BI422 Indv Research & Indp Invest

for UU 2012

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Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


BI 422 Indv Research & Indp Invest


UU 2012 HOZ


Taulman, James


Associate Professor of Biology


PhD Zoology, University of Arkansas, postdoc Conservation Biology/GIS
MS Biology, Central Washington University
BA Math, BS Biology, Univ. Texas at Arlington

Office Location

SC 101

Office Hours

by appointment in summer

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

June 4 - July 29, 2012

Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours


none, field guides and other resource provided by instructor

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
BI422 Individual Research and Independent Investigation: A small original biological investigation and a written report of the findings, prepared in proper form. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Variable credit: 1-3 hours.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Design and experimentally research a defined area of biology
  2. Collect and evaluate experimental data
  3. Compose a written synthesis and evaluation of their findings in proper scientific format
  4. Prepare and deliver an oral presentation of their experimental research in a proper scientific format

Core Assessment:

§         Term paper (CA)

§     Oral presentation

Class Assessment:

Training and acquisition of proficiency in identification of tree species and macroplot methods on five practice/training macroplots prior to start of research = 20%
Data collection on 16 macroplots comprising forest description plots for bird survey study being conducted by instructor = 40%
Timely reporting and communication between student and instructor during the conduct of the field research in order to spot any problems and answer questions as they arise.  = 10%
Written report with statistical analyses of forest data, comparing macroplots to each other during this project and to the same plots measured in 2009.  Student will also survey the literature and provide an introduction to the final written report stating the expected tree species and forest characteristics to be found in a midwestern oak-hickory hardwood forest.  The discussion section of the final report will tie in current results with research reported by others. = 30%
Oral report of results from this study is waived.  This is the last course required for graduation and the student will not be enrolled in the Fall 2012 term, when he would otherwise have the opportunity to schedule an oral presentation of results.


90 - 100% = A
80 - 90% = B
70 - 80% = C
60 - 70% = D
< 60% = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Not accepted.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Student will work on his own schedule, communicating with the instructor regularly and completing all assigned work before the end of the term.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Student will study tree identification and forest macroplot methods from resources supplied by instructor.  Instructor will supply all instruments and tools required for conducting forest measurement and habitat data collection.  Instructor will train student in the theory of forest ecology and the use of macroplot measurements of forest features to describe vegetation in a forest setting.  Student will become proficient, under the instructor's direct supervision, in the use of forest measurement instruments and methods, including: 
 - use of GPS to navigate and locate previously identified plot center trees
 - use of compass and hip chain to lay out a 20 m x 20 m (0.04 ha) macroplot,
 - estimation of ground cover on the plot,
 - use of density board to estimate horizontal vegetation density at 4 height strata of the understory,
 - collection of stem count data to tally all midstory sapling trees in the DBH range 1" - 4",
 - use of the diameter tape to record diameters of all overstory trees on the plot > 4" DBH,
 - use of the spherical densiometer to estimate canopy vegetative coverage,
 - use of the 10-factor prism to estimate basal area of overstory trees on the plot,
 - use of the clinometer to estimate the height of the dominant tree on the plot,
 - identification of all overstory trees to species on the plot, using field guides, leaf, bark, and stem characteristics,
 - recording of all data on a data sheet for later analysis,
 - analysis of data in spreadsheet form, including:
   - computation of basal area of overstory trees from recorded diameters,
   - using statistical methods to compare forest plots for similarity,
   - using statistical methods to compare data collected in this project to data collected on these same plots in 2009,
 - writing a report summarizing all field activities and presenting results and analyses of data.
Five practice and training macroplots will be measured and will be taken from a set of 20 forest plots previously chosen and measured to describe overall forest characteristics in 2010.
After training and when student has become proficient at methods and tree identification, student and a helper will collect data on 16 macroplots on breeding bird survey areas installed and measured in 2009 by instructor as part of an ongoing study of breeding bird populations in the Park hardwood forest.  The student's data will be compared with 2009 measurements in order to observe any changes in forest features that may have taken place during the 3-year interval since the original forest description was undertaken.
Student will acquire hands-on experience in practical forest ecology and research methods.  He will learn forest features and plant species community composition in a variety of habitats, including riparian and upland, northern and southern exposures.  He will learn to identify unknown woody plants using a variety of resources.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:5/29/2012 2:06:33 PM