Introduction to Environmental Studies: River Resources
Winter 2018 and Spring 2018 quarters
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.
Fields of Studyeconomics environmental studies geology hydrology political economy
economics, environmental studies, geology, hydrology, and political economy
QuartersWinter Open Spring Signature
Location and Schedule
Final Schedule and Room Assignment
Online LearningNo Required Online Learning
$90 in winter and $300 in spring for overnight field trips and museum fees.
|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:"|