Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

April 19, 2010 10:40 PM

Field life!

In the midst of Telebears season, I wanted to pass on some advice about one of my favorite classes this semester!

Many CNR students have to take Biology 1B to satisfy a lower division requirement, but few are aware of the field section option. I highly recommend this for students who enjoy being outside and want to get a head start with research! Especially for environmental science majors, this class serves as great preparation for your independent senior thesis!

Our lab section meets for the same 4-hour discussion/lab period as regular Bio1B sections, but we don't spend the entire time working on the assigned labs for the week. Instead, our research groups get to work on developing our experiment, sampling in the field, and finally analyzing and compiling the data. But *be aware* that this lab is a much bigger time commitment, because you have to do extra work for your research project outside of lab time! Also, we had the opportunity to go on 2 field trips to Point Reyes and the Presidio thus far, and are going on our last field trip to Mt. Diablo this week! These field trips are a great opportunity to supplement lecture material with real-life experiences. Here are some photos from our first trip to Point Reyes!
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Specifically for my group's research project, we are studying the effects of culverts on water quality and habitat health of Strawberry Creek. We are doing this by analyzing populations of benthic macro invertebrates as bio indicators at locations above and below the 3 culverts nearest to campus. These macro invertebrates can be classified into species that are tolerant, non-tolerant, and semi-tolerant to pollution. From that, we can classify habitats as better or poorer quality based on the tolerance of the organisms living there. Here are some photos we took while collecting samples for our research project!
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Our group and the rest of the groups in my section will be presenting our projects during RRR week, on Thursday May 6th! These presentations will be open to the public, so feel free to stop by if you are interested in hearing more!

For more information and details about applying, check out the official website at http://ib.berkeley.edu/courses/bio1b/field/fs.htm.

Happy scheduling!
Kelley


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