Warren G. Gold
Examines major ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest to understand the structure, function, and location of these characteristic ecosystems in our region. Investigates the intersection of ecological knowledge, environmental policy and management strategies in selected ecosystems. Required background: one quarter college biology.
Winter 2009: This class is a scientific introduction to the distribution and function of ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. We will explore the ecological relationships of natural biological communities and take a more limited look at the associated human dimensions of environmental policies and land use management. Basic familiarity with biology and ecological science are reccommended as preparation (such as might be had in an introductory-level college biology course sequence).
Student learning goals
Students will become familair with the basic principles of ecology: how organisms interact with their environment and each other, and the factors that influence these relationships as they apply to regional ecosystems.
Students will understand the major environmental factors and processes governing the distribution of different ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.
Students will become familiar with the occurrence and roles of natural disturbances in regional ecosystems.
Students will understand human impacts, land use practices, and environmental policies that influence the presence and function of selecetd ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.
General method of instruction
The course is mostly lecture-based, with other learning from field trips, discussions and readings.
A background in basic ecological sciences (e.g., BES 312) is recommended. The material in this course is targeted for Environmental Science (B.S.) and STE or ES option students in IAS, but other motivated students have been successful.
Class assignments and grading
There will be exams, short (2-5 page) reports on field trip(s), and a final paper (8-12 pages) on a Pacific Northwest ecoregion. There will be 1 or 2 REQUIRED 1-day field trip(s) on this course! The field trip will require walking on trails for 1-2 miles. These will take place on a weekend day (there will be 2-3 field trips to choose from). There may be an additional brief (required) field trip during class time as well.
Grades are assessed on 2 exams, field trip report(s), in-class discussion assignment(s), and a final paper.