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SFOS Faculty > Trent Sutton > Courses and Learning Philosophy

Courses and Student Learning Philosophy

Since joining the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Trent has taught the following five (5) courses: FISH 315 Fisheries Techniques, FISH 487 Fisheries Management, FISH 492/692 Fisheries Division Seminar, FISH 650 Fish Ecology, and FISH 692 Coregonid Biology (see course descriptions and objectives below). In addition, he has also taught a two-week summer module on fisheries biology and sampling techniques as part of the Alaska Summer Research Academy (ASRA) program at UAF. These courses are geared toward more effectively equipping students with the following skills critical to career success: (1) practical communication experiences; (2) critical thinking and problem-solving exercises; (3) exposure to current and historical issues; and (4) opportunities for gaining practical field and laboratory experience. In these courses, Trent has used written assignments (i.e., laboratory reports, thought questions, sampling plans, management proposals, case studies, microthemes), class discussions, and oral presentations to successfully improve the communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills of students.

FISH 315 Fisheries Techniques

Course Description

An introduction to laboratory and field sampling methods in aquaculture, limnology, and fisheries biology. An emphasis will be placed on the proper care and use of laboratory equipment and field sampling gears, as well as the development of sampling protocols for collecting representative, non-biased fisheries and aquatic sciences data.

Course Objectives

  1. To develop knowledge of the basic principles and techniques associated with hatchery and freshwater fish culture systems and the assessment of physical habitat, water quality, lower trophic levels, and fish populations in lentic and lotic environments.
  2. To provide practical experience in aquatic resource assessment, data analysis and reporting, and decision-making as it pertains to the sampling and management of fish culture systems and aquatic ecosystems.
  3. To sharpen critical thinking, written and oral communication, and professional skills relative to fisheries and aquatic science sampling considerations and issues.

FISH 487 Fisheries Management

Course Description

Theory and practice of fisheries management, with an emphasis on strategies utilized for the management of freshwater and marine fisheries. Application of quantitative methodologies for the assessment and manipulation of aquatic habitats, sport and commercial fish populations, and human resource users and non-users are considered, as is the setting of appropriate goals and objectives for effective, science-based management.

Course Objectives

  1. To develop knowledge of the basic principles and strategies utilized to assess and manage aquatic habitats, recreational and commercial fish populations, and human users and non-users, particularly those within inland freshwater environments of North America.
  2. To provide practical experience in fishery-resource assessment, data analysis and reporting, and decision making as it pertains to fisheries biology and management issues and scenarios.
  3. To sharpen critical thinking, written and oral communication, and professional skills relative to fisheries biology and management resource issues.

FISH 492/692 Fisheries Division Seminar

Course Description

Selected topics on current fisheries issues in freshwater and marine systems will b presented by guest speakers. Prerequisites: Upper-level undergraduate or graduate standing or permission of instructor. Weekly attendance is mandatory.

Course Objectives

  1. To develop an awareness of current fisheries issues in freshwater and marine ecosystems, with a primary focus on Alaska.
  2. To develop an appreciation of fisheries research activities taking place on the UAF campus and greater Fairbanks area.
  3. To develop critical thinking and communication skills.

FISH 650 Fish Ecology

Course Description

The relationship of fishes to the physical, chemical, and biological features of their environment in both perturbed and unperturbed aquatic ecosystems. An emphasis will be placed on fish diversity in terms of morphology, behavior, feeding, and reproductive strategies as they relate to individual and population adaptation, and community structure in both freshwater and marine environments.

Course Objectives

  1. To develop an appreciation for the diversity of responses by individual fish to environmental variability and the consequences of individual adaptation for population and community persistence.
  2. To provide a basic understanding of the elementary principles of fish population dynamics and response strategies to biotic and abiotic features of the environment.
  3. To promote consideration of the limits of ecological adaptation in the development of alternative fisheries management strategies.
  4. To hone critical thinking, written and oral communication, and professional skills as they relate to ecological theory within the context of fisheries biology and management.

FISH 692 Coregonid Biology

Course Description

Biology, management, and conservation of whitefishes and ciscoes throughout the world, with a particular emphasis on those species found in Alaska and North America.   Topics will include evolution, phylogeny, and systematics, phenotypic plasticity and variability, population dynamics, recruitment and year-class strength, impacts of exploitation, migrations and movement patterns, and habitat requirements.

Course Objectives

  1. To develop a better understanding of the biology, management and conservation of whitefishes and ciscoes belonging to the subfamily Coregoninae on a global scale.
  2. To identify the particular biology and management issues and scenarios relative to whitefishes and ciscoes in Alaskan waters.
  3. To sharpen critical thinking, oral communication, and professional skills related to coregonid biology and management resource issues.

Trent strongly believes that the university-learning experience should extend beyond the classroom. As a result, he has employed 45 undergraduate students for field and/or laboratory research over the past 10 years while at Purdue University and UAF. Similarly, he also has employed 21 students from other universities, including one individual from Ecuador. During that period, Trent has instructed 20 undergraduates in special topics courses in areas ranging from aquatic ecology to fisheries biology. Further, he has mentored seven (7) high school students, with five (5) of these students receiving scholarships through the American Fisheries Society Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program.