Session two of college courses included everything from Field Methods in Oceanography to Marine Botany. Coastal Ornithology is a unique course taught by Dr. Nathan Thomas of Shippensburg University every-other year at the Field Station.
Coastal Ornithology is designed for students to achieve a strong understanding of a variety of aspects in ornithology with a primary focus on field techniques, including identification. Material covered includes evolution, anatomy, physiology, behavior and ecology. A portion of the course also included an overview of the avian families of North America, especially those found in coastal regions along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard.
This field-intensive model is how most of the summer college courses are at Chincoteague Bay Field Station. Labs, outdoor learning, hands-on education, use of professional equipment, and one-on-one student interaction with professors sets these courses apart from the traditional summer course.
Shippensburg University senior, Bailey Wildasin, couldn't agree more, "We spent over half the time in the field identifying birds. This helped us to learn the birds better because we could see them in person and not just in a picture. We also got to see them in their habitat which related back to other things we learned in lecture such as nesting and human impact."
Interested in taking a college course on the Shore this next summer? A tenitive schedule for 2017 is available online to help you plan your education at www.cbfieldstation.org/college.
Be sure to check out the video below where Dr. Thomas describes the importance of these field-based courses.