Biology 361LS: Field Ecology


Reader requirements: professional experience in Biology, Ecology, or Environmental Science who are frequent readers of scientific literature


  1. Course Information
  2. Schedule
  3. Giving Feedback

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Justin Wright

Explore the natural systems of North Carolina through hands-on experimentation. Through student-guided inquiry and field experimentation students will gain experience in formulating hypotheses, designing field observations and experiments, analyzing field data and interpreting results from the fields of ecosystem, community, population, and physiological ecology. In addition to weekly field labs, the course will include a weekend field trip.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Journal article.
For whom? Experts working in biology, ecology, or environmental science.
Where would such writing typically be found? A journal such as Ecology or BioScience.
Why would someone usually read it? To learn the best current answer to a scientific question that has been clearly stated, critically evaluated and thoughtfully discussed.

See examples of reader bios for this course


Schedule

Student – Reader Interactions

Introduction and Student Sign-up by Sept. 14
Matches made by Oct 1

Intro and Methods to Independent Project

  • Nov 4th: Student sends Intro and Methods to Reader
  • by Nov 11th: real-time meeting to discuss results; Reader sends written feedback before meeting

Full Draft of Independent Project

  • Nov 20th: Student sends complete draft to Reader
  • by Dec 1st: real-time meeting to discuss feedback; Reader sends feedback before meeting; Final due Dec 13th

Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is the activity around which the entire project is designed. You may have considerable professional experience giving feedback on writing — whether to colleagues, employees, or other contexts — or perhaps this is an fairly novel experience. Given the aims and nature of the Reader Project, we are hoping that our volunteers engage with student writing in a particular way–one that is quite different from what is conventionally done in other contexts.

The primary aim of the project is to help students really understand what it means to write for readers, rather than as a school assignment. Think about the following when you give feedback, whether in writing or in real time:

  • Respond as a reader rather than as an editor. (They can get basic editorial help from others.) Focus on sharing your reactions to the draft as a user of such writing. What are you thinking as you read? More

Instructor’s response questions:

  • Does the student clearly place his/her research in context?
  • Does the Discussion offer a compelling and clear explanation of the project?