Aquatic Ecology: explores the wide range of aquatic habitats found on the property (bogs, lakes, streams), examining differences in physical and chemical features and food web structure. Students work in small groups to develop and carry out a project relating to an aquatic topic of their choice. Module culminates in a final group presentation.
Forest Ecology: examines the ecology and function of forests, discussing topics that range from succession to tree species identification. A field trip to a large tract of old growth forest on the Ottawa National Forest, as well as views of different stand management practices introduce students to the ecology and economy of managing and maintaining healthy forests. The week is completed with a class project and a written exam.
Insect Ecology: emphasizes the taxonomy, diversity, conservation, and ecosystem function of insects in the region. Multiple surveying methods are emphasized as students work in small groups, examining a specific habitat or set of trapping techniques. Students engage in two multi-day studies that test the dynamics and response of insects. Written reports of the two experiments are required.
Vertebrate Ecology: emphasizes taxonomy and identification of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals in the region. Also includes implementing trapping techniques in the field. Students also conduct a short experiment on species diversity or animal behavior, and read and discuss sections of Aldo Leopold’s seminal book Sand County Almanac. The course culminates with a lab practical, and short written assignments.