BSC 4861L Urban Ecological Field Studies

The purpose of the course is to teach students how to conduct research by designing experiments that ask, and seek to provide insight into urban ecosystem questions. Additionally students will be guided in how to effectively communicate scientific information, and the important role of science in the world. Once fundamental information is obtained on the project topic, students will be asked to design and implement a research based project, and publicly communicate the results.

Course Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of urban ecology including ecological sustainability that involves human interactions (people), economic impacts (profit), and ecological health (planet).
  • Explore how urban ecosystems are connected to natural ecosystems.
  • Use research methods to answer real-world questions.
  • Communicate scientific information through poster and oral presentations.
  • Enhance group communication skills, and personally reflect on strengths and areas of improvement.

For more information about how to register, please email Jennifer Elliott at


BSC 3095 Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping

The biology of honey bees and the craft of apiculture will be examined by exploring the natural history, biogeography and ecology of honeybees. Honey bee anatomy, physiology, colonial social structure, pests/diseases, pollination ecology, management and current topics in beekeeping will be discussed. The lab portion of the class will involve field exercise and hands-on experience in the UCF Apiary.

Course Objectives:

  • Explain the inherent risk and safety requirements of working with live honey bee colonies.
  • Explain the similarities and differences between honey bees and other species, including the different types of social behavior among different species.
  • Identify the different types of honey bee races, where they come from and what are their key characteristics.
  • Describe the basic biology, anatomy, and physiology of honey bees, including the importance of chemical communication via pheromones in contributing to social cohesion.
  • Give a basic overview of the history of beekeeping and development of modern beekeeping practices, including the components the components that makeup modern hives.
  • Apply knowledge of honey bee biology to managing colonies effectively, including evaluating the health and strength of colonies, and management techniques to prevent swarming and increase honey production.
  • Understand the threats to honey bee health, including pathogens and parasites, methods for identifying these threats and possible action to prevent or treat them.
  • Explain how apiculture can be used as a window into broader topics, such as: pest transmission, invasive species, ecotoxicology, and agriculture.

For more information about how to register, please email us at:


UCF Biology Summer Field Institute

The Biology Field Institute is a one week program for rising junior and senior high school students interested in seeking further understanding of Central Florida’s diverse ecosystems, from Orlando to the east coast. This program will introduce students to field techniques and experimental approaches used in water quality assessment, vegetation monitoring, forest ecology, and studies of gopher tortoises and marine turtles. Throughout the program students will participate in hands-on experiences with professional biologists in a fun and educational setting designed to inspire a passion for studying the fields of biology, ecology, and natural resource conservation. The institute includes an overnight field trip to learn about nesting marine turtles alongside an experienced marine turtle biologist, and an opportunity to interact with both UCF graduate students, and undergraduate interns studying marine turtle ecology and conservation. In addition, students will spend one day in the lab learning basic data analysis, and the importance of communicating science.

For more information please visit: