Conservation 451 – Integrated Field School (Aquatic module)


Role: Course TA in the field (primary instructor for amphibian ecology module), UBC, Forestry Department

Details: 6 days total, 3 full days instructing field labs, ~30 students ( 5 students/section and 2 sections/day), deliver 1 evening lecture, create and administer oral exam, write questions for written exam

Dates: Nov 1-7 2009, Oct.31-Nov. 6 2010

Description: The aquatic module of CONS 451 is a one-week intensive field course held at the UBC Malcom Knapp Research Forest. Over the week students rotate through 3 field sites learning lake limnology, fish ecology, aquatic invertebrate biology, stream assessment, and amphibian sampling and conservation. Topical lectures are given each evening and students collect data that is used to write a scientific report. For the amphibian module that I TA’d, students collect field data and compare amphibian and zooplankton communities (food web interactions and top-down effects) between two lake systems. Students also conduct 2 terrestrial amphibian surveys and exposing them to different species and research methods.

Teaching responsibilities: My role as a TA primarily involved the facilitation and instruction of the amphibian sampling and assessment field site. This first involved initial site preparation (setting traps, preparing canoes, checking transect locations). Lakeside instruction involved introducing students to amphibian biology and conservation, demonstrating sampling techniques, facilitating students in their execution of amphibian sampling (3 techniques used) and aiding with specimen identification and questions. I also gave the evening lecture on amphibian biology and conservation, and facilitated the amphibian section of the oral exam.

“Jenn was very knowledgeable and approachable, I really appreciated her genuine concern for student learning and her sense of humor” – CONS 451 student

“Keep her! We like her. She is such a good TA even better than some of the profs I had” – CONS 451 student

Course Website
My Reflections
Instructional guide I designed to help TA lesson planning (2010 / 2009) (PDF File)
Student Feedback 2010 (PDF File)