Field Ecology at the evergreen state college


    The art and practice of ecology afield


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2014!  Pacific NW and the Grand Canyon                                                                                             


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Dylan Fischer

Alison Styring



Capitol Forest, WA

Sinlahekin Wildlife Area,WA
Glacial Heritage Prairie
Nisqually River, WA
Cibola NWR, AZ
Weber River, UT
Grand Canyon, AZ
West Fork Oak Crk, AZ

Superstition Mountains, AZ

Metolius River, OR

Mount Rose, WA

B&B fire, complex  OR

Cibola National Wildlife Area, AZ



For more information contact: Dylan Fischer

Sample Syllabus(from the Winter academic fair)             

Weekly Schedule:

Tuesday 9-1:00 pm

Weds 9-1:00pm

Friday 9-5:00 pm

Class Starts April Fool’s day! We are not kidding!

The Grand Canyon trip will be April 6th-20st, 2014

Students not going on the trip will work closely with Dr. Styring during wks 2-3 conducting forest canopy, ecology, and ornithology research


This is the home-site for Field Ecology, a program at the Evergreen State College!  Our current program is being offered as a spring program in 2014 focusing on Forests and Prairies of the PNW, and forests and deserts of the Southwest. Students will gain experiments conducting hands-on student originated studies in ornithology and plant ecology. There will be opportunities to participate in either bird banding workshops or a remote field trip to the Grand Canyon, AZ.

This program focuses on intensive group and individual field research in current topics in ecology. Students intensively use the primary literature and student-driven field research to address observations about ecological composition, structure, and function in natural environments. Independent and group research projects in relevant natural settings form the core of our curriculum. In the past our program has ranged from the South Puget Sound to the Southwestern US. In 2008, our program had three distinct research sites ranging from the South Puget Sound prairies to the east side of the North Cascades (the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area near Loomis, WA). In 2010 (Spring) Our program once again conducted research at Glacial Heritage Prairie and Preserve (WA), The Grand Canyon (AZ), and Mt Rose (WA Olympic Mountains). In 2011-2013 we conducted studies in diverse systems from local managed forests of the Pacific Northwest to desert environments of the southwest and Grand Canyon. In all Field Ecology programs, research projects are quickly developed, and expanded on, in a fast-paced, big-ideas, constructive environment, where the course forms a community working to make each project better. Research projects presentations and writing workshops build these ideas into workable products to share with the outside world. Science is a creative endeavor at its core, and we capitalize on that by focusing on application of new ideas in a synergistic interdisciplinary environment.

While the themes vary from year to year, our work has spanned projects in community ecology, ecosystem ecology, physiology and plant-herbivore interactions, and trophic interactions. Topics of study in all programs include community ecology, bird and plant biodiversity analysis, forest structure, ecological restoration; riparian ecology; fire history; ethnobotany; insect-plant interactions; global change biology; disturbance ecology; and ecological genetics and genes-to-ecosystems analyses. These topics and student projects are crystallized through paper-writing workshops in which group and individual papers are produced. We emphasize identification of original field research problems in diverse habitats, experimentation, data analyses, oral presentation of findings, and writing in journal format.

Check out the description for our current upcoming program



Research Groups

Avian Ecology

Plant Ecology

Ecological Gradients

Forest Plots

Keystone Species

Ecosystem Science

Community Ecology

Plant-animal Interactions