Courses Taught at the University of Kansas:

BIOL 592/792 – Ichthyology (4 credits)
Last taught Spring 2016

Class field trip to Kansas Field Station

Class field trip to Kansas Field Station

Current Course Description:
A study of fishes. Lecture topics include the structure and adaptations of fishes to the aquatic environment and a survey of major fish groups with emphasis on their evolution and biogeography. Laboratory topics include a survey of fish diversity using specimens and the use of keys to identify fishes, with emphasis on the Kansas fish fauna. This course meets with BIOL 792. Students taking this course at the 700 level will have additional work required of them. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 and/or BIOL 413. LEC 

Course Objectives:
To expose students to the phylogenetic diversity of fishes.
To identify the major anatomical features of the most important groups of fishes and describe their evolutionary origins and physiological functions.
To familiarize students with the structure and function of fishes. To illustrate how fishes interact with their environments both ecologically and physiologically.
To describe the diversity of life history and reproductive strategies among fishes, and illustrate how that variation adapts them for life in aquatic habitats.
To facilitate student appreciation for the impact of humans on the distribution and abundance of fishes.
To summarize major new findings from scientific papers, relate those findings to topics covered in this course, and explain their importance to scientifically-literate people.

BIOL 701 – Topics, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDIG)  (2 credits)
Last taught Fall 2014 with Rafe Brown, Rich Glor, Rob Moyle, Town Peterson, and Tom Taylor.

Current Course Description:
This class was developed to assist doctoral candidates in preparation of NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) proposals.  We have sought involvement from EEB faculty with extensive recent experience in preparing and submitting successful regular NSF grants and DDIGs, with particular emphasis on faculty who have recently served on NSF panels.

Course Objectives:
The goals of the course are to familiarize doctoral candidates with all aspects of NSF DDIG grant proposals, with particular emphasis on working with students concurrently to prepare their own proposals during the semester of offering.

Previous Teaching Experience:

2011-2012 Instructor: “Ethical Treatment of Animals in the Field” section of Scientific Integrity and Ethical Conduct of Research course, University of Chicago

2009 Research Instructor: Systems biology exploration camp at The Field Museum and The University of Chicago

2008 Instructor: Grants, publications, and professional issues (CEB-40100), University of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology with Joy Bergelson and Robert Ho

2007 Guest Lecturer: Systematic biology, University of Chicago

2005 Instructor: Tree of Life Institute (seven-day course), American Museum of Natural History

2005 Instructor: Theory and Practice of Direct Optimization Using POY (three-day course), American Museum of Natural History

2000 Teaching Assistant: Conservation Biology (W3187), Columbia University, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology with Eleanor Sterling and James Gibbs

2000 Teaching Assistant: Graduate Seminar in Conservation (G6990), Columbia University, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology with Eleanor Sterling and Josh Ginsberg


University of Kansas, Biodiversity Institute, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045; 785.864.6874 ©2019 W.L. Smith