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Most universities train their students to study animals in boxes; this course helps future researchers study animals and their behaviors independent of their surroundings and how their surroundings impact their behavior. There is an extensive reading list that provides students with a thorough grounding in the field of animal behavior. There are also final exam questions to help students understand the breadth as well as the depth of the course.
Key concepts in studies of animal behavior, emphasizing ethology, are covered in class and in the assigned readings from Scott (2005), supplemented by selections from other books, especially from classics in the field as well as selected videos. Next, key concepts in sociobiology are covered using readings from Alcock (2001), supplemented by selections from additional books and some video presentations.