Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Anthropocene

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Spring 2018 quarter

Taught by

landscape ecology, physical geography (climate, landforms, biogeography), spatial analysis/GIS
ecology, entomology, agronomy

This program is a repeat of the program in winter quarter.  Students who take the program in winter should not register for the spring quarter program.

What are the impacts of human-induced climate change on ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest? Students in this program will investigate this question from the perspectives of climate change science, basic meteorology, ecosystem science, and invasive species ecology and biology. 

The impact of climate change and rising average world temperatures can have a profound influence on species’ geographical ranges and the ecosystems they inhabit. Ecosystem structure, function and composition are often determined primarily by the climate and its interactions with these elements. Understanding the scientific basis of climate change and its environmental impacts will be important in understanding future effects on ecosystems and the human cultures that rely on them. We will review and discuss the mechanisms behind past, present, and likely future climate change, together with its influences on the landscape and the effects of biological invasions of species.

Biological invasions are responsible for almost half of the known species extinctions on Earth, through ecological processes such as predation and competition. In addition their environmental damages cost the global economy billions of dollars each year. Climate change has had a significant impact on invasive species success in colonizing and affecting ecosystems. Students will explore the interaction between climate change and the biological, ecological and socio-economic impacts of invasive species as well as understand the mechanisms behind biological invasions. They will assess the impact of those invasions to biodiversity and ecosystems as well as their potential impacts as climate change alters ecosystems to their benefit. Through field trips and lab exercises, the program will provide the approaches for understanding the effects of climate change on ecosystems and options for managing invasive species.

Program Details

Fields of Study

ecology environmental studies field studies geography natural history

Preparatory For

ecology, geography, climate science, invasive species biology and ecology.


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

No Required Online Learning


$215 for a 4 night 5 day overnight field trip.