Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters
- Abir Biswas geology, earth science, biogeochemistry , Carri LeRoy freshwater ecology, quantitative biology, environmental education , Clyde Barlow (F,W) chemistry, instrumental analysis
- Fields of Study
- biology, chemistry, ecology, environmental studies, field studies, geology and writing
- Preparatory for studies or careers in
- geology, chemistry, ecology, biogeochemistry, chemical instrumentation, environmental analysis and environmental fieldwork.
- One year of college chemistry, one quarter of college (physical) geology, one quarter of college biology and one year of college algebra or precalculus mathematics required. Additional quarters of geology and biology are recommended.
Well-designed and accurate chemical, ecological and geological measurements are key to assessing the biogeochemistry of natural ecosystems. This is a field- and laboratory-intensive science program designed for students with solid preparations in general chemistry, biology, geology and precalculus math who want to pursue more advanced investigations of bio-geo-chemical systems. Students will study statistics, geochemistry, analytical chemistry, freshwater ecology and GIS programming. Instrumental techniques of chemical analysis will be developed in an advanced laboratory. Program work will emphasize quantitative analysis, quality control procedures, research design and technical writing.
During fall and winter quarters, we will address topics in carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, in addition to analytical chemistry, GIS, statistics and instrumental methods of chemical analysis. Students will participate in group projects studying water quality, trophic structure, organic matter and nutrient cycling processes of local watersheds. Analytical procedures based on EPA, USGS and other guidelines will be utilized to measure major and trace anion and cation concentrations and weathering rates in natural systems, and to measure analytes and phytochemicals critical to quantification of leaf-litter decay processes and marine-derived inputs to ecosystem function in freshwater systems. Computers and statistical methods will be used extensively for data analysis and simulation, as well as for work with GIS.
In the fall, there will be a week-long field trip to collect natural waters from diverse sites in Eastern Washington. These samples will form the basis for testing and evaluating chemical analysis methods and for developing a quantitative assessment of the geochemistry of the waters. In the winter, students will collect and analyze samples from a suite of ecosystem compartments (e.g., soil horizons, leaves, woody debris, streams, biota) to quantify nutrient storage and cycling on the landscape.
Spring quarter will be devoted to extensive project work building on skills developed in the fall and winter. Students will conduct hypothesis-driven experimental design, sample collection, analysis, and statistical interpretations prior to presenting their results in both oral and written form to conclude the year.
- Online Learning
- Enhanced Online Learning
- Greener Store
- Required Fees
- $300 for overnight field trips.
- Special Expenses
- Approximately $300 for spring quarter field trips.
- Internship Possibilities
- Spring quarter, or under special circumstances with faculty approval. Students must complete an In-program Internship Learning Contract (designed for this program) in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising.
- Research Possibilities
- Water quality analysis and chemistry and freshwater riparian ecology in fall quarter. Soil and phyto-chemistry in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in winter quarter. Student-derived and faculty-derived research opportunities are the focus of the spring quarter.
- Upper Division Science Credit
- Students who satisfactorily complete the program requirements may be awarded upper division science credits.
- May be offered again in
- Fall, Winter, Spring 2016-17
- Offered During