Course List: Avian Biology (Ornithology)

Course List: Ornithology


BIOS/NRES 475/475L, BIOS/NRES 875/875L
NOTE: Avian Biology, BIOS 475, is a 3 credit course. We add 475L (1 credit) to make it 4 credits total; you will need to enroll in both.

Dr. John Faaborg- Dr. Faaborg has been at the University of Missouri-Columbia since 1975. He is Professor of Biological Sciences and has an adjunct appointment in MU’s School of Natural Resources. Dr. Faaborg received his degrees from Iowa State University (in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology, 1971) and Princeton University (in Ecology and Evolution, 1975). His research interests are quite varied, but most projects deal with some aspect of island biogeography, island ecology, and habitat fragmentation with projects in Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Dr. Faaborg has received all of the major teaching awards presented by the University of Missouri-Columbia and won the Distinguished Faculty Award presented by the Missouri University Alumni Association in 2005.

Cedar Point Biological Station allows for an immersive field biology experience.  The avian biology class will include extensive field observation and exercises, but will also be sprinkled with regular classroom instruction.  Lectures will be held during mid-day periods after morning field trips, or on days when weather limits outdoor activities.  Lecture topics will include morphology, physiology, habitat use, behavior, evolution, and migration.  In addition to field identification, students will be able to observe a variety of avian behaviors related to nesting and migration.  Individual studies (often done as a team of two or sometimes three people) may center on things such as food habits, foraging behavior, territoriality, mating systems, anti-predator behavior, or nesting ecology. The course typically includes day trips to Crescent Lake National Wildlife Reserve, and Pawnee National Grasslands, and an overnight Rocky Mountain trip; either Rocky Mountain National Park or Mt. Evans Biological Station. CPBS covers the majority of the cost of these field trips, excepting some small fees and spending money.