Coke & Som Smith Photography & Travelogue

 

Over the last seven years, I have been using various syllabi for my course titled, "The Natural History of the Olympic Peninsula".  The following syllabus is the most recent one used during fall quarter of 2009. 

 

Check the below links for information and images of the natural history of the Olympic Peninsula:

 

Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians of the Olympic Peninsula

Plant Communities of the Olympic Peninsula

Flora of the Olympic Peninsula

Marine Intertidal Organisms of the Olympic Peninsula

Birds of the Olympic Peninsula

Geology of the Olympic Peninsula

 


 

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA

Peninsula College

COURSE #S-O 009

Fall Quarter, 2009

Meeting Wednesdays and Saturdays 3:30-5:30 PM

From September 23 through December 02, 2009

 

Instructor’s name: Alexander Coke Smith

Phone number and/or email: 360-565-1571 (csmith@portangelesschools.org) 

  • Instructor Qualifications: MS degrees with concentrations in Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Biology and Entomology as well as being an avid traveler and professional lecturer, photographer and naturalist. 

Course Catalog Description: The Olympic Peninsula offers a staggering array of natural communities, habitats and species.  In a very small area, the nature enthusiast can study remarkable geology, dramatic plant communities and their transitions, and hundreds of species of animals of all shapes and sizes.  Within one short day, one can witness the grandeur of the alpine community, the lushness of the one of the wettest temperate rainforests in the world, and the dizzying biodiversity of the peninsula’s marine communities.  The peninsula is truly a dramatic natural laboratory.

In this course, we will emphasize the natural history of the region with special emphasis on the plant and animal communities.  While we will spend time studying the broad biodiversity of the area’s living things, some species will be explored in greater depth than others.  We will study ecological perspectives of the natural residents of the peninsula and their interactions with the environment.  We will also have the opportunity to see these species and interactions first hand in a full day field trip in to the national park.  Washington State clock hours offered.

 

  • Course Objectives: To provide students with a greater appreciation for the natural history and biological diversity of the Olympic Peninsula.

 

Course Outline:

 Day One 23 Sep:      Introductions

                                The Scenic Beauty of the Peninsula

                                What is Natural History?

                                Geology of the Peninsula

 

Day Two 30 Sep:      Glacial History of the Peninsula

                                Refugia and Endemics

 

Day Three 07 Oct:     Evolution & Ecology Primer

                                Plant Communities of the Peninsula –Eel Grass to the Alpine

                                Old Growth Structure           

 

Day Four 14 Oct:       Plant Survey – From Mosses to the Great Giants

 

Day Five 17 Oct:       Saturday Field Trip #1 from 10 AM to sometime in the PM! (Details TBA)

 

Day Six 24 Oct:         Saturday Field Trip #2 – Salt Creek and lowland forest communities

 

Day Seven 28 Oct:    More on plants (if time is needed)

                               Classification Primer

                               The Marine Community – From Algae to Invertebrates

                               The Animal Inhabitants of the Peninsula – Marine Mammals

 

Day Eight 04 Nov:     More on the Animals

                               Terrestrial Invertebrates – Slugs, Snails, and Bugs!

                               Vertebrates – From Mountain Beavers to Roosevelt Elk!

 

Day Nine 18 Nov:      More on Animals

                               Vertebrates Continued – the Salmon

                               Class Aves – Our Feathered Friends

 

Day Eleven 25 Nov:  Field Trip #3 - At my home!  Walk and talk on Land Stewardship and Conservation

                               Issues of the Olympic Peninsula

 

Day Twelve 02 Dec:  Our final meeting!

 

 

 

Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians of the Olympic Peninsula

Plant Communities of the Olympic Peninsula

Flora of the Olympic Peninsula

Marine Intertidal Organisms of the Olympic Peninsula

Birds of the Olympic Peninsula

Geology of the Olympic Peninsula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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