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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Renee L. Ha
PSYCH 419
Seattle Campus

Behavioral Studies of Zoo Animals

Observational studies of behavior of zoo animals to expand basic knowledge of animal behavior, conservation of endangered species, and research methodology with discussions and tours focusing on zoo philosophy and operations. Offered in cooperation with Woodland Park Zoo. Prerequisite: either minimum 2.0 grade in BIOL 180, 3.5 in PSYCH 200, or 2.0 in PSYCH 300.

Class description

You will learn to design and conduct a research study on a zoo species. Each research study is based on approximately 30 hours of observational data outside of class time. We will discuss appropriate data collection methods, research design and technology for behavioral studies and there will be readings, guest lectures and assignments related to these topics. Additionally, the history of zoos, the role of zoos in conservation, and housing and enrichment for zoo animal species will be presented through readings, lecture, tours and guest speakers. In addition to Woodland Park Zoological Gardens, you can also do a research project at the Seattle Aquarium, Northwest Trek, and the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Discuss these options with the instructor.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Psychology 419 is scheduled as a two day per week course. For the first few weeks of the quarter, there will be lectures or other planned activities. For the rest of the quarter, there will be occasional lectures or planned activities, but some of your time will be spent working on your project, doing outside research, or meeting with the instructor regarding your proposal, results or poster presentation.

Recommended preparation

It is highly recommended that you have taken a course in Comparative Animal Behavior or Behavioral Ecology. It is important to understand and be familiar with current theories in animal behavior and behavioral ecology in order to write a research proposal and final poster presentation for the class.

Class assignments and grading

You will be responsible for two in-class assignments, two writing homework assignments, one short answer/essay exam, a project proposal and a written poster presentation of your study.

Your final grade will be calculated from the total points on assignments, an exam, your proposal, and your poster (see information on specific assignments and student responsibilities provided in the syllabus). Your grade will be calculated as follows:

1) Score = (Points / 400) * 100 2) Decimal score = (Score 55) / 10 (a score of less than 62 receives a 0.0)

For example, a course-end total of 388 points would produce a score of: (345 / 400) * 100 = 86.25 Therefore, your decimal score, reported to the registrar, would be: (86.25 55) / 10 = 3.125 or 3.1.

You can calculate your grade point average on a per-assignment basis by dividing your score by the possible number of points in step one. The other steps are identical to calculating your final grade.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Renee L. Ha
Date: 02/18/2005