The University of Notre Dame Department of Biological Sciences offers a 9 and 1/2 week summer field-oriented environmental biology course (BIOS 35502-01: Practicum in Field Environmental Biology) to undergraduate students enrolled at Notre Dame, St. Mary's College, and other colleges around the country. The course, which has been offered since 1976 (orignally listed as BIOS 569), provides training in aquatic, terrestrial, and environmental biology through lecture and field experience with a variety of aquatic and terrestrial organisms and natural habitats. It also includes an independent research project developed by each student under the direction and with the assistance of a department of Biological Sciences faculty member, graduate student or visiting faculty member. At the end of the summer course, each student prepares an oral presentation and a research paper presenting the results of the summer's field research. Detailed course description.
A one-credit introductory course (BIOS 35501-01: Introduction to UNDERC) during the spring semester provides students with the basic background in aquatic, terrestrial, and environmental biology necessary for the field course. Training in the design of experiments, data collection and analysis, and the presentation of research results is included. Student materials (weekly handouts, Powerpoint presentations, etc.) are posted on-line (see below) for off-campus students not able to attend or enroll in the course.
The course is open to 25 students, which includes at least fifteen Notre Dame and St. Mary's students majoring in science. Up to ten non-Notre Dame/St. Mary's students also are admitted each year, including four Native American students (sponsored by our current NSF Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology grant). Tuition, transportation, and housing for the summer field course are subsidized. Notre Dame/St. Mary's student endowments are provided by Notre Dame Trustee Bernard J. Hank. Non-Notre Dame student endowments are provided by the University of Notre Dame and the NSF Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology grant for Native Americans. Up to 10 students from the UNDERC-East program continue the experience the following summer at UNDERC-West in Montana. Details.
Please visit our forms page for application materials to the UNDERC-East and UNDERC-West programs.
UNDERC also provides a natural laboratory for field courses in winter biology, field parasitology, and advanced aquatic methods.
Final papers from previous student participants of BIOS 35502-01 are now available in .pdf format. Click here to view the available years.
For access to the UNDERC-West student papers, please visit our UNDERC-West Education section.
BIOS 35501-01: Introduction to UNDERC (Spring Introductory Course) Syllabus
BIOS 35501-01: Course Material
BIOS 33502-01: Practicum in Environmental Field Biology (Course runs from May 20 to July 26, 2013)
Tentative BIOS 35502-01 Schedule:
|May 20||Leave for UNDERC from ND|
|May 22-May 23||Statistics||Belovsky|
|May 24||GLIFWC Field Trip (Tentative)|
|May 25||Property Survival Hike|
|May 26||Proposals Due|
|May 26-June 1||Mammalogy/Ornithology Module||Dr. Michael Cramer|
|June 2-June 8||Forest Ecology Module||Dr. Walt Carson|
|June 9-June 15||Research Week|
|June 16-June 22||Insect Ecology Module||Dr. Tony Joern|
|June 23-June 29||Herpetology Module||Dr. Matt Michel|
|June 30-July 6||Research Week|
|July 7-July 13||Aquatic Ecology Module||Dr. Todd Crowl|
|July 14-July 20||Research Week|
|July 22||Final Papers Due|
|July 23-July 24||Presentations|
|July 25||Dorm and Lab Cleanup|
|July 26||Leave UNDERC for ND|
Habitats: grasslands, montane forest, and streams