course) Fieldwork using SCUBA to quantitatively and qualitatively examine the abundance and distribution of organisms in kelp forests. Culminates with a directed individual research project.
Professor Don Croll with students in the department's Ecology and Conservation in Practice supercourse
Marine Ecology Field Quarter (capstone immersion course) Total immersion in marine ecology for very motivated students. Students develop a research project during first five weeks on campus and then spend five weeks of immersion in directed research without distraction in isolated locations off campus (past locations include the Gulf of California in Mexico, Moorea in French Polynesia, and Corsica in France). In lecture, Students review the paradigms that have shaped our understanding of marine ecology, and evaluate the designs for surveys and experiments that test these paradigms. Students then carry out a complete research project, including the formation of hypotheses, the design and implementation of experiments, the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, and the write-up and oral presentation of results.
To Make a Gift to the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: Use the "Donate Now" link below. Please select "Designations" and select "Ecology and Evolutionary Biology" in the program catalog menu (under the sub-heading of "Physical and Biological Sciences").