Land-ocean margins - such as coasts and estuaries - are dynamic systems affected by both continental and marine processes. These boundary systems between land and sea contain unique habitats characterized by high biodiversity and elevated biological productivity. This program examines the geologic processes that generate coastal land forms and the physical forces that shape these features (e.g. tides, waves, and currents). In addition, we will study how organisms have adapted to the stresses associated with intertidal and estuarine environments and the factors that explain their elevated productivity. Current issues associated with the management of coastal resources, shoreline erosion, and geologic hazard preparation will be covered. Computer workshops will focus on the organization, analysis (basic descriptive statistics and some inferential statistics) and graphing of quantitative data. Seminars will examine the activities of humans in coastal systems and discuss scientific studies published in the primary literature. When possible, field trips will explore a variety of coastal and estuarine environments along the Pacific coast of Washington and on Puget Sound. This program provides a model of interdisciplinary approaches that are needed for successful work in environmental studies.
Students are expected to have access to Zoom and a computer capable of running Excel or Google Sheets. Program lectures, seminars, and labs are designed to be synchronous. Synchronous hours are estimated to be 15 hours/week. Our approach will emphasize participation in synchronous (live) sessions; however, if students find themselves unable to participate due to extenuating circumstances, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.
Course Reference Numbers
P reparatory for more advanced studies in environmental science