Glaciers to the Sound: Introduction to Puget Sound ecosystems
Fall/Winter Program for first- and second-year students
This program will examine organisms and ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest by focusing on the rivers of the southern Puget Sound area from their beginnings in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains through their respective watersheds, and into the inlets of southern Puget Sound. Through lectures, field work and laboratory exercises, we will study components of botany, zoology and aquatic chemistry. Technical writing skills will be emphasized in skill-building workshops, seminars and through the maintenance of a field journal and lab notebook. During fall quarter, we will visit the Nisqually Glacier and the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge to get a first-hand look at these environments and their flora and fauna. We will make several marine excursions aboard college vessels to observe marine organisms and collect samples for water chemistry analyses in the laboratory. Environmental chemistry and ecology will be foci during winter quarter, and we will concentrate on acquiring basic laboratory skills through investigations of the characteristics of glacier, river and estuarine waters in the Nisqually Basin. Students will build their computer skills throughout this program and will work in small groups to build their quantitative skills in regularly scheduled workshops.
Credit will potentially be awarded in the following areas: Biology, Introductory botany (w/ lab), Introductory zoology (w/ lab), Introductory ecology, Environmental chemistry (w/ lab), Technical writing, Seminar in environmental studies.