CARNIVORES
This course will provide a foundation for understanding issues concerning carnivores. Carnivores have long fascinated humans as a remarkable group and for the clues they can shed on our own behavior and cultures. Brookfield Zoo specialist can provide insight into such species as lions, tigers, leopards, bears, penguins, dolphin, seals and sea lions, snakes, birds of prey and small and medium cat species.

Class Code:
Course Credits: 3
On-line work and face-to-face four meetings
Summer Semester

Note: This course meets every other year.

Course themes:
1. Know classification and evolution of carnivores
2. Articulate carnivore conservation
3. Design methods of behavioral studies
4. Know comparative biology, physiology and behavior of carnivore species
5. Employ inquiry-based learning

CLIMATE CHANGE

Participants will study the many causes of climate change and investigate potential actions to address global warming. During the class, participants will discuss how polls affect public opinion, terms associated with global warming, the affects of the greenhouse gases on oceans, weather and climate, ice caps, the “Six Americans” study, deforestation, and potential affects on Illinois. At the end of this course, participants have a solid understanding of current issues surrounding global warming and strategies for taking action on a local level to address global warming.

Class Code: BOT 699.J
Course Credits: 3
Online work and four face-to-face meetings
Fall term

Note: This course is offered every other year.

Course themes:
1. Investigate global warming issues to understand causes and impacts in natural populations; analyze solutions to these issues and the effects in species conservation
2. Strategies for engaging in local conservation action
3. Explore principles of climate change
4. Learn about polls, the “Six Americans” study, and how polls affect public perception
5. Explore potential effects of global warming on the Great Lakes region


ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP IN MY COMMUNITY
Students in this course investigate environmental stewardship, research science and conservation opportunities and solutions in their local communities, practice inquiry-based learning, develop a conservation project to be used in their classroom or community, and reflect on ecological and carbon footprints. At the end of this course, students will have a solid understanding of community-based conservation, with a particular emphasis on current issues facing local habitats in the communities where they live. Students will also explore and begin to design stewardship strategies for empowering their own students or community members to generate solutions and take action. This is a hybrid course with interaction on-site and in Dragonfly’s web-based learning community.

Class Code: BOT 656
Course Credits: 3
Online work and three face-to-face meetings
Fall semester

Note: This is a required course.


Course Themes and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students in this course will:
• Organize inquiry projects that drive learning in science and integrated topics.
• Interpret the life sciences through conservation issues and current research being conducted in local communities to understand causes and impacts; critically analyze solutions to these issues.
• Explore and apply the principles of sustainability and community-based conservation.
• Design strategies for engaging students or community members in local conservation action.
• Assess human demand on the planet’s ecosystems by exploring ecological and carbon footprints, and formulate ideas for increasing and supporting sustainability within their own communities
• Employ community resources, including the AIP Master Institution environment, and outreach to create connections and use the network as a learning resource.
• Engage in reflective and evaluative peer review in face-to-face environments and on the web to provide colleagues with personal insight, new perspectives or analyses, ideas for useful applications, and connections to other research and projects.

FOUNDATIONS OF INQUIRY
This course engages students in exploring the foundations of inquiry-based teaching and learning while students gain a new familiarity with Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) Master Institution (MI) facilities as informal science education settings. Through making observations on zoo grounds, developing comparative questions, devising investigations to answer those questions and communicating results, participants will experience the full process of inquiry and will learn how to guide this process with their own students and in their own communities. This type of first‐hand, experiential learning encourages independent and critical thinking, increasing the student’s awareness and concern for the local communities’ environment and inhabitants. Students will engage in activities that demonstrate the applications of inquiry in the classroom, on zoo grounds, in the schoolyard and other settings. Through this course, students will develop the investigation, critical reflection, and collaboration skills needed to lead inquiry‐driven learning for diverse communities. They will learn to develop a comparative question, design an inquiry‐driven scientific study, and develop their skills in scientific writing and research. Students will come away with information and techniques for applying inquiry in classroom and informal education settings, developing inquiry skills and assessing inquiry-based learning that they can use in their own communities. This is a hybrid course with interaction on-site and in Dragonfly’s web-based learning community.

