16 Jan 2007                               ECOLOGY INTERNSHIP: ZOOLOGY 677

Spring 2007 -- STANLEY DODSON sidodson@wisc.edu


GOALS:  My goals for this course are:

1.  To offer an applied, service-learning, ecology course that makes a difference for ecology students and for the public.

2.  To give students the opportunity to put their interest in ecology into action.



1.   Meet with the 677 students on Tuesday the first two days at the beginning of the semester (23 and 30 January) to share experiences about starting the project, once later in the semester  (20 February) to report on progress, and 1 May and 8 May to report at the end of the semester.  A third meeting time may be scheduled the last week of classes, depending on enrollment.


2.   In the first two weeks of the semester, each student will link-up with a supervisor from an ecologically-oriented volunteer agency.  I require that you take responsibility for finding a project, and that if you don’t find a project, you will withdraw from the class after the third week of classes.  Use the “Ecological Volunteer Possibilities” list as a starting place.


3.   With your supervisor, agree on a project.  The report is due the last day of classes, but the project need not be completed.  I require that your project include at least some time outside.  You cannot receive full credit if your project is an inside-only project (filing, etc., but workshops count as outside).  It is OK to design a project with both inside and outside work.


4.   Your project requires participation of 6 hours per week, or the equivalent (a total of 78 hours), during the semester, plus the first and last weeks (approx. another 10-20 hours of startup time, writing, and talk preparation time).  You and your supervisor need to agree on the schedule (using the Agreement Between Student and Supervisor form).


5.   Complete the Agreement Between Student and Supervisor form.  Get a copy of the completed form to me by the end of the third week of the semester (6 February) to be accepted into the course.  It is acceptable to change your project in the middle of the semester.  If you do change, give me another proposal, signed by your new supervisor.  It is OK to work with more than one organization, just give me a form for each organization, and the total participation time must add up to 78 hours.


6.  Meet as a class group on 20 February, to fine tune projects and report on progress to date.


7.   Turn in a written report in class on 1 May.  I will let you know by Friday 4 May if your report is satisfactory.  If the report needs work, then pick up your marked-up version, make the revisions, and turn in the report by the last day of class, 11 May.

For specific details on the format of the paper, see more details on the “guidelines” handout.


8. Deliver a short (12 minute) PowerPoint presentation (talk) to the 677 class group, at the end of the semester, to describe your project and results (sign up for a time slot on 1 May or 8 May).  For the oral report, you may work alone, or, Group Presentations are fine.  I do expect each person to participate in the presentation, but you can divide up the parts of the presentation.  I encourage you to bring props to demonstrate your project.  Only bring organisms if they will be comfortable.  Include images of you working as part of your presentation.   See the presentation guidelines, below, for more details.


9.  Hand a copy of your paper and your PowerPoint presentation to your supervisor, along with the evaluation form. 


10.   Ask your supervisor to turn in the evaluation form to me by 11 May.  The completed form may be returned to me by hand, FAX, or email. 


The Class meets in 350 Birge:

            23 January

            30 January

            20 February

              1 May

              8 May




Four keys for a successful project:


1.  Show up regularly; let you supervisor know before you miss a scheduled work time.


2.  Do what the supervisor requests; if you are unclear what is expected, ask.


3. Contact me if you are having a problem: sidodson@facstaff.wisc.edu


4.  Turn in the paper and give your talk on time.




Dodson Office Hours:



The best time to see me in 444 Birge is during my regular office hours: 10-Noon on Tuesdays.


If this time does not work for you, I am often available MTW afternoons.  Please suggest a time and I will check my schedule.


It is best to use email:  sidodson@wisc.edu to schedule an appointment.

Zoology 677 -- Stanley Dodson

Follow these guidelines for your written report:  Final Draft due last day of classes!

Format:  Please use 1-inch margins all around, number pages, single space, and a 12 point font, such as Arial or Times New Roman).  Use one side of the paper.  Staple the pages together, and do not use a plastic cover.  I expect a report of at least 5 pages of text, not counting the title page (longer is OK).  Long tables or pictures can be in the text, but do not count as part of the 5 pages of text (if you have a half page picture in the text, then you need at least 5.5 pages in the report.)


TITLE: The title is informative, and not too cute.  Also put on the title page: your name, the date, your email address, and the course name, number, and instructor.


Use the following headings in your paper:

ABSTRACT:  Describe the mission of the volunteer organization, the purpose of your project, what you found out, your experiences, and how the project contributed to your education, in a few sentences.


INTRODUCTION:  Describe in some detail the goals and mission of the organization and how your project fit in.  Sate what you wanted to find out or have happen during your internship.  State the goals for your project.  In the Introduction and Discussion sections, read a relevant  book, one that you haven’t already read, and incorporate concepts from the book into your report (see the list below). 


MATERIALS AND METHODS: Describe how you went about achieving your goals.  Describe the “where, when, with whom, and what equipment or information” of your project. Give enough information so that someone else could repeat what you did.  Give an accounting of the time you contributed to the project.


RESULTS: Describe what happened or what you find out.  This section is a good place for tables, graphs, or pictures.


DISCUSSION: Put your results or experiences into a larger perspective: what did you and society get out of what happened during the internship?   Include the following four points:

1) How this experience contributed to your education.  Did you find out what you wanted to find out, and what unexpected results or experiences did you have?  What was the most valuable part of your project?

2) How your project contributed to the goals of the organization.

3) What society got from your participation in the project.

4) Possibilities for the future for you and other students. 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:  Acknowledge those who assisted you in your project.


LITERATURE CITED: List the readings you did as part of the project.  See the guidelines in the journal “Ecology” for the proper format for citations.  Most people have at least a couple of appropriate citations.  It is seldom necessary to use more than a few citations – this is not a literature search paper.


ATTACHMENTS:  This is optional and a good idea.  If you have a product from your project, such as a brochure, data log, journal, or teaching handout, or pictures or drawings, please attach the material to your report.

Prepare a copy of your paper, final draft, for your Supervisor.

Ecology Internship Presentation Guidelines



You are expected to give a PowerPoint presentation.  Let the instructor know a week ahead of time if you need assistance in preparing the talk.


2.  Include the following slides: 


·         Title information (just like your paper)

·         Outline:  a concise outline of your talk.

·         Image slides as appropriate.

·         Conclusion Slide

·         Acknowledgement Slide


2.  Send your presentation to sidodson@wisc.edu at least 24 hours before your talk is scheduled.  (hand deliver to 444 Birge, or CD in mailbox on Birge 1st floor, or as an email attachment).


3.  Use only the UW email system.  Other email providers, such as hotmail, have serious limitations on file size, and often can’t transfer large files.


4.  Compress the images in your presentation:  After the presentation is finished, double right click on the first (or any) image, choose the “Picture” tab, click on “Compress”, then choose “all pictures in document”, “web/screen”, and the two options.  Then click on the “OK”s.


5.  Plan on using about 1 slide per minute.


8.  When your talk is finished, say “Thank-you”.


9.  Prepare a copy of your presentation, on a CD for your Supervisor, and send it to your supervisor by Tuesday, 2 May.


Best of luck!

Guidelines for Supervisors


Zoology 677 Internship in Ecology


As a Supervisor, you are making an important contribution to a college student interested in learning more about ecology by volunteering time during the Spring semester.  The purpose of this course is to provide undergraduate students with direct hands-on exposure to applied aspects of ecology in office and field contexts.  Students often comment that this experience is the most important in their undergraduate career.


The students are not expected to develop their own project.  Students typically assist where needed, as organized by their supervisor.  Of course, if appropriate, it is great if the student is involved in designing the project, or has an independent project.


The project typically lasts for one semester.  Students contribute 78 hours of volunteer work during the semester.  This is approximately equal to 6 hours per week, for two credits.  Students do best with a regular schedule, but an irregular schedule is acceptable, as long as both the student and the Supervisor agree to the schedule. 


I require that the student’s project includes at least some time outside.  The purpose of this requirement is to assure that the project is not solely an inside-only project (filing, etc.).  It is OK to design a project with both inside and outside work.  Outside work can include visiting sites, assisting at workshops, or doing actual fieldwork.


I require:


an agreement form, concerning the schedule and project, that the student and Supervisor sign and copy to me at the beginning of the project.  (The student brings the agreement form to the advisor).


an evaluation form from the Supervisor, due the last day of classes (at the end of the project).  I am interested in information in two main areas: 1) did the student participate as agreed, and 2) do you have any suggestions about how to improve any aspect of this experience? (The student will bring the agreement form to the advisor).  This form can be mailed or FAXed, or in an emergency, paraphrased and emailed back to me.


a paper at the end of the project, which the students writes, reporting on the project and the student’s experiences.  I ask the student to give a copy of the paper to me, and a copy to the supervisor.


an oral presentation, about 12 minutes long, preferably using PowerPoint.  I ask the student to give a copy of the presentation to me, and a copy to the supervisor.


I request:


That the Supervisor contact me as soon as possible if any problem or difficulty develops.  We have several alternate back-up service possibilities, so the Supervisor should never feel concern that they or the student are trapped in a situation that is not working.


Stanley Dodson sidodson@facstaff.wisc.edu  Zoology Professor

TEL  608-262-6395

FAX  608-265-6320

Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin

430 Lincoln Drive

Madison, WI  53706-1381 USA



Zoology 677 Ecology Internship Program


Agreement Between Student and Supervisor                   Date: ____________________


Students Name (print): _______________________________________________________


Supervisor’s Name and Organization (print): ______________________________________


Brief Description of the Student’s Volunteer Project, with Schedule and Responsibilities:  (Note, the total volunteer effort is expected to be a total of 78 hours for two Zoology credits.) 





























Please sign to indicate agreement:


Student’s Signature: ____________________________________________



Supervisor’s Signature: __________________________________________


Return to: Stanley Dodson, Zoology Department, Univ. of Wisc. 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1381

By 6 February


FAX: 608-265-6320       sidodson@wisc.edu

Zoology 677 Ecology Internship Program


Evaluation of Student Volunteer Participation.                Date: ____________________


Students Name (print): _______________________________________________________


Supervisor’s Name and Organization (print): ______________________________________


Please answer the following questions:


1.      Did the student fulfill the agreement stated on the form for Agreement Between Student and Supervisor?  Comments?


















2.      What is your recommended grade?




3.  Do you have suggestions for modification of the Ecology Internship Program?











Supervisor’s Signature: __________________________________________


Return to: Stanley Dodson, Zoology Department, Univ. of Wisc. 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1381 by 11 May 2004.

FAX number: 608-265-6320               sidodson@wisc.edu


Reading for your Z677  Report

Ecology Interns and Zoological Directed Studies

Your assignment is to read one of these books, one that you haven’t already read, and incorporate it into your report.  You may also incorporate other relevant books that you have already read.


For educators:

First Choice: “The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life” by Parker J. Palmer

Additional Reading for educators:

*    Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer
*    To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey by Parker J. Palmer
*    Stories of the Courage to Teach: Honoring the Teacher's Heart by Sam M. Intrator, Parker J. Palmer
*    The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring by Parker J. Palmer (Hardcover)
*    Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach by Sam M. Intrator (Editor), et al.


For People working outside:

“Wild within: Adventures in Nature and Animal Teachings” Paul Rezendes

Mind of the Raven : Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds” by Bernd Heinrich

“The Tapir’s Morning Bath” by Elizabeth Royte

“Walden” by Henry David Thoreau

“A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson

"Miracle Under the Oaks" by William Stevens


For Conservation and Heritage Projects:

“Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States” Edited by Bruce A. Stein, Lynn S. Kutner, and Jonathan S. Adams. Oxford University Press. Published March 2000.

“Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold

Tim Flannery - The Eternal Frontier

E.O. Wilson - The Future of Life


For projects at Humane Societies:

            “The Other End of the Leash” by Patricia McConnell


For people working at a zoo:

The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

Any of Gerald Durrell’s books, such as “My family and other animals”.


For toxicologists and environmental health interns:

“Our Stolen Future” by T. Colborn et al.

“Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson


For projects in the tropics:

“A Magic Web” by Christian Ziegler and Egbert Leigh

“The Tapir’s Morning Bath” by Elizabeth Royte


General Overview Reading:

“Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold

“Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond

“Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn


Ecology” by S.I. Dodson et al. – use the text as a general reference, especially chapters on introduction to ecology, community ecology, and population ecology.