ENVS 4050 - Field Studies in Environmental Sciences (4 units) - Field study of environmental problems affecting ecosystems of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, including the role of human interactions.
Experiences/Activities: Extended field study of flora, fauna, biotic communities and ecological relationships, and of glaciology, geomorphology, and landscape evolution, at selected sites within the Park. Students participate in field research and evaluation of environmental policy options, focusing on concepts and principles of environmental or geological research, wildland management and public land planning methods; environmental field study emphasizing on-site instruction and investigation of specific wildland and wildlife case study; field inventories; field evaluation of planning/management options; problems of sampling, quantification and site-specific environmental impact assessment in wildland planning; the role of field research in wildland/wildlife management; analysis of legislative public land planning mandates and how they affect the case study; survey of the role of wildlands in regional thought and culture.
Outcomes: Students will gain the ability to undertake a substantial, complex field project and be able to synthesize, organize, and present final data in a way that is appropriate to the audience and subject matter. Students will be able to identify the key testable questions for a research project and identify what elements need to be measured to answer that question. Students will analyze (using basic summary statistics), visually represent (e.g., figures, tables), and interpret the results of their data. Students will discuss their results in light of current management or conservation issues and should be able to demonstrate how their results compare with or add to current knowledge of their study subject. Students will prepare a final written report and an oral presentation that synthesize their final data and interpretations. Students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of the geological, ecological, and/or social science processes and concepts that underlie their research.
Evaluation/Assessment: Final project including preparation, fieldwork, analysis, written final report and oral presentation. The oral presentation and written report are 50% and field effort and project participation are 50% of the grade.
Fulfills application requirement for Environmental Studies major at CU Boulder.
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