Biology Department - Course Materials

Biology 431 - Field Biology and Natural History of Amphibians of the Pacific Northwest

Fall, 2009


Evening field trips every other week will be taken to a variety of habitats to study the diversity and natural history of a fascinating group of animals. On alternate weeks students will lead discussions on the evolution of life history strategies and conservation in amphibians.


This course has 2 goals. First, we will become familiar with species of amphibians of the region, some of which are endemic and/or endangered and in the process learn a variety of field techniques. Second, we will use these species and the current literature associated with them to engage in group discussions of issues in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. The course will include numerous evening field trips; regular discussion groups; and the presentation of several formal seminars by each participant. Discussions of how to read the primary literature, participate in discussions, and give seminars will also be emphasized. A prior course in population biology, animal behavior, or plant evolution is required.

Recommended Texts -

Collins, James P. and Martha L. Crump. 2009. Extinction in Our Times. Oxford University Press. New York.

Wells, K. W. 2007. The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians. University of Chicago Press. Chicago, IL.

Recommended Guides -

Jones, L. L. C., W. P. Leonard and D. H. Olson, eds. 2006. Amphibians of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle Audubon Society. Seattle, WA.

Nussbaum, R. A., E. D. Brodie, Jr., and R. M. Storm.1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest, Univ. of Idaho Press, Moscow, ID.

Meeting Time -The class will meet on non-field trip nights Tuesdays between 6:00 and 8:00 PM in B200A. On field trip nights we will take off on Tuesdays at 6:00 and return by 11:00 PM.


The course is taught by Robert H. Kaplan.

Recommended Links -


Encyclopedia of Life

The Tree of Life Home Page

Frost et al. 2006. The Amphibian Tree of Life

Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA)

Titus' Amphibians and Reptiles of Oregon

A Key to the Anuran Tadpoles of the United States and Canada

Amphibian Specialist Group

Korean Working Group of the DAPTF

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Species Pages

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Maintained by the Reed College Biology Department
Last Modified 08/28/09
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