Natural Lands Biodiversity Program

The Science Department offers a certificate program in ecological monitoring and field research called “Natural Lands” each semester. Those enrolled will attend three meetings/cycle as well as three or four Saturday outings during the semester. This program is different from traditional course offerings and may be taken in addition to a six-class course load. It will not carry departmental course credit, but students who complete the semester will receive a Certificate in Natural History and Ecology. Students may enroll in one or both semesters and can participate in more than one year.

Core studies focus on ecological studies and data analysis, coupled with exploration of regional policy issues of greatest importance to conservation. There will be extensive outdoor field work during the warmer months (September to mid-November in semester one, mid-March to early June in semester two), studying pollinating insects (especially flower flies and native solitary bees), salamanders and toads, small mammals, native wildflowers, and migratory birds. Site visits will include trips to biologically diverse Natural Lands preserves and other nearby natural areas. Students will participate in habitat restoration work through native plantings and invasive plant removal and may develop web-based publications or seminar presentations outlining individual findings. (Open to students in grades 10-12)