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The best way to learn about an animal's anatomy is through a hands-on dissection! Students in the Chesapeake Bay Ecology course dissect crabs (pictured) and oysters. Students in the Whales and Estuaries Course dissect a fish and compare its anatomy to the whale.
After canoeing, students try their hand at seine netting to see what lies beneath the water's surface. Everyone works together to identify which animals live in this fresh water ecosystem that leads to the bay.
On "canoe day", students survey a portion of a Chesapeake Bay from the water to view flora and fauna that makes estuarine ecology so distinctive.
Students from all programs participate in a debate, which culminates their learning. They are encouraged to use their notes from the session as support for their arguments.
Students in the Whales and Estuaries course use gel electrophoresis to compare whale DNA. The equipment and methods available at Notre Dame might not otherwise be used until college.
The labs are a vital part of the program. Students learn the special care and discipline it takes to perform lab procedures correctly. Students in the Chesapeake Bay Ecology course conduct physiology and behavior studies (pictured) and incubate the oyster disease, Dermo, to identify it under a microscope

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