Wildlife Biology and Conservation
Giving students opportunities to interact with wildlife populations and professionals.
COURSE OVERVIEW: Wildlife Biology and Conservation (WBC) is a field-based, college preparatory course devoted to student participation in actual wildlife research and conservation projects. Through those activities and supported by supplemental readings students gain a broad understanding of the fields of wildlife and conservation biology as well as an understanding of each studied species’ natural history, its landscape and ecological context, as well as its relationship with humans.
Students select one of the WBC research projects to take primary responsibility for managing and analyzing its data and preparing its annual technical report. Furthermore, during each semester, students participate in a substantial outreach activity related to a WBC research or conservation project with groups beyond the Bosque School community. Each quarter WBC students provide leadership and environmental education programs to younger students on several wildlife and conservation projects. Outreach components include: work with BEMP Study Trip visitors, Otter Day, the Crawford Symposium and more.
Key areas of study in WBC projects include: the ethical and moral implications of live animal research; safety; wildlife management techniques and procedures; field research design and execution; data management; and the preparation of technical reports. Hands on wildlife research focuses on: herpetology, small mammals, endangered Mexico grey wolves, porcupines, jack rabbits, urban impacts and climate change (ie. 'global weirding') studies. WBC is an elective science class open to juniors and seniors (sophomores with instructor permission) and can be used once to meet a Bosque School science course graduation requirement. Furthermore, students enrolled in WBC can also enroll concurrently with NM State University’s online wildlife biology class “WLSC 110 Introduction to Natural Resource Management.”
This class is taught by Dan Shaw, Bosque School teacher and BEMP Co-Director.
Author & New Mexico Science Teacher's Association Presidential Award for Excellence Winner
Dan Shaw,Bosque School Wildlife teacher, river-enthusiast and BEMP Co-Director, has published his 2nd book in the "Worlds of Wonder Science Series for Young Readers"
entitled 'Southwest Aquatic Habitats: On the Trail of Fish in a Desert'
. This book conveys the enthusiasm and imagination of students who are learning about aquatic ecosystems, along with scientific information about watershed health. It's a great read for middle and high school students, as well as a resource for environmental educators or anyone who wants to learn about connecting students with their home watershed. This is Dan's 2nd book and features many Bosque School students and alumni. Both books were published by University of New Mexico press and can be found locally at Bookworks
(in Albuquerque) or on Amazon.com
Each year, Dan takes a handful of Bosque School Wildlife students to present original research on a variety of wildlife and watershed topics to the New Mexico & Arizona Wildlife Society/American Fisheries Society joint conference. In 2010 Dan was awarded the New Mexico Chapter of the Wildlife Society's Wildlife Professional of the Year
. Visit the halls of Bosque School's Upper School Science Building to view past and current student research posters!
In 2008, Dan was the winner of the New Mexico Riparian Council's Research Award
for continued leadership in promoting Science and Research at Bosque School.
- including: Tawny Bellied Cotton Rate Trapping, Meso-Carnivore Track Plate Study & Infrared Camera Trap Study
Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge Jackrabbit Survey
In partnership with the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research network.
Four times a year Bosque School students, UNM BEMP interns and BEMP staff head down to Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) just 20 miles north of Socorro, New Mexico. The purpose is to study the population density of both the common black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) and Audubon’s cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii).
The survey’s are conducted in correlation with the seasonal full moons and take about 5 hours to complete the 21 mile loop trail. Students that are interested have a chance to sign up with the BEMP Education & Outreach office at Bosque School. The staff and students stay at the Sevilleta’s research housing: complete with full kitchen amenities, living rooms, three bedrooms (often with bunks) and two bathrooms.
Rabbit population density data is housed and maintained by the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research network and can be accessed by clicking here.