NRES / BIOS 222 Syllabus


Dr. Drew Tyre
Office: Hardin Hall Rm 416
Phone: 402-472-4054

Graduate Teaching Assistants:
Kelly Willemessens (
Amber MacInnis (
You can also contact us through Canvas.

Office hours: We will not post regular office hours, but we encourage you to make an appointment by email with either Dr. Tyre or your TA. You can also ask questions on the Canvas discussion boards opened for that purpose. Emailed questions (unless containing confidential information) will be re-posted to Canvas discussion boards so everyone can benefit from the answers.

Dr Tyre is also available by telephone at the number above during the week, generally between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. If I am not at my desk, I typically respond to voice mail messages within 4 hours.

Learning Objectives

  • Introduce you to field research in representative natural ecosystems of eastern Nebraska (prairie, saline wetlands, lakes)
  • Predict how species richness changes with area
  • Quantify community responses to environmental gradients
  • Predict the effect of adding extra carbon, nitrogen or phosphorous on aquatic nitrogen cycles
  • Quantitative literacy, including data entry and the ability to use R for graphing and basic analyses
  • Write effectively for a scientific audience, including appropriate style and format.

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We expect that you will come to every class on time and let us know ahead of time if you have a problem. If you are going to miss a lab, let us know before hand. If you let us know afterward there is no guarantee that we can help you make up the lab. We also expect that you will turn assignments in on time and do your best to understand the material. This might require that you ask questions- so please, don’t be shy. Finally, we would like you to read the section on academic honesty. If you have any questions about this, please ask.

We will be going off campus three times during lab period for field activities. It is critical that students be on time for departure. Meet in Hardin Hall North Lobby (near HarH 163) unless otherwise announced. We will try to always return to Hardin Hall by 5:00pm, but you should let the instructors know if you have a tight schedule after lab (job, class, meeting). It may be possible for you to drive separately, but please make an arrangement with the TA. When lab meets on campus, some activities will require the full 3 hours while others may not. An overview of activities for lab each week will always be posted on Canvas prior to lab. Check Canvas to see if we are going in the field and if any special preparation is necessary.

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Co-enrollment or previous enrollment in NRES/BIOS220

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There are no textbooks required for this course, all materials will be available electronically on Canvas.

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Hardware and Software Requirements

Any modern pc or mac should be able to run all of the software we will use in this course. An internet connection is needed to access course materials on Canvas, and submit assignments.

You will need to install R Version 3.4.0 or higher and RStudio Version 1.0.143 or higher (see setup guide)

The current version of Canvas works with the following web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 11; Edge 39 and 40
  • Safari 9 and 10
  • Chrome 59 and 60
  • Firefox 53 and 54
  • Flash 25 and 26
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser

The technology skills you will need to succeed in this course are a basic familiarity with your Web browser, e-mail, word processing, and the ability to locate specific information on the Internet. You must also know or learn how to use Canvas courseware.

Login Instructions Log in using your Canvas username and password.

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Course Schedule


All assignments are due at midnight on the day of your lab in the week indicated.

Week Topic Assignment Due
1 – Aug 21 Learning R, Making a data sheet, Species Area relationships
2 – Aug 28 9 Mile Prairie Field Trip Quantitative literacy WS
3 – Sep 4 Labor Day - no class but save days for rain makeup
4 – Sep 11 Entering 9 mile data, discuss aquatic ecology trip and datasheet
5 – Sep 18 Aquatic ecology field trip
6 – Sep 25 Entering aquatic ecology data, analysis, initiate aquaria experiment
7 – Oct 2 Finish aquatic ecology analysis, prepare saline wetland lab 9 Mile Prairie report
8 – Oct 9 Saline wetland field trip
9 – Oct 16 FALL BREAK make up trips as needed Draft Aquatic Ecology report
10 – Oct 23 Saline wetland data entry and analysis
11 – Oct 30 go over saline wetland analysis
12 – Nov 6 Species diversity worksheet, data entry for aquarium experiment Final Aquatic Ecology report
13 – Nov 13 Population growth lab Draft Saline Wetland Report
14 – Nov 20 Thanksgiving - make up labs Species diversity WS
15 – Nov 27 Aquarium experiment analysis and worksheet Population WS
16 – Dec 4 last week of class Final Saline wetland report; Aquarium WS

Note: I reserve the right to deviate from this schedule if required. However, I will not make any reading or assessment due earlier; I will only postpone due dates or cancel assessments altogether.

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Assessment / Grading


Please contact the instructors in person or by email with any problem. If you are having problems with the material, seek help early rather than later in the term. Do not give up on any of the assignments; we would rather receive them late than not at all.