Note: Required as first course in AIP program


Class Code: BOT 654
Course Credits: 3
Online work and five face-to-face meetings
Summer semester

Course Themes and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students in this course will:
• Construct an understanding of the nature of science, and investigate models of inquiry in the life sciences
• Assess and interpret existing research projects in the life sciences, e.g. on the structure, function, behavior and evolution of plants and animals
• Create and conduct their own field research projects by selecting research questions, making predictions, designing methodologies, exploring experimental design to take measurements/employing data collection strategies and analyze data to arrive at new understandings of their research topics; connect results to benefits to human and ecological communities
• Engage in and design inquiry projects as a tool for participatory learning
• Assess methods for evaluation when using inquiry-based approaches
• Become familiar with Miami University’s Instructional Review Board (IRB) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), complete CITI ethical research training prior to gathering data about humans, and complete AALAS ethical research training prior to gathering data about vertebrate animals
• Employ community resources, including the AIP Master Institution environment, to create connections and use the network as a learning resource
• Engage in reflective and evaluative peer review in face-to-face environments and on the web to provide colleagues with personal insight, new perspectives or analysis, ideas for useful applications, and connections to other research projects.

GRADUATE RESEARCH: INDEPENDENT STUDY

This is a pass/fail course. This course provides AIP students with the opportunity to do intensive research on a topic or topics that directly contribute to the student’s Master Plan. Research may take the form of direct observations but must also include an extensive literature review. The final project includes a written research paper and may include other product (short movie, website, multimedia presentation, etc.). This experience is intended to add depth and insight to the student’s master plan and the student is expected to take on significant responsibilities within the chose independent study topic.

Class Code: BIO 620
Course Credits: 1 - 2
Online work and individual meetings with the instructor
Any semester after the first year in the program

Course themes:

1. Think critically to research facts and solutions to real world issues
2. Conduct extensive research, synthesize information, and expand on the understanding of the topic
3. Reach novel and sound conclusions and ideas based on research information
4. Master research skills and develop a final synthesis product

GRADUATE RESEARCH: INTERNSHIP
This is a pass/fail course. This course provides AIP students with the opportunity to work one-on-one with Zoo professionals and/or Community leaders on projects that directly contribute to the student’s Master Plan. This experience is intended to be pragmatic, and the student is expected to take on significant responsibilities within the chosen internship.

Class Code: BIO 620
Course Credits: 2-3
Online work and individual meetings with the instructor
Any semester after the first year in the program

Course themes:

1. Think critically to develop solutions to real world issues
2. Network and work collaboratively with professionals in their chosen fields
3. Explore career opportunities and develop a more informed plan for post-graduation success
4. Develop a unique set of skills that will enhance their Master Plan objectives

GREAT LAKES ECOSYSTEM
The focus of this course is the study of the biology of the Great Lakes watershed, combining classroom work with field science inquiry and research. In addition to exploring the general function of watersheds, students become familiar with historical and contemporary human influences on ecosystems within the watershed basin, and they discuss and understand negative human impacts including point and non-point source pollution, multiple-stressors, “urban stream syndrome,” and local sewage treatment and its relationship to the basin. Students gain skills observing and describing biotic and abiotic characteristics of area watershed ecosystems and understand the status of threatened and endangered species in the watershed basin. This is a hybrid course with interaction on-site and in Dragonfly’s web-based learning community.

Class Code: BOT 659
Course Credits: 3
Online work and five face-to-face meetings
Summer semester

Course Themes and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students in this course will:
• Engage with field researchers to construct a firsthand, on-the-ground understanding of the biodiversity and ecology of the Great Lakes basin watershed, which includes the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth
• Observe and describe aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal species; observe, test and describe the function and current conditions of the watershed waterways
• Explore and interpret long-term research projects on the ecology and conservation of the area
• Describe the effects of the Lakes’ geologic history and land formation on the current biotic and abiotic communities
• Explain the effect of invasives on native plant and animal species
• Assess current water quality and ecosystem stresses, including the effect of invasives, non-point source pollution, sewage treatment and other human influences on the Great Lakes ecosystem
• Employ community resources, including the AIP Master Institution environment, to create connections and use the network as a learning resource.
• Engage in reflective and evaluative peer review in face-to-face environments and on the web to provide colleagues with personal insight, new perspectives or analyses, ideas for useful applications, and connections to other research and projects.

