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Biology class steps out of classroom to learn

Students taking Stephen White’s Advanced Biology II class at Ozarks Technical Community College are finding it’s more than just a seated class.

White has used the resources of the Ozarks and the professionals who manage it to help his students get the chance to examine wildlife management practices.

It’s something they normally wouldn’t get as second-year students.

“We partner with the Springfield Nature Center to study wildlife management practices, and problems of running a nature center.  We use the opportunity to see what its like to be a professional biologist working in the field,” White said.

During a recent trip to the Springfield Nature Center, students listened to professional naturalists talk about habitat care and maintenance and then toured the facility to see example of such work being done at the center.

Seth Talley, a second year student from Nevada and majoring in chemistry, said the information he was getting about the growth of the state’s deer population was interesting.

“It was also nice to get out of the classroom,” he said.

Max Goforth, a microbiologist major from Waynesville, said he liked the hands-on approach of the class.

“There are so many threads that make up the ecosystem. I didn’t know that a fallen tree could help promote good wildlife habitat,” he said.

The class also met with fish experts at Bass Pro’s fish quarantine facility in north Springfield. Students talked with experts in the way the company works to prevent bacteria and parasites from harming the fish that are put on exhibit at the 56 company aquariums.

“We are looking for parasites that can harm the fish and an aquarium. We determine the treatment to get rid of them,” said Blayk Michaels, operations supervisor for the company’s live exhibits.

J.R. Hill, a student from Ozark, was pleased with the chance to see and meet experts in the wildlife biology field.

“I was surprised to have this opportunity and have the hands-on approach. We see to see it up close,” he said.

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications for Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at


College Director of Communications

Phone: 417.447.2655


Steve Koehler

Coordinator of Publications

Phone: (417) 447-2666


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