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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sarah E. Dooling
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Environmental Studies

Format may range from seminar/discussion to formal lectures to laboratory or modeling work.

Class description


Ever wish you had a course that got you out of the classroom and learning by doing? This is your chance - Urban Ecology is a field that focuses on the interaction between human and natural systems in an urban setting. We ask questions such as:

How can human and natural systems be balanced in an urban setting? What does a 'good' urban ecological system look like? What are influences of ecological change on people’s experiences of a site?

The course is designed around a 'real world' problem and involves collecting data on urban stream restoration efforts and evaluating the success of that restoration from social and ecological perspectives. You will have the opportunity to collect field data on the habitat structure of a restored urban creek and conduct interviews to understand the role of the restoration in the surrounding neighborhood. In the course you will collect data, analyze it and present it to panel of stakeholders. This is your chance to experience the challenges and opportunities in integrating human and natural systems in an urban setting by using diverse data collection methods and combining qualitative and quantitative data during analysis.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Course assignments will be a series of short essays asking you to reflect on the assigned readings and class activities. There are no exams in the course, but there is a final project. For the final project, each student will write one section of a report that will be submitted to the City of Seattle about the social and ecological issues related to an urban stream restoration project. You will all be asked to present your findings to a panel of stakeholders.

Recommended preparation

This course is open to all majors, there are no prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Trina M. Sterry
Date: 03/01/2006