ENVS 3100 – Topics in Applied Environmental Studies (4 units) - In this field-based course students conduct on-site examinations and analyses, using scientific and research-based methods, of environmental problems affecting Wrangell-St. Elias wildlands and wildlife populations.
Experiences/Activities: Students will learn concepts and principles of environmental studies, wildlife management and public land planning methods, data collection techniques, analysis of field data, and scientific writing. Taught in conjunction with material from ENVS 4050 and 4120, this course includes historic and contemporary approaches to field research; limitations of field research (availability and nature of data); evaluations of environmental consequences of proposed management directions; evaluation of socio-economic consequences of proposed management directions. This course also includes data collection techniques and species identification; field inventory and assessment of environmental characteristics (forest composition, habitat components and watershed qualities); introduction to population, community and ecosystem ecology; baseline documentation of environmental impacts; on-site analysis of planning directions and options; mapping of ecologically significant features and attributes. Attention will be given to multiple modes of presentation, evaluation and analysis, including essay writing and illustration as well as scientific formats.
Outcomes: Students will develop skills in field observation and documenting, and share observations in multiple formats. Students will be able to identify species (or rock formations) unknown to them using taxonomic keys, geologic maps, field guides, and other resources. Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of basic ecological and geological concepts. Students will employ varied techniques to present and record their natural history observations including, but not limited to, Grinnell Style Trip Logs and Species Accounts, natural history sketching, narrative writing, and mapping. Students will create an Individual Learning Contract to direct the types of techniques and subjects (taxa, concepts, or processes) that they will focus on recording. Students will critically discern the appropriate formats for each subject or audience. Students will demonstrate practice and/or competence in a variety of formats.
Evaluation & Assessment: Field Portfolio, evaluated by faculty in several reviews during the program. The portfolio grade is based on all the criteria as presented during the class and as specified in the portfolio handout.
Fulfills application requirement for Environmental Studies major at CU Boulder. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours, provided topics vary.
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