graduate Conceptualizing Our Regional Environment (gCORE)
Fall 2013 quarter
This program provides a framework for understanding current environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will begin to develop the skills to become producers of new knowledge, rather than being strictly learners of information already available. Multiple methods of data acquisition and analysis will be introduced through examples drawn from many fields of study. The philosophy of science and the problematic relationship between science and policy are also introduced.
Erin Ellis, Ph.D., is an aquatic biogeochemist whose research focuses on examining the role of rivers in the global carbon cycle. Rivers are large sources of carbon to both the atmosphere and the ocean and are consequently critical to our understanding of the global carbon cycle. While working in the Amazon Basin, her research demonstrated that bacteria living in the river produce high levels of carbon dioxide through respiration, and this carbon dioxide is subsequently lost to the atmosphere. Her current research in the Mekong Basin (i.e. Cambodia) focuses on characterizing the type of organic carbon that is exported by large rivers to the ocean. Specifically, she uses molecular tracers to determine where in the watershed the carbon originates from, and uses radiocarbon analyses to determine the age of this material. Such information is necessary in order to understand the preservation of terrestrial carbon in the ocean, which can affect atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over long time scales. Through her training (master’s and doctoral degrees from the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington), Erin has research experience working in streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Additional interests include ocean acidification, estuarine ecology, evaluating the impacts of dams on downstream processes, and microbial ecology. Her past and present research has been conducted through collaborations with colleagues in Brazil, Cambodia, and the Pacific Northwest.
Kevin Francis, Ph.D., is a historian and philosopher of science, with particular interest in the development of the environmental sciences. Kevin studied biology and philosophy at Reed College. After graduating, he spent several years working as a wildlife biologist for Mt. Hood National Forest. His graduate studies at the University of Minnesota focused on history of science and medicine. His historical research concerns scientific efforts to understand the mass extinction of North American megafauna (e.g. mammoth, mastodon, giant ground sloth) around 12,000 years ago, especially the way that various disciplines approach this problem.
Dina Roberts, Ph.D., is a conservation biologist with broad field experience as an ornithologist and wildlife biologist, as well as experience in species management and forest policy development. Her background in field research spans more than two decades and includes studies in temperate and tropical forests to understand the impacts of forest fragmentation and land use change on biodiversity. Dina completed her Master’s research from University of Georgia in collaboration with Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Panama looking at the importance of shade coffee plantations for tropical ants and birds. Dina received an IGERT Fellowship from the NSF to complete interdisciplinary doctoral research in a team of researchers looking at the importance of sustainable development and biodiversity protection in Costa Rica. She has since worked as a Postdoctoral Researchers at Washington State University, as an Endangered Species Biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and as a Staff Scientist working at the science/policy interface to increase understanding of the global importance and increase protection of boreal forest of North America.
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Evening
Advertised schedule: 6-10p Tue/Thu