Course Descriptions


The World of Insects: Infinite Variety on a Common Theme

Cold Blooded Creatures: A Course in Field Herpetology

Animals + Elements: AGRISCULTPURE

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The World of Insects: Infinite Variety on a Common Theme
Dr. Julian Stark, Associate Professor of Biology, CUNY/Queensborough Community College and Research Associate in Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History
In this class, students will be introduced to the fascinating world of insects. We will discuss how insects evolved, learn about their bizarre body parts and characteristics, survey the diversity of the different types, and explore how insects interact with other forest animals. The class balances time in the classroom with field investigations and laboratory work to analyze what was found in the field.  Collection techniques will include several types of traps which will be emptied and the data recorded over the course of the week.  We will also maintain live specimens in the lab for the duration of the class, to examine insect behavior in detail.  Students will learn how to collect, preserve, and identify (to Order) specimens, and will make a 10-20 specimen collection box to take home upon the completion of the class.  
July 12-16 Price: $375

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Cold Blooded Creatures: A Course in Field Herpetology
Arianna Kuhn, PhD candidate, City University of New York Graduate Center and Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History
Black Rock Forest, with its diverse habitats, is home to 34 different species of reptiles and amphibians. Students will apply field techniques used by biologists to find and catch reptiles and amphibians. In particular we will be setting drift fences in the forest and turtle traps in ponds. Ultimately students will learn how to identify the reptiles and amphibians of the forest using a dichotomous key, as well as learning about their ecology, behavior, and how to collect and analyze data for scientific research. Data that will be collected will include body measurements (e.g. shell measurements of turtles, body length of snakes, etc.), sex, location, and other important information at the time of capture. With this information students will be able to address questions about population demographics and habitat selection of the different reptile and amphibian species.
July 19-23 Price: $375
Animals + Elements :  AGRISCULPTURE Camp
Amy Lewis Sweetman, Founder and Owner of AGRISCULPTURE an environ-metal sculpture studio on a working Hudson Valley dairy farm.
Journey through Black Rock Forest with AGRISCULPTURE Amy – exploring 5 topics of the natural world over 5 days.  First we examine Landscape – grounding ourselves within Nature – discovering the Forest, the Mountain and the Pond.  The next four days cover Birds, Animals, Insects/Reptiles and we conclude with a super fun session on Imaginary Creatures.  Honing the skills of scientific observation and field sketching the first half of each day, students will create 3d sculpture in the second half of each day - honing the skills of creative collage, translating what they learned from Black Rock into a physical take-home craft made of foraged, recycled and natural materials.  No prior artistic experience necessary.

July 26 - 30 Price:$375  (back to top)