MASTER PLAN IN ACTION

The AIP Master Plan (MP) represents a student’s ideas and areas of interest as those ideas relate to the student’s professional and community goals. By writing a Master Plan, students are able to focus their AIP journey and visualize the actions and steps that they might take toward completing their master’s degree during the 2.5- to 5-year timeframe. During this course with guidance and input from peers and the AIP Cohort advisor, students work on completing their Master Plans. This method ensures that students have a workable plan that helps them anticipate ways to incorporate the projects they create as part of their AIP experiences into their professional and life goals. Students will also think about the common threads and program tenets among the projects in this cohesive body of work, which ultimately becomes their final master’s portfolio due as the culminating experience at the end of their degree. This is a hybrid course with interaction on-site and in Dragonfly’s web-based learning community.
Through readings, discussions, and peer review, students will answer the following questions:
• What do you want to accomplish by the end of your AIP degree program?
• What is the focus of your Master Plan (inquiry-driven interpretation, public engagement, schoolyard ecology, community-based learning, land use, animal behavior and conservation, etc.)?
• Does your AIP focus include a specific setting (school, informal setting, state government, urban ecosystems, etc.)? A specific community (local businesses, at-risk youth, etc.)?
• How do you plan to build on your zoo experiences, inquiry skills, community skills, and content knowledge to make changes in local and global contexts?

Class Code: BOT 655
Course Credits: 2
Online work and four face-to-face meetings
Summer semester

Note: This is a required course.


Course Themes and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students in this course will:
• Develop, expand and revise a focused research plan or social action strategy that includes a timeline for conducting anticipated projects
• Design a Master Plan to ensure community engagement is well represented in a student’s selected projects; projects use established methodologies including participatory action research (PAR), inquiry, and participatory education (PE)
• Examine, critique, and apply research methodologies, including investigating experimental design and data analysis, from published studies
• If not already accomplished, prepare and submit a research proposal to Miami University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and/or the institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC); research will occur in the semester(s) following approval
• Evaluate colleague’s Master Plans and project work, including conducting critical peer review, and respond to individual and peer discussion about their own Master Plan
• Employ community resources, including the AIP Master Institution environment, and outreach to create connections, build community partnerships, and use the network as a learning resource to increase the effectiveness of the Master Plan
• Engage in reflective and evaluative peer review in face-to-face environments and on the web to provide colleagues with personal insight, new perspectives or analyses, ideas for useful application, and connections to other research and projects.

PROBLEMS IN ZOOLOGY: BOOK DISCUSSION: ISHMAEL AND COLLAPSE
This pass/fail seminar centers on the books, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, by Daniel Quinn (1992) and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (2005/2011). These unique books focus on the tension between humankind and the Earth. While Quinn divides humankind into two simple groups, Takers and Leavers, Diamond holds a complex theory about causes of the success or failure of societies. Online discussion and on-site meetings allow the student to investigate their own beliefs about conservation theories, investigate local conservation examples, and examine their personal role (and barriers) in caring for the Earth.

Course Code: ZOO 620
Course Credits: 1
Online work and two face-to-face meetings
Spring term

Course Themes:

1. Increasing awareness of contemporary conservation issues
2. Developing an awareness of modern humankind’s effect on the Earth
3. Thinking critically and scientifically about environmental issues
4. Developing critical review skills when reading literature

ZOO EXPEDITIONS: PLANTS AND PEOPLE
As is evidenced by the schoolyard ecology movement, the popularity of Richard Louv's recent book Last Child In the Woods, and the large number of people enjoying outside activities, everyone is increasingly realizing the power of local environments to engage in powerful learning experiences. Join Brookfield Zoo in exploring the power of inquiry to generate knowledge and illuminate the relationships between plants and people. Interact with ecologists, botanists, and classmates, while developing great ideas for using natural and cultivated plant communities.

Course Code: BOT/GLG/IES/ZOO 695
Course Credits: 3
Online work and four face-to-face meetings
Fall term

Note: This course is offered every other year.

Course Themes:
1. Inquiry-based learning
2. Relationships between plants and people
3. The use of wild and cultivated spaces in education
4. Methods of botanical investigations
5. Curricular development and educational leadership.

ZOO EXPEDITIONS: PRIMATES
Graduate students in this course investigate primate conservation and behavior through direct observation. Primates have long fascinated us as a remarkable group in their own right, and for the clues they can shed on our own behavior and cultures. Callimicos, Spider Monkeys, Brown Capuchins, White Cheeked Gibbons, Orangutans, Mandrills, Mangabeys, Lowland Gorillas and other primates are ideal for comparative studies on topics ranging from social structure to communication. This course will provide a foundation for understanding research methods and conservation issues.

Course Code: BOT/GLG/IES/ZOO 696
Course Credits: 3
Online work and four face-to-face meetings
Summer term

Note: This course is offered every other year.

Course themes:
1. Classification and evolution of primates
2. Primate conservation
3. Design and methods of behavioral studies
4. Curricular development and educational leadership
5. Current technology used in primate care and conservation