Advanced Research in Environmental Studies
Fall 2015, Winter 2016 and Spring 2016 quarters
Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Environmental Studies. This independent learning opportunity is designed to allow advanced students to delve into real-world research with faculty who are currently engaged in specific projects. The program will help students develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, written and oral communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills—all of which are of particular value for students who are pursuing a graduate degree, as well as for graduates who are already in the job market.
Abir Biswas studies nutrient and toxic trace metal cycles in terrestrial and coastal ecosystems. Potential projects could include studies of mineral weathering, wildfires, and mercury cycling in ecosystems. Students could pursue these interests at the laboratory scale or through field-scale biogeochemistry studies, taking advantage of the Evergreen Ecological Observation Network (EEON), a long-term ecological study area. Students with backgrounds in a combination of geology, biology, or chemistry could gain skills in soil, vegetation, and water collection and learn methods of sample preparation and analysis for major and trace elements.
Dylan Fischer studies plant ecosystem ecology, carbon dynamics, and nutrient cycling in forests of the Southwest and western Washington. This work includes image analysis of tree roots, molecular genetics, plant physiology, carbon balance, nitrogen cycling, species interactions, community analysis, and restoration ecology. He also manages the EEON project ( blogs.evergreen.edu/eeon/ ). See more about his lab's work at: blogs.evergreen.edu/ecology . Students participating in this program work closely with ongoing research in the lab, participate in weekly lab meetings, and develop their own research projects.
Carri LeRoy conducts research on linkages between terrestrial and aquatic environments. She is trained as a freshwater ecologist and primarily studies in-stream ecosystem processes and aquatic communities. She and her students study leaf litter decomposition in streams as a major input of organic material to aquatic systems. In addition, she conducts research on aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure, aquatic fungal biomass and standard water quality and hydrology measurements in stream and river environments.
Alison Styring studies birds. Current activity in her lab includes avian bioacoustics and avian monitoring and research in Evergreen’s campus forest and other nearby locations. Bioacoustic research includes field monitoring of local birds using audio recordings and microphone arrays, and editing and identifying avian songs and calls from an extensive collection of sounds from the campus forest as well as tropical forest sites in Borneo. Local research projects in the campus forest and nearby locations include Pacific wren mating and life-history strategy, cavity formation and use by cavity-nesting birds (and other cavity-dependent species), and monitoring long-term trends in bird populations and communities using a variety of standard approaches.
Erik Thuesen conducts research on the ecological physiology of marine animals. He and his students are currently investigating the physiological, behavioral, and biochemical adaptations of gelatinous zooplankton to environmental stress and climate change. Other research is focused on the biodiversity of marine zooplankton. Students working in his lab typically have backgrounds in different aspects of marine science, ecology, physiology, and biochemistry.
Pauline Yu studies the developmental physiology and ecology of marine invertebrates. She is interested in the biochemistry of the seawater-organism interface, developmental nutritional biochemistry and metabolic depression, invasive species, carbonate chemistry (ocean acidification), and cultural relationships with foods from the sea. Students have the opportunity to collaboratively develop lines of inquiry for lab and/or field studies in ecology, developmental biology, physiology, marine carbonate chemistry and mariculture.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day