[BIOL 0302]
Vertebrate Natural History

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Professor: Trombulak S

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Average (0%)
Valuable (100%)


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Competitive (100%)

Class Atmosphere

Boring (77.8%)
Average (22.2%)
Fascinating (0%)

Prep Time Needed

1-2hr (11.1%)
3-5hr (55.6%)
6-8hr (22.2%)
9-11hr (11.1%)
12+ hr (0%)

Grade Weighting

Harder (0%)
Average (11.1%)
Easier (88.9%)

Adequate Assistance

Yes (100%)
No (0%)

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Yes (100%)
No (0%)

Evaluation Comments for Trombulak S

  1. This is an amazing class, if you like field work or animals. It's all about learning field techniques for handling verts so bird banding is a main focus, you go out around sunrise 2 times per week in the first half of the semester (an amazing experience). You learn to trap small mammals in Sherman traps and you also go electrofishing which is really cool. If you are squeamish here's your warning, you will have to skin a rat to make a study skin, and there is a gill netting trip (a technique that basically kills the fish). Overall my favorite class at Middlebury, but the final is difficult so be ready to do a lot of studying, but Steve is very honest in his expectations of the information you should know.
  2. No Comment
  3. BEST CLASS I HAVE EVER TAKEN and will forever be remembered. I constantly find myself thinking back to holding the tiny birds and missing it. Missing it so much that I want to give up my mornings to TA it when it is offered again. The first 6 weeks are class-time intensive and you lose parts of the first 3 weekends, but really not much and those experiences are so fun that you won't mind anyways. Stay on top of your field journal and you'll be all set. It will be easier for you if you try to learn the latin names along the way rather than waiting until the end, but as someone said, there are no curve balls. The final is very straightforward. Take this class. You will not regret it. Steve is the man!
  4. By far the best class I've taken here--though not at all an academic class, per se. Early morning bird banding sessions, an overnight at Breadloaf, hiking Mt. Abe, etc... I learned more about the natural community that surrounds me than anything else in any other class this term! We became colleagues of Steve--fellow learners and enthusiasts about birds, fish, herps, mammals, etc. Most everybody in the class was totally psyched to be there, too.
  5. Take this class. You will hate Steve for making you wake up at 5:30 am and for stealing your weekends, but there's nothing comparable to the feeling you get when you hold a live bird in your hand. I miss this class like it's my job.
  6. I also miss this class like it's my job. It turned me into a huge bird/mammal nerd (in a good way). There are inevitably a lot of fun people in the class - who aren't afraid of the 5am wakeup for mist-netting or the weekend field trips. It's a lot of work, but entirely worth it.
  7. This class is amazing and I wish everyone interested in biology/environmental science could take it. No other class at Midd is a field-based course like this one. You have to wake up early for bird banding twice a week (6am-9am), plus lab and for the first 3 weekends you have field trips (but they are really cool, one is an overnight). It gives you a better understanding and appreciation for nature. I love that I'm able to identify a lot of animals, even though my friends think it's kind of nerdy. This is definitely my favorite class at Midd so far, and probably will be my favorite until I graduate.
  8. Wake up at 5:30 two days a week to band birds, once a week in the afternoon to electrofish at Lewis Creek, and for the first three weekends go mammal trapping. This is not your average class. The first 6 weeks will fill up your schedule, but homework-wise not too bad, just a few readings and maintaining your field journal. The second 6 weeks is just once a week indoor labs looking at specimens, and for finals preparing for your oral presentation, memorizing latin names and writing the Inventory Report. Even if you are not a con bio major (I'm not), if you have any interest in the natural world this is an amazing class. Two tips I wish I had followed: keep updated on your field notebook, and start early on the memorization for the lab practical. (Which by the way Steve will not throw any curveballs at you, be familiar with what/where we've seen in the field). Learning to capture and band birds is pretty cool, but more than that this class made me put in context the relevance of natural history, and why it matters.
  9. Best bio class at midd. You'll also great great hands on skills if you're interesting in pursuing field workor ecology researcg in the future or for summer employment.

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