Black Institute for Environmental Studies
Wildlife & Conservation Biology
Wildlife & Conservation Biology (Offered in 11th & 12th)
Student engagement with wildlife and conservation biology at Bosque School builds directly from the school’s location along New Mexico’s critical and rare riverside habitat. The riparian forest that is the school’s namesake and the Rio Grande and its watershed provide innumerable opportunities for students to challenge the very notion of what education looks like.
The bosque, as both habitat and learning environment, is embedded in many cross disciplinary student experiences. Art classes routinely head into the forest with sketch pads in hand to seek out nature as inspiration, physical education activities takes place along riverside trails, and the Black Institute programs at Bosque School provide students with opportunities to support habitat enhancement projects as well as direct wildlife research.
Each year both middle and high school students are provided the opportunity to directly participate in ongoing wildlife and conservation biology research. In sixth grade that is embedded in the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) where students, in partnership with the University of New Mexico Department of Biology contribute to research about the Rio Grande and its bosque. Seventh gaders branch out into the smaller streams of the region in partnership with the New Mexcio Department of Game and Fish’s New Mexico Watershed Watch program where they explore the health of those waterways for humans and fish. Other experiences vary by grade level and the particular classes students choose to take. Central to the elective courses juniors and seniors can take in this area are the Wildlife and Conservation Biology class as well as the Wildlife Research Seminar. In both classes, students engage in and design their own wildlife science research projects.
Many students choose to become involved in both summer and year round wildlife and conservation biology projects led by some combination of BEMP and Bosque School faculty. Recent projects have included capturing and getting DNA samples from turtles and frogs and conducting research on rare and endangered lizards. Students interested in volunteering to participate in these types of projects should reach out to either BEMP staff or the Bosque School Wildlife and Conservation Biology teacher.
Creating opportunites for students to interact with wildlife and regional wildlife professionals