Skip Navigation
 

SCIN402 - Ornithology

Course Details

Course Code: SCIN402 Course ID: 4351 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Ornithology is the study of the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of birds. In this course, students will integrate ornithological study with the principles of bird conservation and management. Students will learn to identify birds by sight and call, and will learn the names of the major orders and families of birds throughout the world. (Prerequisites: SCIN130 or BIOL134)





Prerequisites

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 8 Week session
10/28/19 - 04/03/20 04/06/20 - 05/31/20 Spring 2020 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. List the major orders and families of birds both in the U.S. and worldwide.
  2. Describe the current theories on the evolution and diversification of birds.
  3. Detail the adaptation and evolution of birds.
  4. Research and describe factors impacting bird species and populations.
  5. Critically review literature on avian reproduction, behavior, evolution, and conservation.
  6. Analyze scientific data on bird populations, relate its significance, and make recommendations on its real world application.

Forums

The student will be responsible for participating in eight Forum discussions in which each student will respond to questions posed by the instructor, offer his/her feedback to the questions posed, and respond to at least two of his/her classmates’ posts.

Specific instructions for each of the seven Forum assignments can be found inside the APUS electronic classroom under the “Forum” link.

Quizzes

Each of the eight quizzes will cover the reading material from the Gill textbook and lessons. Each quiz will be multiple-choice in format, CLOSED-NOTES, and non-proctored. You will have 60 MINUTES to take each quiz which will contain 20 questions each. Therefore, they are TIMED QUIZZES. Do not click on the quiz until you are ready to take the quiz! You may only access the quiz ONE TIME. If you attempt to access the quiz before you are ready to take it and then try to go back and access it again later, you will be locked out of the quiz and will receive a ZERO on the quiz. Once you begin the quiz, the timer will begin running continuously for the 60 minutes; therefore, you have 60 minutes from when the timer begins to complete your exam. The quiz will auto-submit if you go over this limit and record a zero. Be sure not to exceed this limit.

Assessments

The two cumulative assessments will cover the reading material assigned during the first four weeks of the course and second four weeks of the course, respectively. Each will consist of 5 essay questions covering your understanding of the reading and lesson material from weeks 1-4 and weeks 5-8. THIS IS NOT A TIMED EXAM.

The Weeks 1-4 Assessment will be open at the beginning of week 4 and close at the end of that week. You may access the assessment multiple times during week 4. You can only “submit” it once. Therefore, you will not be able to type your answers on the assessment and “save” them to come back to later. Once you do submit the assessment, it will be graded and you will not be able to access it again. Even though this assessment is open-book, it is to be of an INDIVIDUAL EFFORT. You have until 11:55 PM EST on Sunday night of week 4 to complete this assessment.

The Weeks 5-8 Assessment will be open at the beginning of week 8 and close at the end of that week. You may access the assessment multiple times during week 8. You can only “submit” it once. Therefore, you will not be able to type your answers on the assessment and “save” them to come back to later. Once you do submit the assessment, it will be graded and you will not be able to access it again. Even though this assessment is open-book, it is to be of an INDIVIDUAL EFFORT. You have until 11:55 PM EST on Sunday night of week 8 to complete this assessment. Late submissions for both assessments will result in a ZERO. So, please be sure to use this time wisely and best of luck!

Field Lab Assignments

The six labs will consist of field activities geared towards learning to identify birds in the field as well as observe behavior and habitat use. You will perform each of the assigned labs utilizing instructions provided to you inside the APUS classroom and answer the questions listed on the corresponding weekly Lab Assignment.

If you are unable to complete the Field Lab Assignments due to extreme circumstances, e.g. Military deployment/safety issues or physical disability, please contact the instructor and alternative, virtual lab assignments will be provided. Uncomfortable weather conditions are not an acceptable reason for requesting a virtual lab. Gaining experience in actual field identification is an important skill to learn (and very rewarding!), so please conduct actual field trips if at all possible.

