ENVS 320, CONSERVATION ECOLOGY
Fall 2013
 

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

Date Topic Location Notes
Aug 26 Lynchburg Nature Zone Lynchburg, VA  
Sep 2 Wildlife Center of Virginia Waynesboro, VA Return 5:30
Sep 9 GIS in Conservation:  Managing the Yellowstone Ecosystem Hobbs 209 Short Lab
Sep 16 Mill Mountain Zoo Roanoke, VA Meet at 12:00; return 6:00
Sep 23 Island Biogeography Hobbs 209 Short Lab
Sep 30 Vernal Pools Conservation Piney River, VA  
Oct 7 Jamey River Spiny Mussel Conservation Amherst County, VA  
  Fall Break is Oct 10-13    
Oct 14 James River Association    
Oct 21 Wintergreen Nature Foundation Wintergreen Resort Return 4:30
Oct 28 Appomattox Court House Historical Park APCO NHP  
Nov 4 (Spiney Mussel) Quantifying Landscape Pattern Hobbs 209  
Nov 11 Managing a Nature Center Hobbs 221/Field  
Nov 18 Fire Ecology Claytor Nature Study Center  
Nov 25 Thanksgiving Break    
Dec 2 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 by the beginning of Thursday's class)

Lynchburg Nature Zone
Prior to lab:   
provide 3 typed questions for the Zone's staff; 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:
Due to budget cuts, the City of Lynchburg has decided to eliminate the Nature Zone.  You write a letter to justify its existence.   Your letter should summarize the role of the nature zone, and its value to the City and its citizens.  Letters should be addressed to:
     Kim Payne
     Lynchburg City Manager
     Lynchburg, VA  24501

Sample Business Letter

Wildlife Center of Virginia
Prior to lab:   
visit the Center's webpage, and read the links on the right. 
provide 3 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 parents are considering donating a large sum of money to a charity.  Summarize the goals of the center for your parents, and then explain why you would recommend this organization to them (1 page).

GIS in Conservation:  Managing the Yellowstone Ecosystem
No pre-lab assignment.        GIS Data
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

Mill Mountain Zoo
Prior to lab:   
design a panda habitat at the National Zoo by clicking here.
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

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

Vernal Pools Conservation
Prior to lab:   
using the websites listed below (and any others), provide 3 typed questions for Mike Hayslett; bring these to lab.
    http://youtu.be/QWI0ueNVHNE
    http://www.lynchburgbiz.com/virginiasvernalpools/
    http://www.boxley.com/community/explore_the_earth.html
these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
After lab:
A biologist from the Virginia Natural Heritage Program is visiting to learn more about these vernal pool ecosystems.  From a scientific perspective, explain to him why these pools and the salamanders that inhabit them are unique and important.
A new CEO has just taken over at Boxley Quarry.  She is not convinced they should spend money on protecting these pools.  Using nontechnical terms, explain why she is wrong.
Secret Pond:  A Fairy Shrimp Documentary

Jamey River Spiny Mussel Conservation
Prior to lab:   
using the websites listed below, provide 3 typed questions for Brian Watson; bring these to lab.
    http://157.182.212.237/wvwrapict/Species/JamesSpiny.pdf
    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.

James River Association
No pre-lab assignment
.       
After lab:
The City of Lynchburg recently implemented a stormwater utility fee for all homes and businesses.  They also offer a way for homeowners to get credit for practices that reduce runoff, and reduce their fee.  Review the manual here.
Think about your home (whether in the City or not).  Describe the features that already meet the requirements for credit.  List what still needs to be done.  At a savings of about $10/month, would you implement these?  Why or why not?  State of the James video.

Wintergreen Nature Foundation
Prior to lab:   
using the websites listed below, provide 3 typed questions for Doug Coleman; bring these to lab.
    http://www.twnf.org/index.asp
    http://www.wintergreenresort.com/
  these questions and the answer to one of them (hand-written) will be turned in at the end of lab.
Mr. Coleman has decided to take a new job with the Nature Conservancy.  You've decided to apply for his old position.  Compile both a resume and a cover letter addressing the main points of this position (as discussed in lab) and your qualifications.  Your letter should be addressed to:
    Doug Coleman, Director
    Wintergreen Nature Foundation
    P.O. Box 468
    Wintergreen, VA  22958
and address the following duties:
    1) Gypsy moth control
    2) Deer management
    3) Human/beer interactions
    4) Conservation easements
    5) General research
Due at the beginning of Thursday's class via Moodle.  Update:  no assignment due.

Appomattox Court House Historical Park
Prior to lab:   
read the Court House's webpage on Nature and Science, 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:
You decide to apply for a summer internship at this park.  Read over the internship description, and complete an application consisting of both a resume and a cover letter emphasizing your qualifications for the position.  Your letter should be addressed to:
    Brian Eick
    Natural Resource Manager
    Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
    P.O. Box 218
    Appomattox, VA  24522
Due at the beginning of Thursday's class via Moodle.  Due date changed to Friday at 5:00.

Jamey River Spiny Mussel Conservation
Prior to lab:   
using the websites listed below, provide 3 typed questions for Brian Watson; bring these to lab.
    http://157.182.212.237/wvwrapict/Species/JamesSpiny.pdf
    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:
You decide to apply for a position with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Read over the job description, and complete an application consisting of both a resume and a cover letter emphasizing your qualifications for the position.  Your letter should be addressed to:
    Brian T. Watson
    Wildlife Diversity Biologist/Malacologist
    VA Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries
    1132 Thomas Jefferson Road
    Forest, VA  24551 
Due on Monday prior to lab via Moodle.  Do not start until after class on Thursday.

Managing a Nature Center
No pre-lab assignment.   
After lab:
The National Science Foundation is considering the Claytor Nature Study Center as a host site for its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.  Your assignment is to write Lynchburg College's proposal (2 pages max) for this application.  Download and use the following memo (use the headings in it).  The following sites may prove useful:
    http://www.lynchburg.edu/claytor-nature-study-center
    http://www.lynchburg.edu/about-us
    http://www.lynchburg.edu/environmental-science
    http://www.lynchburg.edu/environmental-studies
Due at the beginning of Thursday's class via Moodle.