Introduction to Environmental Studies: River Resources

Spring 2022
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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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.

We will focus on natural-resource economics 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.  


Spring 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16): 30036
So - Sr (16): 30320

Academic details

Preparatory For

economics, environmental studies, hydrology, and political economy

Variable Credit Options

variable credit options are available upon arrangement with faculty.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$225 fee for overnight field trip around the Olympic Peninsula.


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 A1107 - Workshop


Date Revision
2022-02-16 Now open to all levels.