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This program will focus on intensive group and individual field research on current topics in ecological science. These topics will include forest structure, ecosystem ecology, effects of forest management, ecological restoration, riparian ecology, fire history, bird abundance and monitoring, insect-plant interactions, and disturbance ecology. Students will be expected to intensively use the primary literature and student-driven field research to address observations about ecological composition, structure, and function. Multiple independent and group research projects will form the core of our work in local forests of the south Puget Sound lowlands, national forests, national parks, state forests, and other relevant natural settings. Students are expected to hit the ground running and should develop research projects for the entire quarter within the first several weeks of the program.
Through a series of short, intensive field exercises, students will hone their skills in observation, developing testable hypotheses, and designing ways to test those hypotheses. We will also explore field techniques and approaches in ecology, and especially approaches related to measuring plant and avian biodiversity. Students will have the option to participate in field trips to remote sites in the Pacific Northwest. Research projects will be formally presented by groups and individuals at the end of the quarter. Finally, student research manuscripts will be created throughout the quarter, utilizing a series of intensive multi-day paper-writing workshops. We will emphasize identification of original field research problems in forest habitats, experimentation, data analyses, oral presentation of findings, and writing in scientific journal format.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
plant and wildlife ecology, environmental studies, habitat management, ecological restoration, and conservation biology
Credits per quarter
One year (greater than 12 credits) of college-level biology, one year (greater than 9 credits) of college-level chemistry, and one year (greater than 9 cumulative credits) of college-level algebra, precalculus, and calculus or statistics. Students should also have previous credits in botany, taxonomy, ornithology, and zoology. Ability to use plant taxonomic keys and identify birds from song is especially encouraged.
- Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
$150 for an overnight field trip.
Upper division science credit:
Upper-division science credit may be awarded in forest science, ornithology, statistics, and plant ecology upon completion of the program. Upper-division credits will be given for upper-division work at the discretion of the faculty.
Class Size: 50
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia