The Department of Environmental Science and Ecology offers several lab-based courses
where students gain hands-on field experience. Class field trips often explore local
places such as Mendon Ponds Park, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Ontario,
and many more! Check out our recent field experiences below!
Environmental ScienceThe environmental science lab conducts aquatic macroinvertebrate surveys in Sandy
Creek. Students often find crayfish, mayflies, and stoneflies, to name a few!
EcologyStudents in ecology visit Northampton Park, where they gain experience measuring species
diversity and carbon storage in forest plots. The goal of this lab is to determine
whether a more diverse forest is more productive (i.e., stores more carbon) than a
forest with low species diversity.
Fish BiologyStudents in fish biology have the opportunity to experience boat and backpack electrofishing
on Sandy Creek, where they witness the Chinook salmon spawning migration in full effect.
Other species that the students have caught includes northern pike, largemouth bass,
and yellow perch.
Plant DiversityStudents in plant diversity visit several local parks such as Gosnell Big Woods Preserve,
Black Creek Park, and Washington Grove to practice fall plant identification and learn
demographic sampling methods.
LimnologyLimnology students take trips out on to Lake Ontario and the Erie Canal aboard the
RV Madtom to sample and analyze the chemical properties of the water, and to collect
zooplankton and phytoplankton samples.
Wetland EcologyWetland ecology students visit many of the local wetlands, including Kennedy Bog at
Mendon Ponds Park, Bergen Swamp, and coastal wetlands along Lake Ontario to learn
about wetland function and values, as well as to develop their wetland plant identification
HerpetologyIn herpetology, students visit many of the local 'hotspots' to find reptiles and amphibians
and gain experience with identification, proper handling techniques, and capture and