Introduction to Environmental Studies: River Resources
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River systems carry more than water. Rivers transfer energy, sediment, and dissolved materials; they modify the landscape; and they provide water and nutrients to ecosystems and agriculture. They act as corridors for the migration of fish, facilitate commerce, and attract recreation and development.
Because of the wide range of demands placed on rivers, laws and policies have been developed to limit and allocate how these resources can be used. Effective management of river resources is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring the application of knowledge in both environmental sciences and management. We will examine geology, hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, and aqueous chemistry, as well as environmental economics and benefit-cost analysis with an emphasis on the impacts of society on some natural river processes. Our modes of learning will include seminars, lectures, problem-solving workshops, science and geographic information systems (GIS) labs, project work, and field studies.
In winter, we will focus on natural-resource economics, physical geology, and surface-water hydrology, with the emphasis on quantitative problem solving. In addition, students will be introduced to GIS and develop skills in analyzing and displaying spatial data associated with river systems and drainage basins. We will take several daylong field trips to study local river systems in western Washington. An overnight field trip to the Olympic Peninsula will provide an opportunity to gain local knowledge about indigenous culture as well as environmental, economic and cultural consequences of removing the dams on the Elwha River.
In spring quarter, we will turn our attention to fluvial geomorphology, aqueous chemistry, and benefit-cost analysis. Students will participate in project work, and participate in an extended field trip to the Columbia River Basin in eastern Washington.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
economics, environmental studies, geology, hydrology, and political economy
Credits per quarter Variable Credit Options Available
variable credit options are available upon arrangement with faculty.
- No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.
$90 in winter and $300 in spring for overnight field trips and museum fees.
Upper division science credit:
Up to 13 credits of upper-division science may be awarded in spring quarter.
Class Size: 50
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia
|2018-02-13||This program will accept new students without signature. New students must have some background in college-level natural science, be comfortable with algebra-level math, and preferably have some GIS experience. New students are encouraged to contact the faculty by email or at Academic Fair to make sure that they are prepared to enter the program..|
|2017-11-29||Students may take IES for variable credit options upon faculty approval.|
|2017-05-12||Title revised to include "Introduction to Environmental Studies:"|