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  • Due to weather, all OCU in-person and remote classes are cancelled for Thursday, Oct. 29. If conditions allow them to do so, staff are asked to work remotely. Due to mechanical and technical issues, OCU Law School in-person and remote classes are cancelled for Thursday, Oct. 29.

Field Courses in Biology

OCU Biology students enjoy the opportunity to take one or more field courses offered by our biology faculty under the course number BIOL 4861-4 Field Studies in Biology. Courses such as Ecology of Greater Yellowstone, Glacial Ecology of Alaska, and Tropical Biology of Costa Rica offer our students experiences not usually found at other institutions. Additionally, co-curricular research exists through several of these courses offering numerous unique opportunities in advanced field studies and techniques. For more information, click on the following courses.

Ecology of Greater Yellowstone: Field course involving the ecological study of greater Yellowstone area. Specific topics will include a study of the geology, fire ecology, conservation, and wildlife management of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Students will learn field techniques for study birds, mammals, and other vertebrates. Course involves moderate physical activity at high altitude. Meets during Maymester. Can be taken for 1 to 4 credit hours.

Natural History of Big Bend: Field course involving the ecological study of the vascular flora and vertebrate fauna of Big Bend National Park. Students will learn field techniques for study plants, birds, mammals, and other vertebrates. Course involves moderate physical activity at high altitude. Meets in classroom once a week for first 8 weeks with trip during fall break. Can be taken for 1 to 3 credit hours.

Gulf Coast Ecology: Field course involving the ecological study of the vascular flora and vertebrate fauna of the gulf coast of Texas (between Rockport and Brownsville, TX). Students will learn field techniques for study plants, birds, mammals, and other vertebrates. Course involves moderate physical activity. Meets in classroom once a week for first 8 weeks with trip during spring break. Can be taken for 1 to 3 credit hours.

Natural History of the Rio Grande Valley: Field course involving the ecological study of the vascular flora and vertebrate fauna of the lower Rio Grande valley of Texas (between South Padre and Falcon State Park, TX). Students will learn field techniques for study plants, birds, mammals, and other vertebrates. Course involves moderate physical activity. Field trip typically occurs during winter break. Can be taken for 1 to 2 credit hours.

Glacial Ecology of Alaska: Field course involving the glacial ecology of southeast Alaska. Students will learn field techniques for study plants, birds, mammals, and other vertebrates. Course involves moderate physical activity at high altitude. Meets during Maymester every third year. Can be taken for 1 to 4 credit hours.

Tropical Biology of Costa Rica: This study abroad course will provide students with an appreciation and understanding of the diversity of the natural world, as well as practical experience in planning and carrying out an independent research project. These experiences and skills are helpful for science majors and also for anyone interested in the study of behavior and evolution. Costa Rica makes up 0.03% of the world's landmass yet holds 6% of the world's biodiversity. In this course, you will learn the basics of theories and methods in tropical biology throughout the fall semester, then get to put this knowledge into practice over a 16-day study tour to Costa Rica. Can be taken for 1 to 4 credit hours.