2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Advanced Research of Arid Ecosystems


Spring 2013 quarter

Abir Biswas geology, earth science, biogeochemistry , Clarissa Dirks biology
Fields of Study
biochemistry, biology, ecology, environmental studies, field studies and geology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
biology, molecular biology/ecology, plant ecology, biogeochemistry, or geology.
Students must have two quarters of either college-level biology (particularly cellular and molecular biology) or college-level geology as well as a full year of general chemistry. Please contact the faculty for more information.

This program is designed for students who have a strong background in biology or geology and would like to do advanced work around either topic as it applies to arid ecosystems in the Southwestern U.S. or Eastern Washington State, though there may be opportunities for students to contrast arid systems with more temperate forest ecosystems in Western Washington State. There will be an emphasis on student- and faculty-derived research projects throughout and students will meet regularly with faculty to discuss progress and receive feedback. Students with prior backgrounds or analytical experience in biology and/or geology, seeking to join the program in the spring to conduct field- and/or lab-based research projects are encouraged to contact the faculty early. Students will need to develop their research proposals in the first 2 weeks of the quarter while studying the primary literature. Students will then be conducting their proposed field work and/or laboratory work in weeks 3-6. Students will spend the rest of the quarter completing their analyses in preparation for presenting their work at the end of the program. The expectations and workload will be based on advanced work for upper division credit. In part, the content and themes of this program will be merged with another ongoing program offered by the faculty. Students continuing from that program will have developed group research proposals that will be the basis of their spring research project component. The work of those students is not advanced and the expectations are different. These two groups will meet together only for certain lectures or other activities whereby both will learn more about the faculty research projects and arid/southwest ecosystems. Advanced research students could potentially join the Grand Canyon river trip to conduct research studying Southwestern ecosystems but would need to contact the faculty as soon as possible (prior to Spring quarter registration). Students could also conduct comparative field work in arid or temperate ecosystems in Washington State that will be the basis of their quarter-long research project.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
There are three field study options: $1,700 for a two-week trip to the Grand Canyon; $250 for field research expenses in Eastern Washington State; or students may remain in Olympia and complete field research locally.
Upper Division Science Credit
Upper division science credit may be awarded in molecular biology/ecology, plant ecology, biogeochemistry, or geology upon completion of the program. Upper division credits will be given for upper division work at the discretion of the faculty. Students seeking to earn upper division credit must contact the faculty to discuss options prior to the start of the quarter.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 25th, 2013 New opportunity added.