Under the Sea: New Biology Class Offers Hands-ON Experience

A pilot course was developed and launched by the Liberty University Department of Biology & Chemistry this semester that gives students the chance to study the diversity of animal life. BIOL 125: Animal Diversity and Conservation is a class that allows students to be surrounded by different species of animals and study God’s creation. The class is open to anyone and has no prerequisites.

In order for the university to offer this experience to students, they have parternered with SeaQuest, a zoo and aquarium found in the local River Ridge Mall. At SeaQuest, students will be exposed to a wide variety of animals according to course professor Dr. Kyle Harris. 

“BIOL 125 is a tour of animal diversity and conservation biology related topics,” Harris said. “Students are able to have up close interactions with various wildlife such as sloth, parrots, rays, sharks, reptiles and wallabies.” 

Throughout the semester, students create a species profile for a new animal each week based on research and observation. Within the BIOL 125 class, students can conduct their study by going beyond reading textbooks. Some of the hands-on learning opportunities offered to students this past semester were swimming in tanks with marine life and entering bird enclosures. 

In a university news release, zoo & wildlife biology student Madison Adams said she thoroughly enjoyed getting hands-on with her research in the marine life tank. 

“A lot of people walk through here when they visit SeaQuest, but I don’t think they really get to sit down and watch the different species move around, so it’s really fun to stay and observe them,” Adams said. “It was fun to follow the little schools of fish around the tank and swim with them and touch the different stingrays. As a zoo and wildlife major, it’s definitely been a fun experience to be a part of something like this.”

For anyone looking to sign up for this class, it will be offered this upcoming spring semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Gambino is the web manager. Follow her on Twitter

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