Viewing: BSC 514 / : Studying Animal Behavior

Last approved: Fri, 01 Feb 2019 09:00:27 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 31 Jan 2019 18:09:48 GMT

Changes proposed by: jllubisc
Change Type
BSC (Biological Sciences)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Studying Animal Behavior
Studying Animal Behavior
College of Sciences
Biological Sciences (17BSC)
Biology/Biological Sciences, General.
Term Offering
Summer Only
Offered Every Year
Summer I 2019
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
ZO 592217620
ZO 592216618
ZO 592215618
Course Delivery
Distance Education (DELTA)
Online (Internet)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
Miles Engell
Teaching Associate Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Delivery FormatPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing or Permission of the Instructor
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Studies in the behavior of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, focusing on the mechanisms and evolution of animal behavior. Topics include neural, hormonal, and genetic bases of behavior; foraging; anti-predator defenses; mating systems and sexual selection; social behavior; communication; parental care; territoriality; and habitat selection. The course will emphasize scientific approaches to studying animal behavior, including through observation.

We have been asked by faculty in Education to provide more online summer courses for their graduate students, many of whom have to take a number of science courses as part of their graduate work. This course is designed for in-service teachers, for graduate students pursuing a degree in education, and for other professionals who have an education component to their work.  This course will serve as an elective in the newly approved online Graduate Certificate in Biology for Educators.


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

College(s)Contact NameStatement Summary
College of Educationsee attached letter
No new resources are requested -- Dr. Engell will receive compensation through DE program or summer course receipts.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain historical roots of ethology

  2. Describe animal behavior in a phylogenetic context and the influence of ancestry on behavior

  3. Explain proximate causes of behavior from the standpoints of hormones, neurobiology, genetics, and development

  4. Compare the role of learning in animal behavior (including individual learning) with various forms of cultural transmission

  5. Explain why various mating systems exist and the role of sexual selection in influencing mating behaviors

  6. Describe causes for altruistic behavior while considering kinship, cooperation, and social groups

  7. Explain principles of optimal foraging and how risk influences foraging decisions

  8. Compare various approaches to avoiding predation and interacting with predators when encountered

  9. Compare roles of communication and honesty or dishonesty in signalin

  10.  Apply the scientific method to the study of animal behavior, including drawing inferences from observations

  11. Conduct a series of observations of animal behavior using a variety of species.

  12. Generate a hypothesis about the behavior of one particular animal.

  13. Conduct a research literature survey to determine what is known about that animal’s behavior.

  14. Use the research literature to support or refute your hypothesis.

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Multiple exams2003 exams (called reviews in the syllabus), each worth 100 points -- only 2 of 3 will count toward the final score
Other903 species observations, each worth 30 points (Called Dog/Cat Observation, Squirrel Observation, and Mockingbird Observation on the syllabus)
Quizzes60on Dr. Tatiana reading
Project100Survey of Behaviors and related Research Paper
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
see syllabus
mlnosbis 11/7/2018:
1) Effective date must be Spring 2019 or later.
2) The evaluation methods on the CIM form do not match what is in the syllabus.
3) Syllabus must include all required items listed in the Graduate Course Syllabus Checklist, attached under Additional Documentation.

cohen (11/11/2018):
1. There are problems with the grading scale on the syllabus. For example, what grade is given for a 97?
2. This course is a 500-level course and may not be taken for credit only. So the following sentence in the syllabus needs to be deleted:
Students taking the course for credit only (S/U) must complete all assignments and achieve a final
average of 70% or better to receive a grade of “S”.
3. The syllabus makes it clear that there are no make-ups. But what happens if a student has an unforeseen emergency? Will accommodations be made?
4. I did not see the letter from the College of Education. Please summarize it or attach it.
5. I suspect that there will not be a problem with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. But in order to head off any potential problems, please consult with Dr. John Dole before the action is sent to the reviewers.

jllubisc (11/12/2018):
1) Done
2) They do match. I added some notes to CIM to help make this clear.
3) Updated the DRO statement (your checklist needs to be updated, too) and added the OIED hyperlink. I'm not sure what else is missing.

1. Grading scale fixed.
2. Okay. But I think y'all should revisit that rule. The decision between letter-graded and SU should be done at the curricular level (for requirements) and at the instructor level (for courses in which SU is not appropriate) and at the individual student level (I really want to take this grad course, but it will be a heavy load and I don't want it to impact my GPA), rather than at the course number level.
3. Statement added.
4. Letter has been added. It's the same letter we used for other similar course actions.
5. Consultation response is copied below. The instructor is happy to work with students on species of greatest interest to them and will make this clear to all students.

On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 5:22 PM John Dole <> wrote:

From Joan Eisemann:

"Although the course doesn't focus on domestic animals, there is the option to include observations of domestic animals for the assignments. This has greater focus on domestic house animals (dogs and cats) than domestic non-house animals (cows, horses). I think the course will be of interest to animal science students, particularly, the MAS students. The breadth of the course is a strength. The option to include more focus on non-house domestic animals for observations, rather than limiting this, might increase interest for our students. It isn't clear why this is limited or why there is a particular focus on domestic house animals."


ABGS Reviewer Comments 1/18/2019:
- no concerns
allloyd (Thu, 25 Jan 2018 14:08:09 GMT): Rollback: rolled back for edits at Program's request
allloyd (Thu, 25 Jan 2018 14:43:14 GMT): Rollback: Rolled back for edits at Program's request
Key: 19977
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