Point Value Name Due Date
5 Quantitative Literacy Worksheet (WS) Week 2
10 9-Mile Prairie Report Week 7
25 Aquatic Ecology Report (draft and rewrite) draft Week 9, final Week 12
25 Saline Wetland Report (draft and rewrite) draft Week 13, final week 16
10 Species Diversity Worksheet Week 14
10 Population Worksheet Week 15
10 Aquarium experiment worksheet Week 16
5 Professionalism Week 16
100 Total

Be sure to see the policy on late assignments

Professionalism points will be assigned using the following rubric

Points assigned Description
4-5 Student maintains professional demeanor even when stressed; not verbally hostile, abusive, dismissive or inappropriately angry. Never expresses anger physically. Student works productively individually, or in teams, with minimal distraction to task. Student is consistently early or on time to lab, especially on field trip days. Student consistently communicates respectfully with students and instructors using professional and appropriate language. Student encourages and initiates positive interactions, and demonstrates leadership in collaboration with both individuals and groups.
2-3 Student usually maintains professional demeanor, although may be inconsistent. Student can verbally explain expected professional behavior, but may have difficulty acting accordingly. May have difficulty expressing anger or emotions appropriately. Student may need reminders to stay on task in order to avoid disruption to the class. Student typically on time, but may miss some classes although still able to complete assignments on time. Student often requires reminders about using professional language, but is attempting to accept and incorporate feedback. Participates positively in team interaction but may not initiate.
0-1 Student exhibits disruptive behaviors. May distract other students, or instructor. May talk to others instead of working. May argue in front of classmates. Expresses anger in verbal outbursts, or physically. May engage in physical actions that threaten others, such as throwing or knocking down objects. Student consistently late or absent, affecting ability to complete assignments in a timely manner. Displays disrespectful behavior by using insults, verbal comments, or criticism intended to belittle or berate others. Student may make racially or sexually inappropriate remarks. Does not participate positively in team interactions.

Grading Scale

The total points assessed will be translated into letter grades as follows: <60 F, 60-69 D, 70-79 C, 80-89 B, 90-100 A. I do not use minus grades, and give plus grades to scores in the top 20% of each band.

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Course Policies

Late Assignments

Unless you have a good reason (“my computer’s down” doesn’t qualify), I cannot give full credit for late assignments - it is not fair to everyone else. Work received up to one week late after the due date will lose a grade (10%). Work received more than one week late up until the last day of class will lose two grades (20%). All assignments will be turned in via Canvas so they will be timestamped. Always keep a digital or hard copy of assignments you turn in. All paper discussion assignments must be turned in on time; no late summaries will be accepted.

Academic Integrity Statement

Students are expected to adhere to guidelines concerning academic dishonesty outlined in Article III B.1 of University’s Student Code of Conduct. A first offense will result in a 10% penalty on the assignment. A second offense will result in a grade of zero for the assignment. A third offense will result in a grade of F for the course. Students are encouraged to contact the instructor for clarification of these guidelines if they have questions or concerns. The SNR policy on Academic Dishonesty and procedures for appeals are available here.

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Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the instructor for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. It is the policy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to provide flexible and individualized accommodation to students with documented disabilities that may affect their ability to fully participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. To receive accommodation services, students must be registered with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, 132 Canfield Administration, 472-3787 voice or TTY.

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In case of emergency

Fire Alarm (or other evacuation)

In the event of a fire alarm: Gather belongings (Purse, keys, cellphone, N-Card, etc.) and use the nearest exit to leave the building. Do not use the elevators. After exiting notify emergency personnel of the location of persons unable to exit the building. Do not return to building unless told to do so by emergency personnel.

Tornado Warning

When sirens sound, move to the lowest interior area of building or designated shelter. Stay away from windows and stay near an inside wall when possible.

Active Shooter

Evacuate: if there is a safe escape path, leave belongings behind, keep hands visible and follow police officer instructions.

Hide out: If evacuation is impossible secure yourself in your space by turning out lights, closing blinds and barricading doors if possible.

Take action: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter.

UNL Alert: Notifications about serious incidents on campus are sent via text message, email, website, and social media. For more information go to:

Additional Emergency Procedures can be found here:

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Various student resources are available for any issues you experience with Canvas® courseware and any other technical problems that might arise during the course of the semester. You can find a list of helpful resources at the bottom left Help link on your Canvas home page.

Library Services

UNL students have access to a tremendous resource-UNL’s Library Services

This web site can also be accessed directly at:

After that you will be at the Iris Main Page.

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Andrew Tyre
Professor of Wildlife Ecology
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