SYLLABUS: ORNITHOLOGY (BIO 559)
Spring 2012 (Tentative)
Lecture: MWF: 11-11:50, Rm: THM 109
Lab: Mon 8-11am, Rm: TBA
Instructor: David Westneat
Office: 105 MDR #3
Phone: 323-9499, E-mail: biodfw at uky.edu,
TA: Bridget Sousa
Office 106 MDR #3
Phone: 3-9499, E-mail: email@example.com
Text: There will be no text for the lecture portion. We will use selected readings.
Lab Manual Required! Please obtain a field guide to birds, preferably National Geographic Society’s "Field Guide to Birds of North America, 3rd edition" or The American Bird Conservancy’s "All the Birds of North America"
The field guide is necessary for lab. Please find BY THE FIRST LAB (JAN 23) at a bookstore or order online from sites like Amazon.
FINAL: May 4th, 1:00 PM
Grading.- Grading is done separately for undergraduates and graduate students. Graduate students will have additional requirements, as noted below. For each, the graded portions of the course reflect the multiple aims described above. The lecture grade is divided into four parts.
(1 &2) The tests, a midterm and a final, will focus on how students have retained both factual information and the ability to think about ideas as they apply to birds. Graduate students will have an extra question to answer, which may be answered by undergrads for extra credit.
(3) Student presentation that will occur on some of the Mondays following lab. Each student will pick one time slot in the term and then go to the recent scientific literature on birds and pick an article of interest. The student will then present the purpose, methods, results, importance, and the quality of the study to the class. This will have to be a brief summary, taking no longer than 15 min. Students should notify the instructor ahead of time what paper they are choosing to present. Graduate students must present an extra paper.
(4) Summary paragraph and 3 questions prepared by students from assigned readings, and participation in class
Lecture Point Scale
Total Lecture grade: 600
The lab portion of the course is divided into 4 parts:
(1 & 2) There will be two tests, one at midterm covering anatomy and systematics, and one at the end of the term focusing on field identification but including info from earlier in the term,
(3) During lab sessions, we will give short quizzes on the topic covered in lab or on identification. You may choose 5 of these to comprise your grade.
(4) Students must do an independent project involving identifying and observing birds outside of class. Points for this part will be assigned for the quality of record keeping (a notebook or log of your activities and what you saw) and the quality of a scientific paper written about the data that you collected. That paper should reflect some thought and about the data you collected and a literature search of related studies.
Lab Point Scale:
Total Lab grade: 500 pts
Total pts in the course = 1100.
Letter grades will be based on 90%, 80%, 70%, etc. cut-offs. Improvement through the term will be rewarded.
1. Attendance: Attendance in lecture and lab is a necessary part of the course. In both, there will be graded activities that contribute to the final grade. Missing such activities due to unacceptable reasons will result in the loss of those points.
2. Excused Absences: S.R. 188.8.131.52 defines the following as acceptable reasons for excused absences:
a. serious illness;
b. illness or death of family member;
c. University-related trips;
d. major religious holidays;
e. other circumstances you find to be "reasonable cause for nonattendance".
3. Make-up opportunity: Make-up tests will be offered to students who miss one due to an excused absence. For in-class graded activities, only part of the points can be made-up, since participation is a key component.Similarly, in lab, quizzes cannot be made-up since they depend on the activity in lab. The syllabus contains several “extra” activities that can serve as make-ups as long as the number of absences is small. If you miss many sessions, please consult the instructor as soon as possible about what to do.
4. Verification of Absences: Senate Rule 184.108.40.206 states that faculty have the right to request "appropriate verification" when students claim an excused absence because of illness or death in the family. The University Health Services (UHS) provides a printed statement that specifies that the University Health Services does not give excuses for absences from class due to illness or injury. It will be possible for these forms to be date stamped to show that you visited University Health Services.
5. Academic Integrity, Cheating and Plagiarism: Progress in science depends on the rigorous honesty of its practitioners. All work in this class must be your own, and plagerism will not be tolerated. Some activities in this class will require cooperation and sharing of information. Other activities will involve consulting literature and using information therein. Appropriate citation of these sources is important and will be discussed at several times in class and lab. A link to a paper "Plagiarism: What is it?" may be found at the Ombud web site or can be accessed at http://www.uky.edu/Ombud/Plagiarism.pdf. The Ombud web site also includes a link to a Prentice Hall Companion Website "Understanding Plagiarism" http://wps.prenhall.com/hss_understand_plagiarism_1/0,6622,427064-,00.html.
Penalties for violations of this policy can be found at http://www.uky.edu/USC/New/SenateRulesMain.htm.