Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ES - Environmental Science

Lab fee:


In higher latitudes and higher altitudes of the world, up to nine months of each year can be spent locked in winter.

Although migratory species appear to have a selective advantage over non-migratory species during the winter season, year-round resident animals have evolved a remarkable array of physiological, morphological, and behavioral adaptations that allow them to cope with potentially lethal environmental conditions.

In this course, we focus on the special challenges of animals wintering in northern latitudes. Some of the topics that we address are: the physical properties of snow and ice, general strategies of animals for coping with sub-freezing temperatures, life in the subnivean environment, animal energetics and nutrition, physiological acclimatization, and humans and cold.

There are two discussions/lectures and one field exercise every week, as well as two weekend field trips. Students should be prepared to spend a significant amount of time outdoors in winter conditions. Students are evaluated on class participation, exams, and a student term project.



Permission of instructor

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.