2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry with C. Coughenour

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Christopher Coughenour sedimentology, geophysics

Fields of Study: chemistry and education

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10551 (1-16) So - Sr  Signature Required Students should contact the faculty for more information.  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20258 (1-16) So - Sr  Signature Required Students should contact the faculty for more information.  

Spring: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 30240 (1-16) So - Sr  Signature Required Students should contact the faculty for more information.  

Credits: Variable Credit Options

Variable Credit Options: seat availability and credit options vary per quarter.

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Day


Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Scientific Inquiry. This independent learning opportunity allows advanced students to delve into real-world research with faculty who are currently engaged in specific projects. Students typically begin by working in apprenticeship with faculty or laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific research program as they gain experience. Students can develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, written and oral communication, collaboration, and critical thinking that are valuable for students pursuing a graduate degree or entering the job market.

Chris Coughenour (geology) invites students to research sediment dynamics of intertidal areas of south Puget Sound estuaries. The mudflats of the southern inlets within Puget Sound offer accessible natural laboratories in which interested students can study and learn some of the methods of physical estuarine science. This research may be approached from several perspectives, depending on the student's background and interests. One possiblity is to analyze sediment transport and depositional dynamics, whereby flow conditions and sedimentation are closely monitored over a period of weeks or months. Another option would be to analyze the sediment budget of the south Sound and attempt to discern seasonal variation in sediment transport and, perhaps, sediment texture. Either of the outlined options could be related to environmental/ecological analyses with further inspection of mineral/nutrient transport or other methods developed with the student.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: geology.

Campus Location: Olympia

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