Eastern Michigan University
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Summer Field Classes - 2018

Scholarship funds are available for these courses. Please see our scholarship page for more information. The first round of applications are due on February 26. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis thereafter. It is better to apply early to ensure that funds are available. For questions about summer field classes, scholarships, and/or assistance with registration, please contact Dr. Marianne Laporte, Biology Department Head at mlaporte@emich.edu

BIO 311W Laboratory in Ecology

Ecology Lab

  • A laboratory and field course with two main objectives: (1) to introduce students to the methods and concepts involved in the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms, and (2) to familiarize students with the structure and function of aquatic and terrestrial communities. 
  • This class is part of EMU's General Education Program as a writing intensive class in the major.
  • 4 credit hours
  • Meets Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Fish Lake
    • July 12, 13, 14
    • July 26, 27, 28
    • August 9, 10, 11
    • Includes an online component that runs the length of the summer 3 half-semester (June 22 - August 15, 2018)
  • Instructor TBD
  • Concurrent Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in BIO 310 Ecology

 BIO 379/592 Special Topics: Environment & Ecology of Ecuador


  • Tour the small country of Ecuador over two weeks this summer. This country is right on the equator and has everything from snow-capped volcanoes to sandy beaches to lush tropical rainforests. The highlight of this program is a trip deep into the tropical rainforest to experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature that has been barely touched by humans. While the focus of this program is tropical ecology, you'll also experience and tour modern Ecuador in the capital city of Quito. 
  • 3 credit hours
  • Meets August 16-August 30, 2018 in Ecuador
  • Instructor: Dr. Ulrich Reinhardt
  • For more information, visit the Academic Programs Abroad website

BIO 418/518 Plant Communities of Michigan

Fish Lake Bog

  • Explore the diversity of Michigan’s terrestrial and wetland communities from Alvar to Vernal Pools, with an emphasis on ecological conditions, species composition, geology, and geographic setting.  Field trips will provide opportunities to explore approximately 35 diverse communities

  • 4 credit hours
  • Meets two Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Fish Lake and one Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Up North
    • May 31, June 1, 2 at Fish Lake
    • June 14, 15, 16, 17 Up North
    • June 28, 29, 30 at Fish Lake
  • Instructor: Dr. Gary Hannan
  • BIO 418 Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in BIO 310 Ecology

BIO 477/590 Ornithological Methods

Animal Movement

  • Ornithological Methods is an active learning experience investigating common methods for studying wild birds. This  course  complements Ornithology (BIO 485) and focuses on methods involving the capture, handling and sampling of songbirds. Students will learn a variety of techniques, contribute to a research goal and will discuss current methods and ethical issues surrounding research with wild birds. 
  • 1 credit hour
  • Meets Sunday, April 29 through Tuesday May 1 at  Fish Lake  
  • Instructor: Dr. Jamie Cornelius
  • BIO 477 Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in BIO120/121 Introductory Biology II

BIO 477/590 Dive In: Coastal Florida Field Experience 

Dive In

  • This class provides students with a field-based learning environment outside of Michigan. During this trip we experience a variety of marine, shoreline and aquatic communities, and students have opportunities to observe and identify local flora and fauna. Activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Students learn about marine, shoreline and aquatic communities as well as identification of local flora and fauna. Lodging is typically at the Keys Marine Lab on Long Key (http://www.keysmarinelab.org/index.html), where we participate in the Living Laboratory program. Thus, students learn what field research in marine ecology is all about while acquiring skills for monitoring aquatic communities. 

  • 1 credit hour
  • Meets April 25 through May 1 in Florida
  • Instructor: Dr. Cara Shillington
  • Corequisites in winter 2018: BIO 433/533 Marine Biology and PEGN 348L1 Basic Scuba Diving

BIO 484/584 Herpetology


  • Taxonomy, distribution, life histories, behavior and ecology of amphibians and reptiles with an emphasis on local species.
  • 4 credit hours
  • Meets Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Fish Lake or Stone Lab
    • May 3, 4, 5 at Fish Lake
    • May 24, 25, 26 at Stone Lab
    • June 7, 8, 9 at Fish Lake
  • Instructor: Dr. Katherine Greenwald
  • BIO 484 Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in BIO 120/121 Introductory Biology II with lab or grade of C or better in BIO 140 Biology of Animals

BIO 485/585 Ornithology

Behavioral Ecology

  • A course in bird biology for the secondary teacher and students with advanced interest in biology. Field identification and census methods will be used to introduce the study of bird populations, behavior and ecology.
  • 4 credit hours
  • Meets Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Fish Lake
    • April 26, 27, 28
    • May 10, 11, 12
    • May 17, 18, 19
  • Instructor: Dr. Peter Bednekoff
  • BIO 485 Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in BIO 120/121 Introductory Biology II with Lab or   BIO 140 Biology of Animals, or equivalent

BIO 488/588 Biology of Arachnids


  • Lecture, lab and field course addressing principles of arachnid biology. Course covers morphology, physiology, behavior, natural history and ecology. Identification and classification of major arachnid families supported by collections and observations of organisms from southern Michigan.
  • 4 credit hours
  • Meets Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays at Fish Lake
    • July 8, 9, 10 
    • July 15, 16, 17
    • July 22, 23, 24
  • Instructor: Dr. Cara Shillington
  • BIO 488 Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in BIO 120/121 Introductory Biology II with lab or BIO 140 Biology of Animals, or equivalent

The Biology Department is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold