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Short-term biology courses to be offered at Discovery Park Campus

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Short-term biology courses to be offered at Discovery Park Campus

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus and EAC Biology Instructor Mike McCarthy will be offering three short-term biology courses during the Spring 2009 semester. The classes will meet on two consecutive weekends with the Friday evening sessions meeting from 5:30–9 p.m. in the Jupiter Room and the Saturday morning field trips meeting from 7–11:30 a.m. in the parking lot and then dispersing to various locations.

Birds of the Gila Valley (section #7997), will be offered January 23 and 24 and January 30 and 31.

This two-weekend course is designed to interest both amateur and seasoned birdwatchers. It will offer instruction into the basics of bird watching including how to use binoculars and field guides as well as key ways to identify the more than 250 different species of birds found in the Gila Valley and surrounding areas. The first Saturday field trip will include a visit to the Sandhill Cranes congregating in Willcox. “The migration of the Sandhill Cranes is one of nature’s great wonders,” says McCarthy. “This class will help students truly appreciate the complexity of our feathered friends.”

Natural History of the Gila Valley (section #5763), will be offered February 20 and 21 and February 27 and 28.

In this class, students will observe the results of volcanoes, erosion, the desert environment, and how life adapts to the Gila Valley’s unique climate. Student can expect to learn about the plants and animals of the desert and Mt. Graham, how to find and identify fossils in the field, and how early American tribes survived in our harsh climate. “The Gila Valley is an amazing place to see the geologic processes that form its surrounding mountains and deserts,” says McCarthy. “It has the best examples of geology and desert life in the entire state.”

Desert Survival (section #7998), will be offered April 17 and 18 and April 24 and 25.

This is a course in modern desert survival. The desert can be a hostile environment where anyone can become lost or stuck, placing themselves in a survival situation. A few simple methods for survival in such a situation can make the difference between life and death. This class is designed to teach students how to prepare for such situations. It will assist in decision-making with information about water, fire, shelter, and ways that your vehicle can be used to save your life. McCarthy says, “It is better to learn this information in a fun and safe way before having to learn it through trial and error.”

To register for any or all of these classes, call EAC’s Records and Registration Office at 428-8270, or visit Gila Hank Online at Students age 55 and over qualify for EAC’s Senior Citizen Tuition Scholarship which covers the full cost of in-state tuition. This one-credit class will cost $60 for other Arizona Residents. However, in many cases, current EAC students can add these classes to their schedule at no additional cost. Call the College to find out if you can add these classes for free.

No books are required for this class. Students should plan to meet at Discovery Park Campus in Safford on the days of the classes.