Mammals and Birds in the Landscape


Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 quarters

Taught by

landscape ecology, physical geography climate, landforms, biogeography, spatial analysis/GIS
conservation biology, wildlife management


One quarter of ecology, animal behavior, zoology, conservation biology, or landscape ecology.

How do we manage the habitat of mammals and birds, especially endangered species, in the Pacific Northwest? Mammals and birds are intelligent, complex animals that often have very specific habitat needs for successful living and reproduction. They interact in very elaborate ways with members of their species, other species, and with the landscape as a whole.  A detailed understanding of habitat needs and how these habitats are distributed across the landscape is crucial to managing landscape to ensure future survival of particular species.

This upper-division program will focus on examining and analyzing the habitat needs of specific species. Students will learn, develop and apply an intricate interdisciplinary suite of knowledge and techniques that include spatial analysis, ecological modeling, integration of scientific, legal and political information, and computer tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to develop habitat conservation plans for threatened and endangered species as listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Students will learn about the natural history of specific mammals and birds of the Pacific Northwest and other regions.  Habitat analysis will be conducted at the landscape scale, integrating the disciplines of landscape ecology with wildlife habitat analysis, wildlife biology, and habitat conservation planning. A final two-quarter project will be to develop and present a formal habitat conservation plan (HCP) for a threatened or endangered Pacific Northwest mammal or bird. Students will be required to understand and apply legal concepts associated with the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) as well as develop an understanding of stakeholders’ concerns and related issues surrounding resource users that may or may not come into conflict with the conservation of their selected species.

Lectures will cover the areas of landscape ecology, wildlife habitat analysis, wildlife biology, evolution, and habitat conservation planning. Guest speakers will present recent case studies and approaches to conservation planning. Field trips to locations where wildlife management and conservation are occurring will expose students to methods of habitat assessment, conservation and restoration.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

wildlife management and conservation, conservation planning, landscape ecology, ecology, and geography.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$220 in fall and $180 in winter for overnight field trips.

Upper Division Science Credit

Upper division science credit may be earned in GIS and spatial analysis, landscape ecology, habitat conservation planning, and ecosystem research for advanced work in the program. 


Date Revision
November 25th, 2013 Preparatory work for students joining the program in winter quarter has been clarified.
August 30th, 2013 Dina Roberts has joined this program.
April 26th, 2013 Fees have been added.
April 9th, 2013 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 36


Course Reference Number

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 10262

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Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students wishing to join the program in the winter need to have background in GIS and landscape ecology. Students are also expected to catch up on several fronts. This will include fall quarter readings and Moodle site notes, on-line GIS tutorials, and understanding of relevant issues surrounding the development of Habitate Conservation Plans. Incoming students will be required to assimilate into an existing student research group conducting an HCP and to review and understand the groups approach and results to date.  Please contact  Peter Impara for additional details.

Course Reference Number

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 20215

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