Robert Joseph Turner
Unique course offerings designed to respond to faculty and student interests. Possible topics may include economic and environmental issues, air pollution, water quality, ecological restoration, global warming, or conservation biology.
The subtitle of this offering of BES 397 is Estuarine Science and Management. In this course we will be learning about the unique characteristics and problems of estuaries. Specifically, we will concern ourselves with the genesis, circulation, water quality, and ecology of estuaries, with Puget Sound as our primary system of interest. The majority of our class time will be spent on field trips visiting Puget Sound watershed environments and the passionate people who conduct environmental advocacy, management, research, and education in the region.
Student learning goals
Characterize the natural processes driving the genesis and evolution of estuarine features and habitats
Identify and evaluate the various threats to ecological integrity in Puget Sound and other estuaries worldwide.
Improved ability in relating how geomorphological features and evolution impact ecosystems.
Discuss the ramifications for coastal populations associated with projected trends in estuarine degradation.
• Demonstrate facility in collaborating with partners in conducting group tasks, generating worthwhile data, and submitting quality work on time.
Develop an original and creative lesson plan meant to foster learning around a Puget Sound issue in grade school aged students.
General method of instruction
The majority of our class time will be spent on field trips. To complement our field work, there will be weekly homework and reading assignments. Students will also collaborate in small groups to develop and deliver an environmental education lesson plan meant to enhance understanding of Puget Sound issues. Because most of our class time will be spent in the field, much of our discussions of the reading and other course issues will take place online. In addition, there will be quizzes and videos online. This reliance on online interaction makes this a “hybrid” course. As a consequence, there will be a lot less spoon feeding of course content to you via lectures than in a typical course. By design, you are expected to master most of the learning objectives via your own effort. This will require diligence and self-motivation on your part.
No prerequisites, though an interest in natural science will help.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly online quizzes and/or discussions. There will be 7 homework assignments, a midterm exam, and an environmental education project where you will work in a group to develop and deliver a lesson plan at a summer camp.