If you enjoy watching random animals and puzzling out their behavior then the Biology of Behavior class may be the right choice for your next general education credit!
“In some ways it’s related to some psychology courses, except our focus is other animals, where psychology is usually focused on just humans,” said Dr. Lee Boyd, the instructor, “Some courses may cover small pieces, but this is the main course to take for that.”
There’s no prerequisites to the class, and a background of biology isn’t necessary. Basic concepts about the nervous system and the endocrine system are gone over in the classroom for context and as a way to explain many behaviors.
“I want to be a vet, and I knew this course would focus on animals a lot,” said Ally Koenig, freshman biology major. “I don’t know exactly what to expect yet, but I like what we’ve done so far. The group activities were really fun though.”
There isn’t a required textbook, and Boyd takes the time to make PowerPoints with the needed examples and ideas for students to study from if need be.
“I think they can see where a lot of human behavior comes from, and it just makes you look at animals differently,” said Boyd, “Whether that be your pets or wildlife, it gives us insight into how humans behave as they do and where we see similarities with other animals that share some of the same features.”
Along with the endocrine and nervous systems, students will learn about the history of animals and how behaviors can evolve and change throughout time. Jumping from concept to concept, the class covers a diverse scope during its allotted 50 minutes.
“It’s interesting- I have no idea what I’m hoping to learn from the class, but I needed another biology credit and this one looked good and a little unusual,” said Brandon Pokrandt, senior athletic training major.
Boyd is also teaching an Intro Biology Lab and an upper class Vertebrate Zoology course this semester.
“Anybody who has spent any time around animals has some frame of reference for what we’re talking about,” said Boyd, “The main thing I would encourage people who take the class to do, is take an interest in animals. As long as they’ve got that, they’ll love it.”