Catalog Description

Students learn and use modern statistical methods to estimate vital parameters of exploited fish populations, including abundance, age, growth, mortality, condition, and size structure. Students also explore basic concepts and specific methods for managing fish populations and the people who use them. Concepts are reinforced by examining real issues and collecting and analyzing real data through the scientific literature and field trips with local resource agencies. Prerequisites: BIO234. 4 Credits.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this class you will be able to …

  1. Explain a conceptual model for the population dynamics of a stock.
  2. Estimate abundance from mark-recapture and depletion data.
  3. Implement an age-length key.
  4. Estimate and interpret mortality from catch-at-age data.
  5. Estimate and interpret growth from length-at-age data.
  6. Fit and interpret stock-recruitment curves.
  7. Compute and interpret length frequency summaries and size structure indices.
  8. Compute and interpret condition indices.
  9. Describe the components of the fisheries management environment and the relationships between those components.
  10. Describe the steps in and components of the fisheries management process.
  11. Explain the purposes, strengths and limitations for a variety of management tools (including length limits, bag limits, closed seasons, refuges, stocking, ITQs, and catch shares).
  12. Make management recommendations that are founded on sound ecological reasoning and knowledge of fish biology, fisheries science results, and adaptive management principles.

In addition, this course is designed to contribute, in part, to meeting the following Intended Learning Outcomes for the Natural Resources program:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories and concepts that serve as a foundation for natural resource management,
  • Demonstrate understanding of descriptive statistics,
  • Understand the role that abiotic processes play in the function of ecosystems and management of natural resources,
  • Understand behavioral characteristics of an organism and how this influences population dynamics,
  • Understand interactions among ecological, social and economic systems,
  • Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary to manage natural resources,
  • Demonstrate ability to make management recommendations,
  • Understand Adaptive Management principles,
  • Work effectively in groups,
  • Work effectively independently,
  • Demonstrate professional workplace behavior (preparedness, perseverance, punctuality),
  • Demonstrate foundational quantitative skills necessary to manage natural resources,
  • Model population dynamics,
  • Read the primary literature to learn about a topic,
  • Manage data and information appropriately,
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret graphs and tabular data, and
  • Generate appropriate graphs and tables.


Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, its a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. – President Barack Obama

Instructor – Derek Ogle

I will answer to “Derek”, “Doctor Ogle”, “Professor Ogle”, or “Doctor Professor Ogle, Sir” … whichever you prefer. 😀

I am committed to your doing well in this course and see it as my responsibility to help you both in and out of the designated class period. There are several good ways to get help from me.

  • Attend class. In class I will expand on the most important parts of the preparation materials, demonstrate how to perform specific analyses, and work through examples and case studies that are similar to the homework assignments. In some periods there will be time for you to to work on the module assignments.
  • Ask questions on MS Teams. Simply start a new conversation (see quick links on course homepage) with your question and I will answer it ASAP. Other students may also answer your question.
  • I will hold in-person help hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1-2pm and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3pm. I can also setup a virtual meeting through Teams at others times upon request.
  • I will also try to respond to email queries ASAP.

Please see or contact me if you have questions regarding this course.


I want to create an inclusive and accessible learning environment for those of you that have a condition (e.g., attention, learning, vision, hearing, mental, physical, or other health-related concern) that may require special accommodations. If you have already established accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR), please communicate your approved accommodations to me as soon as possible so that we can discuss your needs in this course. If you have a condition that requires accommodations but you have not yet established services through OAR, then you should contact the Accommodations Specialist as soon as possible ( It is the policy and practice of Northland College to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. More information is available here.

Academic Alerts

If I observe you “struggling” with the course early in the semester then I may issue an “Academic Alert” about you. If this happens, you will receive an e-mail from me that will suggest steps you can take to improve your performance in the course. Our Academic Success Coordinator will also receive the alert and will likely also reach out to you. Academic Alerts are not punitive, they are simply an attempt to help you get back on track in this course as soon as possible.

Course Workflow

This course is composed of daily modules of material (see link in upper-right). The following is a general workflow that will be followed for each module.

  1. Prepare Module Material – A detailed reading and some pertinent videos are provided for each module. You will need to engage thoroughly with these materials. By this, I mean that you need to be focused (i.e., not distracted) while reading and you need to think hard about concepts that don’t make sense to you after your first read. A cursory reading likely will not be adequate. Please ask questions you have about the preparatory materials on the “Questions - Preparation Guide” Teams channel (quick link on class homepage) or during help hours. See grading section below for a related assignment.
  2. Class Time – During class I will generally present a short lecture that will attempt to clarify and cement the major concepts from the preparatory materials. In addition, I will demonstrate how to perform analyses and we will work on example analyses and case studies and discuss case studies and readings together. In some class periods there will be some time for you to get started on the module assignment (see next).
  3. Module Assignment – Most modules will have an assignment that is designed for you to gain experience with the module topic. Some assignments will be started in class but all assignments will require some time outside of class to complete. Please ask questions you have about the module assignment on the “Questions - Module Assignment” Teams channel (quick link on class homepage) or during help hours. The assignment will be prepared and turned in as described in the grading section below.


