Summer - Courses

Courses at FLBS

Summer Session Dates: Mon, Jun 22 - Fri, Aug 14, 2020

 


Field Ecology; Conservation Ecology; Alpine Ecology

FLBS summer courses are offered to qualified applicants on a first to apply basis. Applying as early as possible will assist you in securing your first-choice courses and will assist FLBS in planning summer session. Note that underenrolled courses may be cancelled based on enrollment numbers as of the enrollment review date.

Each course runs all day each scheduled day of its timeframe, including holidays, unless otherwise noted. You may select 1 or up to 5 classes for the summer. Taking a full load over the 8-week session is an efficient way to complete advanced courses during one summer!

Admission and Credit Info

  • Undergraduate (300/400 level) or Graduate (400 level) credit
  • Credits transferrable to UM and most colleges/universities
  • Formal admission to UM not required
  • Credits may be transferred with a single completed transcript request form
  • Applying for FLBS courses requires: application; $50.00 non-refundable application fee; and transcripts (official or unofficial)

About FLBS Course Prerequisites

FLBS summer courses are designed to be affordable and flexible for all students and working professionals, whether in state or out of state, for undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education credit. Contact us with any questions or concerns, or contact the course instructor directly using the contact info in each course description.

FLBS Course Notices

Some FLBS courses require you be in good physical condition and able to hike 10+ miles a day in strenuous conditions at altitude. Check each course syllabus for specific requirements.
International students: a strong grasp of English (listening, speaking, reading and writing) is essential for success in FLBS coursework and collaboration with fellow students.

