R. H. Wiley: Teaching

BIOLOGY 476/476L

SPRING SEMESTERS, 1:00-3:50 Wednesday & Friday, 218 WILSON HALL


[For important information about registration -- click here!]


This course focuses on identification of North Carolina birds as a means for understanding the evolution, ecology, behavior, and conservation of birds.

Students must enroll in the lectures and labs concurrently.   The lectures consist of discussions one afternoon a week.   They serve as preparation for the laboratories, which consist entirely of field trips on week-ends.

By the end of the semester students have learned to identify many North American birds and have had experience with major techniques for studying birds and other animals in the field.

Students interested in field biology often use this experience to plan summer internships or independent research projects.


This course offers nine field trips:

  • seven trips early on Sunday mornings to locations nearby;
  • one week-end trip to the Outer Banks in late January or early February; and
  • one overnight trip to the southeastern coast in April.

For local trips, we usually leave early and return by noon.   It's a new perspective on the world -- get a good alarm clock and come see what's going on before most people are awake!

On our week-end trip in late January or early February we visit the Outer Banks at a time when there are far more birds than people!

In April we usually camp overnight ... some place with birds to awaken us in the morning ... and even to keep us awake at night!

Biology Department vehicles provide the transportation for these trips.   We also have binoculars for everybody.   For the trip to the Outer Banks, the costs of rooms and most meals are shared by all participants (this year not more than $65 per person).


Requirements include quizzes in class and reports on field trips.   In addition, each student writes a paper and makes a presentation on a topic of the student's choice.



Enrollment is limited to one section of 12 students, so everyone can participate in the field.

If you might be interested in this course, read the web site for the course for more information.

If you are still interested in this course, please send me a note before registration begins in October
(briefly explain your interest in the course and include your PIN).

You may . . .

  • send an email message to rhwiley@email.unc.edu

  • stop by my office any time (323 Wilson Hall)

  • call (962-1340) or email to make an appointment

  • put a note in campus mail (address it to R. H. Wiley, Biology Department, CB#3280)
Seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen ...
any student who has had introductory biology and at least one other Biology course ...
and an interest in biology outdoors ...
is welcome!


BIOL 476 web site

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