FWL 201 - INTRODUCTION TO FISH AND WILDLIFE FALL 2010 This course will introduce you to some of the potential job opportunities and current issues associated with the fish and wildlife profession. Its purpose is to give you a better idea of what these fields are all about and help you decide where your interests might lie and how to achieve your academic and career goals. We hope to show you some ways to gain experience and be a success in this field. The course will provide you with an overview of professional opportunities, descriptions of careers, presentations by professionals on fish and wildlife issues, and information you need to prepare yourself for a career. The course also affords you the opportunity to meet most of the fish and wildlife faculty at MSU and learn about their research and teaching interests and backgrounds. Meetings: Wednesdays at 3:10-4:00 pm, Reid Hall 104 Coordinator: Tom McMahon (406A Lewis, 994-2492. Email: email@example.com) Course webpage: for copy of syllabus copy, class news, grade sheet-- http://www.montana.edu/~wwwbi/staff/mcmahon/Courses.html Course Requirements: 1. Writing Assignment SUMMARIES: Each student will submit a detailed 1-2 page summary of 4 of the 11 presentations given over the course of the semester plus a summary of career goals for a total of 5 reports. To receive credit for a summary, you must include the name of the speaker, the topic, the main points covered, and what you learned from the presentation. Summaries must be typewritten and written in essay style; outlines are not acceptable. See the attached example summary for guidance. Papers should be written single spaced with 10-12 font. Because a goal of this exercise is to further your experience in writing, summaries must be clearly written to receive credit, with a minimum of punctuation and spelling errors. HINT: Proofread your work before submission. Summaries are to be turned in at class, placed in my mailbox in the Ecology rd department office (3 floor Lewis Hall), or slipped under my office door (Lewis 406A). Note: no emailing of summaries. Graded summaries will be returned at class, usually 1-2 weeks afterwards. 2. On Oct 27th, students who make a short presentation on how they obtained their summer jobs may use this in lieu of one written summary. 3. ATTENDANCE: Of the 11 class periods, students are required to fill in 7 attendance cards. Attendance cards will have the following: name, ID number, name of speaker and date, and two main points you learned from the presentation. 4. GRADE SHEET: a grade sheet showing status of summaries and attendance will be posted on the course webpage: http://www.montana.edu/~wwwbi/staff/mcmahon/Courses.html (also accessible via Ecology Dept homepage FacultyMcMahonCourses) IMPORTANT-READ CAREFULLY: There will be four grading periods for summaries: Sept 29, October 20, November 10, and December 13. You must turn in one summary for each grading period. Any summaries for that period that are not received by that date will not receive credit. KEEP A BACKUP COPY OF YOUR SUMMARIES. With 100+ students, that’s over 500 reports that must be graded, so summaries are sometimes misplaced. 2. Career Goals Summary: At the end of the semester, each student will be expected to submit a 1-1.5 page discussion of their career goals and their plans for achieving these goals (due no later than December 13 at 5:00pm). 3. Grading: Summaries will be graded with a "P" if acceptable, and a "NA" if not acceptable. Acceptable will meet the criteria described above; not acceptable grades will be given to those summaries that are sloppily written or do not conform to the listed critieria. Students who copy papers from other students will be simply given a Fail for the course. Papers with “NA” grades can be rewritten and resubmitted for credit. To receive a pass: 1. Turn in 4 acceptable summaries plus your career goals statement. (Total = 5 papers) 2. Turn in at least 7 attendance cards. SCHEDULE 1 Sept Introduction to class Overview of Career Opportunities Grading Period 1 8 Sept “Overview of Wildlife Careers”- Jay Rotella , MSU 15 Sept “Overview of Fisheries Careers”– Tom McMahon, MSU 22 Sept “Life of a Game Warden”- Brian Lloyd, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) Bozeman 29 Sept *Summary completed for presentations from Grading Period 1 due today Grading Period 2 29 Sept “Role of Science in Wildlife Management Controversies- The Case of Wild Horse Management”- Bob Garrott, MSU 6 Oct “State wildlife biologist” – Claire Gower, wildlife biologist, Montana FWP, Bozeman 13 Oct “Fisheries within the US Forest Service” – Scott Barndt, Gallatin National Forest head fishery biologist, Bozeman 20 Oct *Summary completed for presentations from Grading Period 2 due today Grading Period 3 