FLBS Courses

Course canceled
Alpine Ecology
July 20-July 31, 2020
BIOE 416/01
3 credits
Alpine Ecology students observe high mountain processes
Prereqs: One semester of college-level biology and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
This course requires you to hike 10+ miles a day in strenuous conditions at altitude. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
Canceled due to COVID-19
Course Files
Exploration of the distribution, abundance and biotic interactions of plants and animals and their unique ecophysiological adaptations to life in the rigorous environments of high mountains above the timberline, with emphasis on the Crown of the Continent area. Students learn about the distribution of plants and animals and study the processes and interactions that are the foundation to ecology in alpine environments. Emphasis is placed on the processes that organize communities including drivers of global climate, and the complex interrelationships of biotic and abiotic interactions, including natural and human components as modifiers of system dynamics, and how those processes affect alpine systems. The class is organized around field trips and data intensive class projects that underscore major concepts and allow training in data collection, analysis, writing a scientific paper, presentation and interpretation by students.
Course canceled
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
July 6-July 17, 2020
BIOE 400/01
3 credits
AME aboard the Jessie B
Prereqs: One year of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics, or equivalents; or consent of instructor
Canceled due to COVID-19
This intensive field course is available to upper-level under-graduate students with interests in environmental microbiology and aquatic ecology and provides a conceptual foundation and experiential field and laboratory training in modern methods in aquatic microbial ecology. Students will explore topics such as physiology and metabolism of aquatic microbes; methods and tools for assessing microbial diversity, biomass, and growth; and the role of microbes in bioelemental cycles. Students will gain hands-on experience with both cultivation-based approaches and cultivation-independent methods for studying environmental microorganisms.
Course canceled
Conservation Ecology
June 22-July 3, 2020
BIOE 440/01
3 credits
Student inspects a field sample
Prereqs: One semester of college-level biology and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
Canceled due to COVID-19
Course Files
Principles and methods of conservation ecology applied to aquatic and terrestrial species and ecosystems with emphasis on evolution, population genetics and behavioral ecology as key attributes to be considered in the design and implementation of conservation. This course emphasizes the application of basic biological research to problems in conservation and management with an eye toward the interface between science and policy. Five primary course themes are: defining population units of conservation; the effects of introduced species (including invasive species, hybridization, and infectious disease); habitat modification and climate change; population viability and monitoring; and policy and politics. These themes are applied to a diversity of case studies that have been chosen to illustrate general issues in conservation. A special aspect of the course is spending most of our time in the field with practicing, expert conservation biologists who work for state and federal government agencies or nongovernmental organizations.
Course canceled
Field Studies in the Evolution of Animal Behavior
July 6-July 31, 2020
BIOB 491/01
5 credits
Evolution of Animal Behavior
Prereqs: One semester of college-level biology and an ecology course (can be met via BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
Canceled due to COVID-19
Principles and methods of evolutionary behavioral ecology, strongly emphasizing the development and honing of professional field study skills. Interactive lectures and discussions will cover basic and advanced concepts relevant to modern Darwinian analyses of complex contingent behaviors, including sexual and social behaviors. Our opportunistically chosen study organisms will consist of diverse terrestrial species, including fantastical and highly observable arthropods. As individuals, small teams, and sometimes as a whole group, we will discover and study behavioral phenomena bestowed upon us on the FLBS grounds and, as logistics allow, other wonderful nearby locations. Some studies will be short, others long, but in every case, we shall engage in close observation of behaviors, followed by whole-class round-table formulation of (a) evolutionary adaptationist hypotheses about a given behavior's possible net benefits, (b) testable predictions of each hypothesis, and (c) effective and efficient methods to test those predictions in the field or lab; this process may happen in the classroom or on-the-spot in the field. Methodological troubleshooting will be a big part of our work together. All potentially meaningful data will be analyzed. The instructor has taught this course many years in the past, and has conducted his own research on the ecology and sexual selection system of the sierra dome spider on the station grounds since 1980. He also has interests in human evolutionary psychology that may lead to some interesting discussions. Note the suggested and required equipment lists. Also bring energy, patience, team spirit, determination and, most of all, curiosity!
Course canceled
Field Ecology
June 22-July 17, 2020
BIOE 342/01
5 credits
Field Ecology Students Record Findings in the Field
Prereqs: One semester of college-level biology, chemistry and mathematics (or equivalents); or consent of instructor
This course requires you to hike 10+ miles a day in strenuous conditions at altitude. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
Canceled due to COVID-19
Course Files
The course engages major concepts and approaches in modern ecology via immersive field experiences, hands-on sampling, and project-based learning in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Topics range from physiological and behavioral ecology to population and community ecology to ecosystem ecology. The course will build students' natural history knowledge of the biota of the Rocky Mountain region while directly engaging them in active research projects of FLBS / UM faculty. This course is conducted largely outdoors regardless of weather so that ecological phenomena can be examined in real time and real life. All-day and overnight trips will be conducted throughout the course, taking students into a range of aquatic and terrestrial environments near the Bio Station and the adjacent mountain areas including Glacier National Park. Students should be physically fit and able to hike 10 miles per day. Students will conduct directed measurements connected to ongoing research projects of the faculty, developing technical skills as well as skills in analysis and interpretation in written and oral form. Meets UM writing requirement.
Course canceled
Forest and Fire Ecology
August 3-August 14, 2020
BIOE 458/01
3 credits
Instructor/s:
Dr. Andrew Larson, UM
Students observe patterns in forest development
Prereqs: Two completed semesters of college-level coursework (sophomore standing); or consent of instructor
This course requires you to hike 10+ miles a day in strenuous conditions at altitude. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
Canceled due to COVID-19
Course Files
Patterns and processes of forests and grasslands of the northern Rocky Mountains in the context of principles of population, community and ecosystem ecology. This course emphasizes the interactive biophysical attributes and processes of the forests and intermountain grasslands. Students observe and learn about plant and animal distributions, plant community structure and behavior including principles of plant ecology, ecophysiology and plant and animal interactions in these environments. Energy and materials transfer and feedbacks within food webs are used to describe complex interrelationships driving the dynamics of these systems, including both natural and human components as modifiers of systems dynamics. Field trips underscore concepts and allow data gathering and interpretation by students.
Course canceled
Lake Ecology
August 3-August 14, 2020
BIOE 453/01
3 credits
Students collect water samples on Flathead Lake
Prereqs: One year of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
Canceled due to COVID-19
Course Files
Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of lake ecosystems with an emphasis on how physical processes of lake circulation and stratification, nutrient loading and cycling, primary and secondary production and food web interactions, and atmospheric and land/watershed use affects water quality. This course focuses on functional relationships and productivity of plant and animal assemblages in lakes as regulated by physical, chemical and biotic processes. Fundamental concepts of ecology as they relate to the aquatic environment are emphasized. Limnological principles are presented within the context of regional and landscape spatial scales. Students will learn basic and contemporary methods of study in field settings including Flathead Lake, glacial lakes of Glacier National Park, inter-montane prairie kettle lakes and nutrient rich lakes with emphasis toward experiential learning and obtaining hands-on examination and characterization of lakes. Written and oral reports of independent studies as directed by the professor are required.
Course canceled
Landscape Ecology
July 6-July 17, 2020
BIOE 451/01
3 credits
Students Listen to a Field Lecture
Prereqs: One year of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
This course requires you to hike 10+ miles a day in strenuous conditions at altitude. If you have concerns about this requirement, contact the course instructor.
Canceled due to COVID-19
Course Files
The objective of this course is to understand the physical and ecological processes that shape landscapes, how these biological and physical processes interact, and how they are responding to global change. We will examine how plants and animals are distributed across landscapes, how the physical template of the environment shapes species distributions and how biotic feedbacks can influence the physical environment. We will examine processes of pattern formation in the environment such as disturbance from fire and how landscape pattern can affect both physical and biological processes. Field trips will underscore concepts and allow data gathering and interpretation by students. Students are introduced to both satellite and airborne remote-sensing tools used in a GIS environment. Students will analyze and interpret spatially explicit data through analyses and oral presentations.
Course canceled
Optional Independent Study of Animal Behavior
August 3-August 14, 2020
BIOE490 or BIOB596/01
2 credits
Evolution of Animal Behavior
Prereqs: TBD
Canceled due to COVID-19
Course Files
TBD
Course canceled
Remote Sensing for Freshwater Ecology
July 20-July 31, 2020
GPHY 474/01
3 credits
Students observe remote sensing device
Prereqs: Prior coursework in GIS is mandatory (FORS 250 Intro to GIS for Forest Management or GPHY 284 Intro to GIS and Cartography at UM) or equivalents; or consent of instructors. Knowledge of remote sensing is preferred, but not required.
Low Enrollment Cancellation March 25, 2020
This course will introduce students to field-based methods of close range remote sensing in freshwater ecosystems. Students will gain knowledge of basic spatial analysis through GIS and remote sensing techniques. Students will learn basic application of drones and ADP, two remote sensing instruments of fast growing interest in ecological research and application. Students will learn about essentials to operate drones and ADPs, initial post processing of data products and integrating these data into ecological research and application.
Course canceled
Seminars in Ecology & Resource Management
June 22-July 17, 2020
BIOB 494/01
1 credits
Collared Mountain Goat
Canceled due to COVID-19
This seminar involves presentation and discussion of local environmental issues and problems, and is available to any students enrolled for the first four weeks of summer session in any combination of courses.
Course canceled
Sensor Design, Fabrication, and Field Deployment for Real-Time Networks and Data Loggers
June 22-July 3, 2020
BIOB 491/01
3 credits
Researchers Prepare to Sample a Glacial Lake
Prereqs: Two completed semesters of undergraduate course work in a science, technology or engineering major; or consent of instructor.
Low Enrollment Cancellation March 25, 2020
Autonomous environmental sensors are increasingly being used to collect real-time data about the natural world. Accordingly, there is a wide array of commercially available environmental and biological sensors but unfortunately they are sold for commercial monitoring applications and are often outside the price range of ecological study. Understanding how to design and produce appropriate sensors to answer specific scientific questions is therefore highly desired but requires knowledge from a broad range of disciplines. The Flathead Lake Biological Station's SensorSpace (https://sensorspace.tech) is a cutting edge facility that enables scientists and engineers to design and manufacture their own environmental sensor networks. This course is designed for both engineering and ecology students to work on small team projects to learn about, design, manufacture, and deploy robotic environmental sensor networks. This course will include instrumentation design/manufacturing, and wireless network communications in the field. This is a practical field course in which ecology and engineering students will come together in teams to design and deploy sensors related to aquatic and terrestrial ecology. Data from the sensors will be collected and used to answer specific ecological/environmental questions. Example analytes for which cost-effective fieldable sensors can be produced by researchers include pH, O2, CO2, nutrients, temperature, light levels, accelerations, GPS, and more. Through their specific team projects students will be introduced to methods of manufacturing including: 3D model design, CNC machining, additive manufacturing with 3D printing, laser cutting, and microlithography. Students will learn about various concepts associated with sensor design such as: sensitivity, dynamic range, specificity, stability, repeatability, and compatibility. Specific focus will be placed on those sensor technologies being used in their overarching project including chemical and physical sensors that operate by optical and voltammetric principals. Students will be introduced to key embedded systems concepts for field deployed electronics: power systems, microcontrollers, I/O, and various communication technologies to enable the inclusion of data logging and networking modules in their deployed sensor systems.
Course canceled
Stream Ecology
July 20-July 31, 2020
BIOE 439/01
3 credits
Students Collect Stream Samples near the Middle Fork Flathead River
Prereqs: One year of college-level biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and an ecology course (BIOE342 Field Ecology at FLBS) or equivalents; or consent of instructor
Canceled due to COVID-19
The biota and ecological processes of running waters with unifying principles and contemporary research approaches. This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of stream/river ecology and the physical, chemical and biological processes that characterize running water ecosystems. Students learn principles, concepts and methods of study in a field setting, and obtain hands-on experience in the examination and characterization of stream systems. Written and oral reports of independent or group studies as directed by the professor are required.
Course canceled
Advanced Undergraduate Research
June 22-August 21, 2020
BIOE 490/00
1-10 credits
Instructor/s:
TBA
Canceled due to COVID-19
Independent research experience in an FLBS research project. Projects are mentored by permanent and visiting FLBS faculty. Student must contact FLBS faculty to determine course availability and provide a short outline of proposed research work.
Course canceled
Independent Study
June 22-August 21, 2020
BIOB 596/00
1-8 credits
Instructor/s:
TBA
Canceled due to COVID-19
Open only to non-UM graduate students. Independent research is intended to solve a specific ecological problem as identified and examined by the student under mentorship of a Bio Station professor. Independent research includes design, analysis and reporting of ecological data. Student must contact FLBS faculty to determine course availability and provide a short outline of proposed research work.
Course canceled
Undergraduate Thesis
June 22-August 21, 2020
BIOB 499/00
3-6 credits
Instructor/s:
TBA
Canceled due to COVID-19
The objective of this course is to prepare a thesis/manuscript based on undergrad research in field ecology for presentation and/or publication. An oral presentation of the finished work must be given at the Bio Station. Student must contact FLBS faculty to determine course availability and provide a short outline of proposed research work.
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