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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Joshua J Latterell
FISH 547
Seattle Campus

River Ecology and Watershed Management

Characterization of streams and rivers from a watershed perspective with an emphasis on fundamental processes affecting the structure and dynamics of communities and the riparian zone. Identifies river-related conflicts and human-induced changes at the watershed scale, and explores approaches to improve river management

Class description

In this course, we use a watershed perspective to learn about the ecology of streams and rivers, with an emphasis on the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest. The general topic is well supported by a variety of theoretical concepts, and these will be used as the foundation for developing a regional knowledge of aquatic communities and the associated riparian zones. A strong emphasis is placed on ‘natural’ systems. Topics addressed include general hydrology and geomorphology, alone with detailed discussions of system classification, riparian zones, roles of animals, hyporheic processes, suspended and benthic organic matter, trophic ecology, system metabolism, decomposition, biogeochemical cycles, and microbial ecology. The goal of this course is to produce a ‘work-ready’ individual who can speak with authority about the components and dynamics of river ecosystems.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The method of instruction include lectures, in-class discussions, two weekend field trips (Skagit River and Hoh/Queets River) and extensive laboratory exercises on stream organisms and quantitative tools.

Recommended preparation

Courses: Math, Physics (Fluid Dynamics), Geology, Hydrology, Aquatic Ecology, Chemistry, Forestry, Fisheries Status: Graduate/Undergrad

Class assignments and grading

Participation (30%) Skagit River Rafting Trip Sampling Techniques Field Trip Hoh & Queets Rivers Field Trip Participation in class discussions

Mid-term Exam (20%)

Lab Practicum (20%) PNW Lotic Fauna and Flora

Final Exam (30%) Take Home; Due 10 June by noon. Late submissions will not be accepted.


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.
Class web page
Last Update by Joshua J Latterell
Date: 03/11/2004