20 Oct “The North American Model for Fish and Wildlife Management”, Kurt Alt, regional wildlife manager, Montana FWP, Bozeman 27 Oct “Presentations from students: How I got my summer job” 3 Nov “Stream restoration, and transition from undergraduate to graduate student to professional fish and wildlife biologist” – Ryen Aasheim, Restoration Coordinator, Big Blackfoot Watershed, Trout Unlimited, Missoula 10 Nov *Summary completed for presentations from Grading Period 3 due today Grading Period 4 10 Nov Speaker to be announced 17 Nov “Role of Conservation Organizations in Fish and Wildlife Management” – Anne Carlson, climate change coordinator, Wilderness Society, Bozeman 24 Nov Thanksgiving break - no class 1 Dec Class Summary “Strategies for Success as an Undergraduate”- Tom McMahon, MSU 8 Dec No Class- Last week of classes 13 Dec *Summary completed for presentations from Grading Period 4 plus Career Goals summary due today (Monday of finals week) by 5:00pm, Dec 13th Example Summary, FWL 201 Michael Jordan -0001568 Mountain Lions, Shawn Riley, October 30 Shawn Riley, a visiting professor from Cornell University, was our speaker this week. Mr. Riley first explained how he became interested in wildlife biology as a career. One interesting aspect of his career choice, is that he remembers his college counselor telling him that he was not college material, and this was one motivation for him, to prove his counselor wrong! He attended MSU, receiving his BS and MS in fish and wildlife management, and is now attending Cornell University for his PhD degree. Early in his career, he performed research on the deer populations of Montana for FWP, and was a wildlife biologist in the Kalispell area where he dealt with mountain lion-human problems in the area. It was experience there that led to his interest in further studying mountain lion-human conflicts and the biological and social reasons for the problem of increased mountain lion attacks. Mountain lions or Felis concolor, the cat of one color, has made a tremendous comeback in recent years. Of the 18 species of large cats in the world, only the mountain lion is increasing in numbers. Shawn explained some of the morphological characteristics of mountain lions that make them such successful predators by showing us a lion skull. Key features of the skull include a flattened nose, large eyes, and relatively few teeth. The eyes are positioned in front of the head, giving the lion very keen, stereoscopic vision. Teeth are made for shearing and cutting, rather than grinding. The average male lion weighs 135- 150 lbs. and can kill a bull elk with only one bite. Perhaps most impressive is its ability to leap 20 feet from a standstill, and up to 40 feet while running full speed. The population increase of mountain lions throughout the west has been met with an increasing frequency of lion attacks on humans. As populations expand into lion habitat, interactions are inevitable. More cats, less habitat, more people, and more garbage and pets in lion habitat has been responsible for the increase in attacks. Also, some states, like Oregon, have seen an increase in incidence of attacks when laws prohibiting lion hunting with dogs were passed, and lion populations have then burgeoned. While lion attacks on humans have received a lot of press, Shawn cautioned that this be put into perspective: lightning kills over 70 people per year, dogs over 20, and more than 30 people die every year from being struck by lightning while playing golf. In contrast, mountain lions kill one person per year. However, much can be done to educate the public to minimize fatalities and adverse interactions. Shawn described the profile of lion attacks. Sixty percent of attacks are carried about by young males who disperse from their mother's territory when they are about 1-2 years old. Lions typically attack smaller adults and children, and do so when humans are alone. Unlike with grizzly attacks, with lions it is advised to make yourself as large and as threatening as possible when threatened by a lion attack. I found Shawn's talk on mountain lions very interesting and thought provoking. His description of having to deal with a lion attack in Kalispell where a cat killed a family dog and nearly attacked a child was fascinating as well as chilling. It really brought home to me the message that wildlife management is not just managing wildlife, but biologists must also deal with humans as part of the equation. His explanation of how to behave in mountain lion country, and the importance of educating people in how to minimize attacks (i.e., care in building country homes, leaving out dog food and having domestic cats) was another important 'take home' message for me.
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