ENVS 320, CONSERVATION ECOLOGY
Fall 2015
 

Lab Schedule (Tentative)
Normal lab time is 1:00-4:00.

Date # Topic Location Notes
Aug 24 1 Local Green Spaces Ruskin Freer Nature Preserve  
Aug 31 2 Izaak Walton League Madison Heights  
Sep 7 3 GIS in Conservation:  Managing the Yellowstone Ecosystem Hobbs 209 Short Lab
Sep 14 4 Turnip the Beets Farm and CSA Amherst County  
Sep 21 5 Island Biogeography Hobbs 209 Short Lab
Sep 28 6 Appomattox Court House Historical Park APCO NHP  
Oct 5 7 Wildlife Center of Virginia Waynesboro Return 5:00
    Fall Break is Oct 8-11    
Oct 12 8 Mill Mountain Zoo Roanoke Depart 12:00; Return 5:00
Oct 19 9 Fire Ecology Bedford County  
Oct 26 10 Mussel Conservation Pedlar River  
Nov 2 11 Quantifying Landscape Pattern Hobbs 209 Starts at 1:30; Short Lab
Nov 9 12 James River State Park Norwood  
Nov 16 13 Managing a Nature Center Claytor Nature Study Center  
Nov 23   No Lab - Thanksgiving Break    
Nov 30 14 Public Forum:  Reintroducing Wolves to the Yellowstone Ecosystem Hobbs 221 Short Lab

Assignments (unless noted otherwise, each lab assignment is worth 10 points and should be submitted via Moodle 2 by the beginning of Thursday's class)

Local Green Spaces
Prior to lab:   
visit and read the Preserve's webpage and its trail webpage.
visit and read Kathie Driscoll's webpage.
provide 2 typed questions for Kathie; bring these to lab.
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
Kathie is looking to hire a student intern.  See the job description here.  Create a cover letter and resume to apply for this internship.

Izaak Walton League
Prior to lab:   
visit and read the IWL of Lynchburg's webpage and the IWL of America's webpage.
also read about the IWL's donations to Lynchburg College.
provide 2 typed questions; bring these to lab.
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
Amherst County wants to rezone this property for development.  Write a letter to Mr. Jeremy Bryant, Director of Planning and Zoning for Amherst County, explaining why you think this area should be preserved.  Sample business letter.
    Jeremy Bryant
    Amherst County Administrative Offices
    153 Washington St
    P.O. Box 390
    Amherst, VA  24521

GIS in Conservation
There is no pre- or post-lab assignment.
After lab:
turn in the handout with all questions answered (hand-written is fine).  Moodle will not be used for this assignment.
other examples of Conservation GIS

Turnip the Beets Farm and CSA
Prior to lab:   
visit and read the CSA'a webpage.
visit and read Blue Ridge Life's article (starts on page 9), and our Newsletter article (p. 2) on this CSA.
provide 2 typed questions for Shane and Beverly; bring these to lab.
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
Your parents (or other relatives) are considering eating more foods that are healthy both for us and the environment.  Compose an email (send this directly to me; ) describing a CSA and why one such as Turnip the Beets is a good choice.

Island Biogeography
No pre-lab assignment
.       
After lab:
turn in the handout

Appomattox Court House Historical Park
Prior to lab:   
read the Court House's webpage on Nature (also click the 4 subheadings to the left), and its brochure on Prescribed Fire.
provide 3 typed questions for Mr. Brian Eick, the Park's Chief of Natural Resource Management; bring these to lab.
these questions and the answer to at least one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
Mr. Eick is soliciting your help on convincing the Park Superintendent to continue allowing prescribed fire.  She does not thing the benefits outweigh the risks.  Using the above link on prescribed fire and 2 other web pages, write her a letter in support of burning at the park.  Sample business letter.  Your 2 additional citations may be provided below the letter.
  Your letter should be addressed to:
     Robin Snyder, Superintendant
     Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
     P.O. Box 218
     Appomattox, VA  24522

Wildlife Center of Virginia
Prior to lab:   
visit the Center's webpage, and read the various links.
review the article/video on bald eagle release.   
provide 2 typed questions for the Center's staff; bring these to lab.
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
the Wildlife Center is non-profit and operates primarily on private donations.  Looking for a tax write-off, your rich Uncle Phil is considering donating a large sum of money to a charity.  Summarize the goals of the center for Uncle Phil, and then explain why you would recommend this organization to him.  This may be done as an email, sent directly to me.

Mill Mountain Zoo
Prior to lab:   
design a panda habitat at the National Zoo by clicking here (not currently working).
using the websites listed below (and any others), provide 3 typed questions for the animal caretakers; bring these to lab.
    Mill Mountain Zoo
    National Zoo Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
    The Role of Zoos
    Zoos and Education
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
TBA

Fire Ecology
Prior to lab:   
read over the VDOF wildfire page.
no questions are required.
After lab:
TBA

James Spinymussel Conservation
Prior to lab:   
using the websites listed below, provide 2 typed questions for Brian Watson; bring these to lab.
    http://friendsofthepedlar.org/page8.html
    http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?searchName=Pleurobema+collina
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
Dominion Power is proposing a natural gas pipeline that could potentially affect the habitat of the James Spinymussel.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is requesting input from the public on this project.  Compile a letter to FERC explaining why protecting the James Spinymussel is so important.

Quantifying Landscape Pattern
No pre-lab assignment
.       
After lab:
turn in the handout

James River State Park
Prior to lab:   
using the websites listed below, provide 2 typed questions for ; bring these to lab.
    http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/james-river.shtml#general_information
    http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
TBA

Managing a Nature Center
No pre-lab assignment.   
After lab:
Claytor Nature Study Center attempts to balance its diverse missions of conserving nature while also teaching about it.  Discuss your approach on how we can best allow education and research to occur while still maintaining the integrity of the natural ecosystem.  One page single-spaced.
    http://www.lynchburg.edu/claytor-nature-study-center