At the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina, associate professor Jim Beasley is a prolific researcher, focusing on the impact of human activity on wildlife populations.

But Beasley, whose academic appointment is in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, does more than research. He also walks UGA students through the (literal and figurative) field of wildlife study in his course, “Field and Molecular Techniques in Wildlife Research and Management.”

Taking advantage of the 310 square miles of forests, waterways and wetlands that make up the Savannah River Site, Beasley accompanies his students into the woods to learn how to observe, trap and study many different species of mammals, reptiles, birds and other wildlife in their natural habitats.

In this video, Beasley and his students talk about the particular joys of getting their hands dirty in this vast, emerald-colored outdoor classroom.