Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center

Spring Intensive Courses

The BIO 195: Special Topics (1-4 units): Wildlife Research Techniques course is designed to get first-hand experience in wildlife biology over spring break by participating in one of two field research projects. The deadline to register is typically early February. Please contact Gerick Bergsma for more information.

Small Mammal Ecology Research Course

Like humans, animals demonstrate variation in personality. An animal’s personality may influence how the animal balances its need to find food with its risk of exposure to predators. For example, bold individuals may be more likely than shy individuals to risk foraging for food in open areas where they are visible to predators. Our study will examine how the personalities of small mammals influence individual foraging decisions in native chaparral habitat. Students will learn standardized methods for live trapping and ear tagging small mammals, testing personality types of animals using open field tests, and scoring animal behaviors using video recordings.

Gull Foraging Ecology Research Course

Though often maligned, gulls are important members of coastal and nearshore marine communities. They are resilient and adaptable, actively feeding in diverse prey on both land and sea. This project will investigate the diversity of foraging strategies, habitats, and prey that gulls use along the Monterey Peninsula. Students will use standardized scan surveys and targeted behavioral observations to document how, where, and on what gulls are feeding.

Program Requirements


Class and workshops held. Workshops throughout the semester will include topics such as:

  • Introduction to field research
  • What to expect during your research experience
  • Finding summer research opportunities
Spring Intensive Group

Questions or accommodations? Contact uroc@csumb.edu