Lecture: MWF, 11:00-11:50 pm; BC 1025
Laboratory: F, 12:00-2:50 pm; BC 1088/Fieldtrips
1. To develop an understanding of the phylogenetic/systematic relationships of extinct and extant fishes with an emphasis on evolution.
2. To learn the basic ecology, behavior and life history patterns of key fish families and species.
3. To learn unique aspects of the biology of key fish families.
The following topics listed below will be covered in this course as time permits. The emphasis in lecture is on the systematics, life histories, behavior and ecology of fishes. The primary emphasis in lab will be on taxonomy and field biology of fishes.
On the next page is a list of fieldtrips for this semester. This list is tentative due to possible complications involving weather and other scheduling conflicts. Because of this some trips may be moved to different dates. Changes in lecture and fieldtrips will be announced as far in advance as is possible.
Due to the large size of this class, lecture tests will consist of primarily multiple choice and matching with some fill‑in‑the‑blank, and short essay-type questions as well as labeling of a drawing or two. Lab tests will be identification tests in which you will have to identify a specimen of a fish and be able to give its family, genus, species and common name. The final exam will be comprehensive and will contain no essay type questions, but rather will be 100 matching questions, 50-60% over old material and 40-50% over new material not yet tested. The final will also be worth 200 points as opposed to 100 points for the other tests.
Generally the lecture topics will follow the order of the list below. However, some information involving the behavior, ecology and zoogeography of specific taxa of fish will be discussed during the classification lectures. The purpose of this lecture scheme is to introduce biology topics to you using fish taxa as the examples of the topic.
Special note on lectures: While much of the lecture portion of the course involves the systematics and taxonomy of fishes, discussion of certain taxa will be used to introduce topics of importance in biology. For example, in the Salmonidae and fish migrations, Petromyzontidae and parasitism, and the Amblyopsidae and obligate subterranean species and regressive evolution. Therefore, keep in mind that special topics introduced while discussing various taxa are being done so as to broaden your understanding of biology in general. Also, these topics will be tested in the tests given during the semester.
Lecture Tests: Tentative dates
Test 1---27 Sept 2004
Test 2---25 Oct 2000
Final-----to be announced.
Reading assignments: During the semester, reading assignment from the lecture textbook will be announced in class. These assignments will be tested on in lecture tests.
Laboratory and Fieldtrips:
Laboratory activities will be as follows:
1. Learn to identify herptiles in the VSU collection. (See Species List One and Two)
2. Sort, identify, and label any uncatalogued specimens in the collection.
3. Harden, preserve, and label specimens collected in the field during class fieldtrips and during personal collecting trips.
4. Catalog and record all herptiles preserved during the semester in the VSU Herpetology collection using Microsoft Access.
5. Develop displays for the display cases in the hallways and atrium. See handout.
Hardening and Preservation: Herptiles will be hardened in 10% formalin and preserved in 55% isopropyl alcohol. All specimens will be identified and the appropriate waterproof label placed in the jar or attached to the specimen. Labels will be completed using water insoluble ink. Pens and labels will be provided in class. Do not place labels in jars of alcohol without allowing at least one day for the labels to dry. After properly labeling the jars, the dates, locations, and numbers of each, students must input the collection data into a computer base that must be turned in to the GA DNR.
Field trips will be held as listed below during regularly scheduled labs and during two weekends, either Friday and Saturday or Friday through Sunday. Friday trips may start as early as 11:00 am and not get back until late in the day on Friday, 5-6 p.m depending on the particular activity involved and the location of the collecting site. Therefore, anyone who must leave early may drive their own vehicle and meet us at the collecting sights or travel in caravan style.
Everyone must attend at three of the field trips. Otherwise, you are encouraged to attend as many trips as possible since you'll learn more of the biology of fishes this way.
· 18 Aug 06— Lab and Fieldtrip, Introduction to teaching collection, fish identification, collecting in Two Mile Branch Creek (This is a required fieldtrip for all class members).
· 25 Aug 06— Fieldtrip, Alapaha River at Lakeland and Naylor, GA. (Class will return 3-4 pm)
· 1 Sept 06—Work in lab, sort and identify fish from previous field trip.
· 8 Sept— Fieldtrip, Satilla River east of Waycross, GA
· 15 Sept 06—Work in lab, sort and identify fish from previous field trip.
· 22 Sept 06—Work on collections and study primitive fishes.
· 29-30 Sept 06— Fieldtrip, Jekyll Island, GA. Return Saturday afternoon.
· 6 Oct 06— Laboratory test 1, primitive fishes. Work in lab after test. (See species list one and species photographs)
· 13 Oct 06—Gyotaku, the Art and Biology of Fish Prints. Special guest lecturer, Marilyn Bechler, MA Ed. Art Educator, Lowndes County School District.
· 20 Oct 06 — Fieldtrip, Upper Withlachoochee River.
· 27 Oct 06—Work in lab, sort and identify fish from previous field trip.
· 3-5 Nov 06— Fieldtrip, East Coast, Sapelo Island. (Leave VSU 11 am, take Island Ferry to Sapelo and stay over night at UGA Marine Institute. Leave island at ~8 am Sunday morning. You will need money ($15.00) to eat at the Lula’s on the Island as well as money to buy food to cooking our own meals on the island.
· 10 Nov 06— Work in lab and set up display cabinets
· 17, 24 Nov— Work in lab.
· 1 Dec 06 — Laboratory test 2, derived fishes. (See species list two and species photographs, if the PowerPoint presentation will not work on your computer, right click your mouse on the slide and enlarge to full screen. You may also want to turn down the sound on this slide presentation.)
Laboratory Access: So you can study the many specimens of fish that will be placed on the lab benches for the tests, you will have access to room 1088 on evenings and weekends. To gain access to the lab, you need to use the assigned code number for the lock on the door.
· 6 October 2006, Friday.
· 1 December, Friday---Test Two
Assignment—As part of the laboratory experience, teams of students will be given families of fish to research and develop displays on. Displays will be set up in the display cabinets by no later than 10 November. For more on the displays, see Special Assignments.
Laboratory Grades: The lab grade will be based on the following three items:
1. 10% for participation in three field trips. This means that you not only go on the field trip, but that you actively participate in collecting.
2. 10% on preparation of specimens returned to the lab and participation in cataloging of the VSU ichthyology collection.
3. 20% for preparation and setup of display assignment.
4. 60% on the tests given in lab and assignment (see handout in class). Each lab test will be worth 100 points and the assignment worth 200 points.
The final grade for the course will be as follows:
Course grade = .75(Lecture Grade) + .25(Lab)
There will be no alcoholic beverages on taken on fieldtrips.
See Hazardous Fieldtrip Policy.
David L. Bechler
Office: BC 2030
Office Phone: 229-293-6063
Web Page*: http://chiron.valdosta.edu/dbechler/default.htm
See web page for copies of
syllabus, assignments and other materials related to this class