During fall and winter quarters, topics in freshwater ecology, geochemistry, hydrology, analytical chemistry, GIS, statistics and instrumental methods of chemical analysis were addressed in this program. Students participated in group projects studying water quality, trophic structure, organic matter and the nutrient cycling processes of the Nisqually River watershed. Analytical procedures based on EPA, USGS and other guidelines were developed for major and trace anion and cat ions concentrations to analyze concentrations of species of a single element; and to measure analytes and phytochemicals critical to quantification of leaf-litter decay processes and marine-derived nutrients. Computers and statistical methods were used extensively for data analysis and simulation as well as for work with GIS. A trip to Death Valley, planned for winter quarter, will expanded the diversity of ecosystems examined.
Baseline assessments of natural ecosystems and determination of environmental contamination require well-designed and accurate chemical, ecological, and geological measurements. This program focused on investigations in ecology supported with geology and analytical chemistry. Instrumental techniques of chemical analysis were developed in an advanced laboratory.
The faculty for this program are Clyde Barlow (analytical chemistry), Carri LeRoy (stream ecology), and James Stroh (geology).
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