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Curatorial and research faculty in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology hold positions in the Department of Integrative Biology, where they offer a variety of undergraduate classes and graduate seminars in vertebrate biology. Students are exposed to key biological concepts and are taught to look at the animal world with a scientific mind. In the classroom, students evaluate scientific journal articles, discuss ideas and experimental design, and learn critical biological thinking. Many of these classes have labs that take advantage of the extensive MVZ collections to train students in animal diversity, identification, and comparative morphology. A number of classes also require local or regional field trips that provide students with hands-on experience in animal observation and methods of field biology. Many of these trips take advantage of the extensive East Bay Regional Park system and the UC Natural Reserve System, which span a variety of distinct habitat types that support a diverse vertebrate fauna.

The Museum's faculty sponsor 20 to 25 graduate students in the Ph.D program in any given year, host several post-doctoral scholars, and serve as mentors to a large number of undergraduates engaged in honors or independent research experiences. A hallmark of the Museum's educational program is the weekly "Museum Lunch" seminar series (IB 264), an open forum for the campus in the general area of vertebrate and evolutionary biology.

A new course on "Museum and Field Techniques in Vertebrate Natural History" (spring 2003) will expose students to a variety of topics relating to natural history collections, including historical perspectives, current role in biodiversity and conservation, collection and processing of observational and specimen data, ethics and rationale of specimen collecting, and bioinformatics.

Links of Interest

Animal Diversity Web
Web of Science
Tree of Life
Ecology WWW Page
UC Hastings Natural History Reserve
UC Museum of Paleontology

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