Washington's Rivers and Streams
Revised Last Updated: 04/29/2009
Winter and Spring quarters
Faculty Signature Required: No signature required for Winter quarter; signature required for Spring.
Major areas of study include Stream ecology, fluvial geomorphology, Pacific Northwest physical geography, statistics, and quantitative reasoning. Upper division science credit is available for those students that deomonstrate mastery of the concepts based on computer labs, seminar papers, exams, and field projects.
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
Accepts Spring Enrollment: This program will accept new enrollment. Admission will be based on an interview with the faculty team to assess the suitability of the student's background. Students will need good quantitative skills, facility with Excel, and some formal training in statistics, ecology, and a physical science (geology, hydrology, or physics). For more information, contact Paul Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualified students will be accepted on a space available basis.
Prerequisites: Good algebra skills. AP or one year of college-level science strongly recommended, especially for those working to receive upper division science credit.
The rivers and streams of Washington transport two of the state's most valuable (and often contentious) resources, water and fish. They can also become quite hazardous when they flood various elements of our infrastructure. Although the western part of the state appears to be quite wet, disputes over water availability are common on both sides of the Cascade Range. Many of these conflicts can be avoided if decision-making processes pay more attention to basic principles of ecology and hydrology.
Our primary objective in this two-quarter program is to explore Washington's rivers, streams, riparian zones, and wetlands. We will cover the hydrology and geomorphology of these waterways with a focus on the movement of water and sediment, and the inherent variability that accompanies these processes. In addition, our study of the dynamic physical nature of aquatic systems will include interactions between aquatic habitats and organisms at all levels of the food chain. Specifically, we will cover microbial, algal, invertebrate and vertebrate ecology in streams and rivers, as well as the major ecosystem functions and services these aquatic habitats provide.
During winter quarter, our focus will be on the principles and processes associated with freshwater ecology and fluvial geomorphology. This will be accomplished through lectures, seminars with emphasis on the primary literature, statistics and other quantitative skill-building labs, and local, one-day field trips. Students will also develop a small-group research proposal, which will be implemented during the spring quarter. In addition to a major commitment to field work, in the second half of spring quarter there will be a 5-day field trip to eastern Washington to view freshwater habitats in the more arid parts of the state. Students unable to participate in this field trip may opt for additional work on campus, or reduced credit in spring quarter.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Special Expenses: $150 for spring quarter field trip.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in earth sciences, biological sciences, education and environmental studies.
|March 18th, 2009||Spring admission requirements moved to Spring Enrollment field.|
|April 1st, 2009||TBA removed, enrollment adjusted.|
|April 29th, 2009||Carri LeRoy has joined team; description and enrollment updated.|