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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Thomas M Hinckley
ESRM 401
Seattle Campus

Spring Comes to the Cascades

Examines the interaction between forests, environment, and growth at three locations in the Cascades, from lowlands to alpine. Field trips and associate observations are linked to classroom or group project activities and are used to understand a number of ecological, physiological, and meteorological concepts. Offered: Sp.

Class description

We will use a series of all day field trips to investigate the natural history of the PNW with an emphasis on the I-90 corridor. In this class, we will take advantage of a world class outdoor laboratory. Thursday class' field trips will be all day and on the following dates: April 10, April 24, and May 22. Interested in two additional credits (weekend field trip to the Methow), email Saturday class' field trips will be all day and on the following dates: April 12, April 26, and May 24. Interested in two additional credits (weekend field trip to the Methow, ESRM 491B, May 16 - 18), email

Student learning goals

Learn about the interaction between plants and the environment. Environment includes: Physical: Climate, geology, nutrients, soils, water Biological: Animals, diseases, insects and other plants, etc.

Be able to think at different scales (Washington State, I-90 from Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass, South Fork of the Snoqualmie, north vs. south side of a valley, next to the stream versus up slope 30 meters, etc.).

Be able to frame ideas in terms of gradients (environmental: temperature, elevation, light, moisture, etc.; spatial and temporal (night - day, summer-winter, etc.).

Learn a range of interpretative and measurement skills

Learn how to keep a good journal, be an outdoor detective, and enhance your ability to convey information about where you are to others.

General method of instruction


Recommended preparation

Be in sufficient physical condition to hike to the top of West Tiger 3 from the Lake Tradition parking lot and back in 3 hours or less.

Class assignments and grading

There will be homework including two factsheets to prepare for each field trip. There will be a required course journal.

Attendance on the field trips: Yes or no (anyone no = -33/100 points) Factsheets (40%) Field Trip Homework (20%) Journals (40%)

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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Thomas M Hinckley
Date: 02/19/2014