EE BIOL 129

Animal Behavior

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, two hours. Requisites: course 100, Life Sciences 1 or 7B. Introduction to behavioral ecology. Methods and results of evolutionary approaches to study of animal behavior, including foraging strategies, social competition, sexual selection, mating systems, cooperation, and social organization. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 2.2
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Most Helpful Review
Fall 2022 - This is a review for EE BIOL 100 since the page isn't listed. She covered the animal behavior half of the course. Dr. Larison is a very approachable person and she is conscious of students' learning needs, especially with the strike this quarter. She was accommodating and made the final online, which I appreciated, and made efforts to answer students' questions on the discussion board with the absence of TA-led discussions. The quizzes were all online in her half of the course, which made everything a lot more manageable. She posted all recorded lectures, and her detailed slides with notes, so participation isn't mandatory. She also posted learning goals each week to organize study, which was great. No textbook needed, only incredibly dense weekly papers that you have to present on one week. Dr. Larison seems like a very talented researcher and scientist, and I admire her vested interest in animal behavior. However, she is not the most engaging lecturer. Each presentation is 80-100 slides long, and organized in a difficult-to-follow manner. She includes a lot of examples with minute details and random bird facts (and you can bet they will be tested on the quiz/test). She did an entire lecture on why zebras have stripes, which was cool and all but I didn't know how that related to animal behavior or if it was the best topic to cover given how much time we have in a quarter. Studying for the class's exams was honestly a pain because it was so many dense slides to go through, and so many different studies on salamanders, damselfish, and other animals. The final was also more difficult than a lot of students expected (harder than the quizzes for sure). It was 40 questions MCQ, each worth 10 points. It wasn't excessively hard, since it was open notes, but some of the questions and answers were worded in a tricky manner (think along the lines of LS 7 series type questions) and you had to read carefully and study the material thoroughly beforehand. To be completely transparent, my opinion may be affected by the previous professor who taught the latter half of the course (on ecology), whose lectures I found a lot more engaging. All in all, although lectures aren't very engaging and the content is dry at times, this class is reasonable in terms of workload, difficulty, and pace. But if you're genuinely passionate about animal behavior, want to be inspired, and pursue this study further, maybe another professor would be best.
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