10/28 - One-on-Two Meetings

posted Oct 26, 2011, 12:09 PM by Alison Appling

Here's the schedule for your independent meetings with Emily and Alison about your project proposals. We'll have the meetings in our classroom this Friday, 10/28/11:

1:00 pm - Santosh
1:30 pm - Abby
2:00 pm - Andrew
2:30 pm - Harrison
3:00 pm - John
3:30 pm - Gaurav
4:00 pm - Georgie
4:30 pm - Jimmy


posted Oct 5, 2011, 1:17 PM by Emily Bernhardt   [ updated Oct 26, 2011, 12:05 PM by Alison Appling ]

Independent Project Proposal Requirements

The instructors of BIO 182LS would like to announce a call for independent research proposals that examine any aspect of aquatic ecology.  Proposals are due by Friday, October 14th at noon.  Please deposit your proposal in DROPitTOme box on the website with the title "LASTNAME.PROPOSAL"

You may choose to submit your proposal through either

The Ecosystem Studies Program supports investigations of whole-system ecological processes and relationships across a diversity of spatial and temporal (including paleo) scales in order to advance understanding of: 1) material and energy fluxes and transformations within and among ecosystems, 2) the relationships between structure, including complexity, and functioning of ecosystems, 3) ecosystem dynamics and trajectories of ecosystem development through time, and 4) linkages among ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales.

The Ecology Program supports studies of interspecific interactions and species diversity at diverse spatial and temporal scales.  These include, but are not limited to, (1) food-web structure and trophic dynamics, (2) biotic interactions, including mutualism, competition, predation and parasitism, (3) mechanisms of coexistence, community assembly and the maintenance of species diversity, (4) co-evolution and (5) landscape ecology, habitat fragmentation and macroecology.  Ecology particularly encourages studies that can be applied to a wide range of habitats and taxa across multiple scales. 

Observational and manipulative approaches in field, mesocosm, and laboratory settings are supported, with the expectation that the research, whether hypothesis- or discovery-driven, have a strong conceptual foundation.

Successful proposals will:


  1. State a motivating question of broad general interest placed within the context of exisiting knowledge available through the peer reviewed literature.
  2. Carefully list the hypotheses or predictions to be tested
  3. Provide a well thought out and reasonable methodology for testing the stated hypotheses/predictions.  Wherever possible standard methods should be used and cited appropriately.
  4. Include a detailed timeline for the research project.


Proposals should be no more than 5 pages of text (including figures or tables).  A bibliography of cited references should be included as a separate file.  All proposals should be submitted as MS Word documents in Times New Roman 11pt font with 1” margins.


A separate list of necessary supplies and analyses should be submitted together with the proposal.

Proposals will be reviewed by both instructors and by 2 fellow students using the attached review form.


posted Sep 27, 2011, 9:51 AM by Alison Appling   [ updated Oct 26, 2011, 12:06 PM ]

Salamander Night Trips

Go see salamanders at night this week! If you aren't already connected with a group that's going, post a comment to this announcement saying when you can go and whether you have a car available.


posted Sep 23, 2011, 1:43 PM by Emily Bernhardt   [ updated Sep 27, 2011, 9:53 AM by Alison Appling ]

For class today send me by noon before class

1) a definition of ecology
2) your favorite question about ponds
3) the citations of 5 papers you read in refining your question / concept map (see Reading Scientific Papers section)
4) a concept map that lays out your question/expectations
   if its not obvious from the concept map - list the key hypothesis/es you want to test


posted Sep 21, 2011, 1:56 PM by Alison Appling   [ updated Sep 27, 2011, 9:44 AM ]

Friday: papers and ponds
Two big events for this Friday:

First, you're sending us your Methods and Results writeup from the Eno River experiment. Go to the Assignment Dropbox page (under Skills and Assignments) and upload that puppy! Your writeup is due anytime before class on Friday the 23rd.

Second, we're off to new field sites: two ephemeral ponds in Duke Forest, and then some bonus sites if there's time. Bring weather-appropriate clothing (rain gear?, thick socks, a hat?) and your field notebook and pencil. We're headed out the door at 1:15 and leaving all you cross-campus commuters if you're even 8 seconds late...just kidding. But please do hurry.  To get prepared you can read a nice natural history essay about marbled salamanders here 


posted Sep 14, 2011, 3:07 PM by Alison Appling   [ updated Sep 16, 2011, 1:25 PM by Emily Bernhardt ]

Your Eno crayfish/snail/clam/macrophyte concept maps are due by 12pm - please email them to Emily.

In class, we will take measurements for an hour or so, then enter and analyze data for the rest of the class period. Bring your laptop and the graphical predictions you shared Wednesday so you can test your predictions with the actual data.


posted Sep 8, 2011, 7:49 AM by Emily Bernhardt   [ updated Sep 16, 2011, 1:24 PM ]

Friday: Crayfish extravaganza

Tomorrow we will meet in the lab at 1:15.  We have a few decisions to make about tasks and approach before we head back out to the Eno.  Alison and I are putting out baited minnow traps this afternoon in the hopes we can catch some crayfish and get a head start on tomorrow's work.  

You should come with your hat/sunscreen/socks or water shoes/field books and pencils and a strong desire to either catch crayfish, sort snails or make experimental enclosures.



posted Aug 31, 2011, 9:18 AM by Emily Bernhardt   [ updated Sep 16, 2011, 1:25 PM ]

First real field trip

We're going to the Eno River for the afternoon.  Meet at 1:15 in Bio 0026 ready to go.  You can wear water shoes and shorts or swimsuits if you want or pick up your boots or waders if you would rather stay dry.  We will basically spend several hours mucking about in the stream with nets and buckets.  You should wear sunscreen and/or a hat and make sure you have your field book.

Before class please read A Guide to Increased Creativity in Research: Inspiration or Perspiration? and come ready to make observations and turn your curiosity into interesting questions. 
Plan to head out from the classroom promptly at 1:15.


posted Aug 24, 2011, 6:59 PM by Emily Bernhardt   [ updated Sep 16, 2011, 1:24 PM ]

First day of class!

We will spend our first day of class (Wednesday) in the woods behind the Biology building. Please dress for the weather (sunscreen and a hat if its hot and sunny, good rain gear if its not). Bring a waterproof field notebook (available at the Duke Bookstore -- medium-sized books are $6.50) and a pencil. We will meet in our classroom (BioSci 0026) for brief introductions and boot fitting before heading out into the field. Don't forget to email Emily with your shoe size!

On Friday we'll be wading and sampling the Eno at the West Point on the Eno city park.  Again, please dress for the weather and bring your field notebook and pencil. Again, we'll meet in BioSci 0026.

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