Research Paper Proposal Summary and Outline

You will submit a Research Paper Proposal and Summary Outline to help you prepare for writing and submitting the full Research Paper in Week 7. The topic for your paper is open to your interest. However, it must be avian-related in nature.

Research Paper

Use your Research Paper Proposal Summary and Outline to help you write the full Research Paper.

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

NameGrade %
Discussion Forums 15.00 %
Week 1 Forum 1.88 %
Week 2 Forum 1.88 %
Week 3 Forum 1.88 %
Week 4 Forum 1.88 %
Week 5 Forum 1.88 %
Week 6 Forum 1.88 %
Week 8 Forum 1.88 %
Week 7 Forum 1.88 %
Field Labs 20.00 %
Field Lab Assignment 1 3.33 %
Field Lab Assignment 2 3.33 %
Field Lab Assignment 3 3.33 %
Field Lab Assignment 4 3.33 %
Field Lab Assignment 5 3.33 %
Field Lab Assignment 6 3.33 %
Quizzes 25.00 %
Quiz 1 3.57 %
Quiz 2 3.57 %
Quiz 3 3.57 %
Quiz 4 3.57 %
Quiz 5 3.57 %
Quiz 6 3.57 %
Quiz 7 3.57 %
Quiz 8 3.57 %
Assessments 20.00 %
Weeks 1-4 Assessment 10.00 %
Weeks 5-8 Assessment 10.00 %
Research Paper 20.00 %
Research Paper 13.33 %
Research Paper Proposal Summary and Outline 6.67 %
Extra Credit 3.00 %
Lab ID Quiz (Extra Credit) 3.00 %

Required Technology

  • See the Technology Requirements section of the undergraduate catalog for the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to APUS students for free. To sign up, visit http://products.office.com/en-us/student. If you have questions about accessing the software, please contact Classroom support at classroomsupport@apus.edu.

Additional Resources
An optional but suggested additional book is a bird field guide that covers birds in your local area. There are many online guides but nothing helps learning identification more than having a field guide in the field. For the U.S., I would suggest one of the following:

1) Peterson, R.T. A field guide to the birds (Eastern Birds or Western Birds)
2) National Geographic Society. Field Guide to the Birds of North America
3) Kaufman, K. Focus Guide to the birds of North America
4) Sibley, D. A. The Sibley guide to birds: National Audubon Society. (This one may be purchased covering all of North America or as smaller books covering either the Eastern or Western portions)
5) There are now several apps available for the iPhone, iPad, and other handheld devices. You can conduct a Google search of here is one website

If you are living in another region in the world, please contact me or conduct a Google search for bird guides (and reviews) for your region.

Binoculars are essential birding equipment. Binoculars for birding should be lightweight and bright. A general rule of thumb for brightness is that in order to provide enough light, the size of the objective should be five times the magnification power. For example, 7 power X 35 mm objective, or 8 power X 40 mm objective, etc. If the size of the objective is less than 5 times the magnification, the binoculars will not be good in low light conditions. For a more detailed description of binocular types and uses check this out: Detailed description: Binoculars

Web Sites
In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Web Site URL/Address

Bird Famiies of the World

http://creagrus.home.montereybay.com/list.html

The Tree of Life Web Project

http://tolweb.org/Aves

American Ornithologists’ Union Checklist

http://www.aou.org/checklist/north/index.php

David Attenburough’s ‘Life of Birds’ (You Tube)

http://www.youtube.com/show?p=S3vPSi1o5nM

Cornell Lab of Ornithology bird guide

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search

Xeno-canto, birds songs from around the world

http://www.xeno-canto.org

Book Title:Orinthology - the VitalSource e-book is provided inside the classroom
ISBN:9780716749837
Publication Info:VS-Bedford
Author:Gill
Unit Cost:$202.46
Electronic ISBN:9781464166143
Electronic Unit Cost:$26.75

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.