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Field Methods in Ornithology Course at Flathead Lake Biological Station-Montana

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Field Methods in Ornithology Course at Flathead Lake Biological Station-Montana


University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab


University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station

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The University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab is excited to announce a Field Methods in Ornithology Course this summer at University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station This field course focuses on conceptual and practical understanding of advanced techniques in ornithology. You will get experience in bird identification (including molt, aging and sexing), mist-netting and banding, point count surveys, telemetry, recording and bioacoustical analyses. We will read and discuss some key papers in the relevant literature. After successful completion of this course, you will have high-level field research skills in avian biology. These skills would help in your own research, or in getting field research jobs. The instructors are certified trainers by the North American Banding Council. Field Methods in Ornithology is an intensive, week-long summer field course available to upperlevel undergraduate students and graduate students with interests in gaining hands-on and practical skills pertaining to ornithology and wildlife biology. This course is designed for students who would like to gain advanced field skills that are difficult to obtain from within a traditional academic framework. The 1-credit course includes lectures, classroom discussions, and, primarily, field-based work. Students who take the course will gain high level research skills in avian biology which will assist in conducting independent research or securing field research jobs. The course provides an applied foundation in various field techniques in ornithology. We will focus efforts of learning practical skills utilized for avian studies such as handling, banding, and extracting birds, taking morpho-measurements, conducting point counts, telemetry, and bioacoustics work. Lectures and in-class discussions will be used to explore topics such as avian survival and productivity; physiology, body condition, and stress hormones; usefulness and applicability of different study methods; life-cycle and molt-cycle of birds; migratory strategies; and avian communication. Field-based work will take place daily and will emphasize an experiential learning environment. Students will have exposure to a variety of species in different habitats. Students will work with instructors to collect data across many technical disciplines and discuss applications of those data.


At least one year of college-level biology, a semester of mathematics and some experience with bird identification; or consent of instructor. Please visit Flathead Biological Station's website (https://flbs.umt.edu/apps/education/ss_apply.aspx) to apply.

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Megan Fylling

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