UMass Boston

Green covered sand dune with adult gull and baby chick nesting.



Field Ornithology  (BIOL 344/345)  


4 Credits 


Distribution Area: Natural Sciences.


Prerequisite: BIOL 252 or 254 and BIOL 290 and MATH 130.


Course Description: 

Ornithology is the study of birds. This course will explore the complex biology of birds, including evolution, functional morphology, physiology, ecology and behavior. Field, museum and laboratory activities emphasize particular aspects of morphology, ecology and behavior, as well as taxonomy and identification alongside native Massachusetts species.


The goal for this course is to provide a base of knowledge about birds in a way that will inspire you to keep learning about them through lecture, laboratory and field time. The course will focus primarily on the behavior, ecology and evolution of birds and the development of field skills. This is normally taught on Nantucket and will include some sessions devoted to ornithology through the Nantucket lens.


Instructor: Luis DeLeon Reyna

Dr. Luis DeLeon Reyna is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston. Luis came to UMB in 2016 and prior to that held positions at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute where he was a research associate and the Centre of Biodiversity. INDICASAT-AIP, in Panama. Luis received his PhD from McGill University,Canada where he worked on Eco-evolutionary dynamics in Darwin's finches.  Luis studies evolutionary ecology in a variety of organisms, including bird, fishes and insects. Specifically his lab works on adaptive divergence and speciation, human impacts on evolution, eco-evolutionary dynamics and Genomics of diversification in weakly-electric fishes.


Schedule & Fee

Dates: The course starts on Tuesday May 30th and ends on Friday June 16th, 2023.
Fees *Please note: the fee does not cover meals, books, insurance, or travel to and from Nantucket Island. 
Bunkhouse housing provides two bathrooms and two bedrooms of bunkbeds, shared full kitchen, dining room, and conference/lounge space.

Program fees BIOL 344/345 Both Lecture and Laboratory are required.


Lecture 344/345
With housing: $3,470.00 (includes housing, fees and tuition for 3 credits, it includes the BIOL 345 Fee of $900.00)
Without housing: $2,930.00(includes fees and tuition for lecture and lab only not housing, it includes the BIOL 345 Fee of $900.00) 



Click here to fill out an application to apply for this course.


Click here to find out about and apply for the Battle Nantucket Scholarship.


Click here to find out about and apply for the Beacon Success Fellowship. 


For more information contact:
Elizabeth Boyle


Instructor: Luis DeLeon Reyna