Student-Originated Studies: Prairie Conservation
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In this student originated studies program, students learn about the restoration ecology of south Puget Sound prairies through independent research and hands-on field work. A commitment is required to work from 24 to 35 hours per week as an intern with Dr. Sarah Hamman, restoration ecologist with the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM). Field time is primarily focused on CNLM’s conservation science program, which involves monitoring vegetation for a suite of projects, such as: 1) grazing impacts on native plant communities, 2) effects of microsite conditions on native plant establishment, 3) habitat condition and Mazama pocket gopher presence in a conservation bank, 4) effects of scotch broom legacy on native plant vigor and reproductive capacity, and 5) butterfly behavior response to variations in habitat quality. Students work in a three-person team, including an Americorps member and another intern from the Evergreen State College. As a part of their independent work, students read over ten prairie-based scientific articles and write multiple short responses and a final synthesis paper based on the assigned readings and field experience. Overall, through participating in ongoing restoration research projects with CNLM throughout the term, students gain field experience with plant identification, vegetation monitoring methods, data management, and the overall ecological restoration process. Opportunities are available for students to also generate botanical illustrations to contribute to the second edition of Vascular Plants of the South Sound Prairies and Oak Woodlands, slated for publication in 2022. Only students with a demonstrated skill in pen and ink botanical illustration are eligible for this option.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
restoration ecology; natural resource management
Credits per quarter Variable Credit Options Available
2 seats at 12-16 credits
Prior coursework in the use of technical dichotomous keys for the purpose of identifying unknown plants and sight recognition skills in plant families required. Familiarity with both local native plants and south Puget Sound prairies preferred but not required.
- Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Upper division science credit:
upper division science credit in restoration ecology awarded if earned
Development of a portfolio of botanical portraits of plants from the prairies and/or oak woodlands executed in pen and ink using stippling style for shading. Plants will be assigned based on what is needed for the illustrated field guide in progress. Students with InDesign skills interested in working on the second edition who meet the other requirements of the SOS applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.
Class Size: 2
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia
May be offered again in: