This course provides a broad survey of practical and applied methods for environmental field work for site assessments, ecological studies, conservation, habitat monitoring, and ecological restoration. A primary focus will be sources and techniques for obtaining and interpreting field data across a range of abiotic, organismal and system/community parameters, with emphasis on hands-on field experience. Students will gain direct knowledge highlighting the advantages and limitations of various methods. In the process, students will learn about multiple taxonomic and organismal groups and natural community types, and the relationships among these and the physical environment in functional natural systems.
Course topics include theory and practice of methods for sampling biotic and abiotic resources, including vegetation, fauna, aquatic systems, stream geomorphology, and soils, as well as using these data for assessments, habitat monitoring, land management decisions, and developing ecological restorations. Students will gain familiarity with responding to issues driving applied environmental science and related fields today, including data quality, sampling design, field techniques, viability and threat analyses, and incorporating field data into multi-scale conservation planning and design work. The course consists of instructor presentations, guest lectures, readings and written response papers, student projects and presentations, classroom discussions, and extensive field exercises and hands-on training. Class logistics: one lecture (1.5 hours) and one lab (5 hours) per week, plus 2-3 all day Saturday field trips (see policy on absences for back-up plan regarding field trips).
Course Attributes: BU SCI; AS NSM; FA NSM