An overall grade will be computed from the module preparation guide answers and assignments described in the “Course Workflow” section, two exams, and your engagement (including attendance) in class according to the percentages below.

Weight 10%
Overall: Grade:

Your letter grade will be assigned from your overall percentage (rounded to a whole number) and the table below.

A 92-100A- 90-91
B+ 87-89B 82-86B- 80-81
C+ 77-79C 70-76
D+ 67-69D 60-66F 0-59



Philosophy: Attending class is important as this is a time to get your questions answered and hear explanations of important concepts and class announcements. However, engagement also includes paying attention and working through the entire class period as described below. The percentage is fairly high because we will cover a lot of ground in a two hour class.

Engagement will be graded on a 0-10 basis. If you attend, pay attention, work diligently, ask questions (when you have them), participate in discussion, and are focused the entire class period then you will earn full credit. However, if you do not attend class, you come substantially late, leave substantially early, don’t participate in the work or dicussion, or are otherwise unfocused during the class period then you will receive no or only partial credit.

Absences for school sponsored events (e.g., special sessions of other courses, athletics) will be excused. Other planned absences (e.g., family events, doctor’s appointments) cleared with me in advance will be excused. Please see the COVID-19 section below with respect to missing class due to illness. Excused absences will not negatively impact your attendance grade.

Preparation Guides

Philosophy: I want you to have some background on the topic at-hand before you come to class; thus, you will be asked to prepare for material prior to class. This percentage and the grading process described below acknowledges your effort for this work.

You should prepare (neatly) hand-written,1 answers to the “Preparation Guide” provided for each module’s preparatory material. Your “Preparation Guide” answers will be turned in via GradeScope (quick link on class homepage) by 11:30 am on the day the module is covered in class (see Modules page). The “assignment” on Gradescope will have the module name and “– prep” suffix. I will grade your answers according to the following rubric.

5 points4-1 points0 points
All questions were answered thoughtfully and fully and in such a way that it is clear what questions is being answered. Document was hand-written. Answers not nearly identical to someone else's answers.Various numbers of questions were not answered, were answered incorrectly, or without care or depth of thought. Note clear what question is being answered. Answers not nearly identical to someone else's answers.Very few answers were provided or were correct; answers were nearly identical to someone else's answers; answers were not turned in; or answers were not hand-written.

Module Assignments

Philosophy: The material in this courses is best learned with practice. In this class, practice is your work on module assignments. The percentage for this assessment is intermediate to “give you credit” for this work and to motivate you do do well on the assignments, but to not incur a deep penalty if your work is not perfectly correct as these are the first chances you will have to apply your developing skills and knowledge.

Module assignments should be prepared as described in the “Getting Organized” module for handing in on GradeScope (quick link on class homepage). The assignment on Gradescope will have the module name and “– assignment” suffix and is due by 1130 am on the day of the class period after the class period dedicated to the module.2

I will grade 50-100% of each module assignment “for content” (i.e., whether the work is done correctly or not). Questions that I do not grade “for content” will be graded “for completeness” (i.e., whether the work was done completely or not). You will receive a short e-mail from me when your graded assignment is available on GradeScope. You are expected to review your grade and comments (how-to video here) to better learn the material and to improve on future assignments. Detailed answer keys will be made available on the module webpage.


Philosophy: Exams will be used to assess your understanding of module concepts. A detailed study guide will be given to you approximately one week before the exam and the class period before the exam will serve as a “prep day” where you can review material with me and other students in the class. Exam dates are shown on the Modules page. Make-up exams will be given only in rare circumstances (please communicate openly and early with me if a situation arises where you may need a make-up exam).


Administrative Aspects of Grades

Late Work

Module preparation guide answers and assignments not submitted by the due date time will generally not be accepted. However, I will accept up to two late assignments as long as they are sent to me (as a PDF) before I post the assignment answer key (which I often due immediately after the assignment is due).

Monitoring Your Grade

Grades on individual module preparation guides and assignments can be found on the class Gradescope page (quick link on class homepage). I will update your percentage grades for the Preparation Guides, Engagement, Module Assignments, and Exams on (quick link on class homepage) periodically (I will send you a message when I do), which will then show your grade as of that time. You can also compute your overall grade at any time by entering your percentage scores in the table above for completed assessments. To project your future grade, also include percentages for future assessments.

Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade will be given ONLY in extreme circumstances that are beyond your control, such as a major illness, and will ONLY be given if you have successfully completed the entire course except for the final exam. This is in accordance with Northland College policy (scroll down to “Incomplete Grades”).

Midterm Grades

I will submit a “midterm grade” for you approximately half-way through the semester. This grade will by my best guess at your lowest possible final grade. I assign this “worst-case” midterm grade because mid-term grades have no meaning beyond letting you know where you stand in the class and I believe that it is better to know the worst rather than the best-case scenario at that point. Of course, see me if you have questions about your midterm grade.

Working Together

You may WORK TOGETHER on module preparations and assignments but you must INDEPENDENTLY PRODUCE what you turn in. In other words, you may discuss assignments together and even make plans for how to answer the questions or perform the calculations together, but the calculations must be your own and your written answers must be in your own words. It is also fine to compare independently produced answers as long as you discuss how to correct incorrect answers rather than just copying another person’s answer. Also, note that one need not copy verbatim someone else’s work to violate this policy; i.e., a slight change to someone else’s answer is not acceptable.

Copying the work of a student from a previous semester is also a violation of this policy.

If I suspect that you are violating this policy then I will follow the College’s Academic Integrity Statement & Policy. Note that the penalty for non-compliance can range from a zero on the assignment to failure of the course.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this policy.


Classroom Conduct and Academic Integrity

My intent is to create a classroom environment where learning can occur. One part of this environment is a well-organized course structure built upon relevant learning resources and interesting realistic exercises. Another part is my availability to assist you in learning from these resources and exercises. A third part is your conduct within the classroom. My expectations of you are that you will fully engage in the course (see above) and be respectful of all others in the class. At a minimum, I expect you to adhere to the following behaviors:

  • Please arrive to class on time. If you arrive late, then take the first available seat as quietly as possible. If you need to leave early, then please sit near the exit.
  • Please attend the entire class period. Leaving class early defeats the purpose of the class period, does not take advantage of resources (i.e., the professor) that can significantly help your learning, and does not build stamina. Please take care of your personal needs (e.g., using the restroom) before class so that you can stay focused for the entire class period.
  • Please turn your computer on immediately so that you can promptly begin the daily preparation check.
  • Please limit computer use to class work.
  • Please turn off and store out-of-sight cell phones and other electronic devices (except for your computer).
  • Please do not listen to music (or otherwise wear ear buds) during class.
  • Please do not have side discussions while I or others are speaking to the entire class.
  • Please do not sleep in class – this is rude and distracting to others.
  • Please do not use disrespectful language when addressing others.

Finally, note that the College’s Academic Integrity Statement & Policy will be followed in this course. Please make sure that you are familiar with its content.

Work Outside of Class

As a general rule-of-thumb3, you are expected to spend 2-3 hours of time outside of class for each hour in class. For this course, you will meet for 4 hours per week and, thus, you should dedicate between 8 and 12 hours of time outside of class time preparing for class, completing assignments, reviewing your work, and asking questions or for help. The work required for this course can be completed within this expected amount of time, if that time is without distraction. If monitoring your phone/device is distracting you from getting your work done then you may consider the aid of apps (e.g., Forest) designed to reduce distractions from devices.4

If you feel that you are spending too much time on some assignments or preparations, then start your work earlier so that you can stop (and do other things) and make plans to seek help.

Title IX Statement

In accordance with Title IX and other local, state, and federal laws, Northland College is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination, including sex and gender-based discrimination. This includes, but is not limited to sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating violence, and stalking. If you or someone you know has been affected or is currently being affected by these types of behaviors that are limiting your or their ability to participate in this course or any other Northland College sponsored program or activity, please know that there are options, and resources are available. You can also make a report by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.

I am not a confidential resource. As a faculty member I am considered a mandatory reporter and am required to report incidents of sex- and gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, as we want to ensure that you are connected with the campus support resources offered by the College. You can also make a report by contacting the Title IX coordinator directly. To learn more, please visit the Northland College Title IX website.

COVID-19 Statement

As you are aware, the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are ever-changing. Thus, it is possible that the college may make decisions that will affect how this course is administered. In addition, you may miss some class periods out of an abundance of caution if you are ill. I have designed the course to “work” whether we are face-to-face, remote, or somewhere in between. If you should have to miss class for any reason, please e-mail me promptly to explain to me your situation. I will work with you to help you stay up with class material as best as possible. If face-to-face classes are canceled then I will communicate with you promptly about how we will continue with class. Communication will be key to stay abreast of the current situation and how it relates to our class … so please keep me informed of your circumstances and regularly monitor your Northland e-mail.

It is my hope that we can maintain a face-to-face classroom for the entire session. You can help with this by doing the following things related to our class.

  • Get vaccinated (and boosted).
  • Monitor your temperature and check for symptoms of COVID-19 as described under “DAILY SELF CHECKS” on this page. If your temperature is elevated or you have symptoms please don’t come to class, notify the Office of Health Services, and notify me. Being cautious about your health and the health of others will be considered an “excused” absence and will not count against your attendance grade (as long as you communicate with me).
  • Thoroughly wash your hands prior to entering the classroom.
  • Please properly wear your mask at all times when entering the building and the classroom. This is in compliance with Northland’s face covering policy. 😷
  • Maintain proper physical/social distance (three feet) from other students while in the classroom.
  • Communicate issues to me (see ways to communicate to me above) so that I am aware and can try to address the issues.


  1. See this for some evidence

  2. For example, the assignment for the module covered on Tuesday is due at 1130 am on Thursday, and the module covered on Thursday is due at 1130 am on the following Tuesday. 

  3. General advice for how much time should be spent outside of class for each hour inside of class can be found, among many, here, here, here, and here

  4. Also see the following resources for other apps that may help you eliminate distractions from your devices … here, here, here, or here