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Natural History of the Invertebrates

Course Description (Bios 488/888): This course is a survey of common invertebrates of western Nebraska, their morphology, life histories, taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, and natural history.  It explores the nature of biodiversity, how that diversity is studied, and the economic importance of various groups of organisms.  Students learn to sample, observe, identify, and understand the activities of a wide variety of conspicuous (and not so conspicuous) invertebrates. Studies in the field and laboratory will address different types of aquatic and terrestrial communities in the Sandhills.

Pairs of students also conduct independent research projects, reported to the class as an oral and written report.  Approximately two-thirds of the class time is spent in the field.  There are weekly quizes and a required collection.

Students should expect to acquire from this course: (1) the ability to identify common invertebrates of Nebraska; (2) an understanding of the relationships of these organism; (3) an understanding of invertebrate community structure in the Great Plains; (4) experience designing and conducting field experiments; (5) a savage tan.



Example Class Projec

Example Class Paper

Pictures from Course