The art and practice of ecology afield

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 2008!   Last year we studied at Glacial Heritage Preserve, Capitol Forest, and The Sinlahekin Wildlife Area!                                                                                                         
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For more information contact: Dylan Fischer



This is the home-site for Field Ecology, a spring program at the Evergreen State College!  Our next program will be offered integrated with the program "Genes to Ecosystems" in 2009/ 2010, and then offered again as a year-long program in 2010/11.

This program focuses on intensive group and individual field research in current topics in ecology. Students intensively use the primary literature and student-driven field research to address observations about ecological composition, structure and function in natural environments. Independent and group research projects in relevant natural settings form the core of our curriculum. In the past our program has ranged from the South Puget Sound to the Southwestern US. In 2008, our program had three distinct research sites ranging from the South Puget Sound prairies to the east side of the North Cascades (the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area near Loomis, WA). Research projects are quickly developed, and expanded on, in a fast-paced, big-ideas, constructive environment, where the course forms a community working to make each project better. Research projects presentations and writing workshops build these ideas into workable products to share with the outside world. Science is a creative endeavor at its core, and we capitalize on that by focusing on application of new ideas in a synergistic interdisciplinary environment.

In 2008 we also focused on plants. Our work engaged plant community ecology, ecosystem ecology, plant physiology and plant-herbivore interactions. Topics of study in all programs include forest structure, ecological restoration; riparian ecology; fire history; ethnobotany; insect-plant interactions; disturbance ecology; and the broad fields of biocomplexity and ecological interactions. In 2010, we will address these subjects from a genetic and evolutionary perspective. These topics and student projects are crystallized through paper-writing workshops in which group and individual papers are be produced. We emphasize identification of original field research problems in diverse habitats, experimentation, data analyses, oral presentation of findings, and writing in journal format.




Spring 2006 Video (for educational purposes only):

              part 1    part 2    part 3    part 4

Research Groups


Ethnobotany Gradients

Ecological Gradients

Permanent Plots

Keystone Species

Ecosystem Science

Stream Team

Plant-animal Interactions