Course Syllabus



FISH/ESRM 448 Watershed Ecology & Management Lab

Course Overview
This course provides hands-on laboratory and field experience in standard methods of stream and river ecology.  The course is intended to complement the lecture material covered in FISH 447, which must be taken concurrently or prior to enrolling in this course.  Activities will range from data analysis and spreadsheet-based calculations to identifications of local taxa to field observations and the use of standard instrumentation.  See below regarding field trips and the specific requirements for participating in them.

Meeting Times
Section A: Tuesday 1:30p-3:20p in FSH 142 (wet lab) or FSH 207 (computer lab) depending on week.
****Note: the first meeting will be in FSH 207****

Gordon Holtgrieve, Asst. Professor, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Office: FSH (Fishery Sciences Bldg.) 316B.
Office hours:  Wednesdays 1:30-3:00p

Teaching Assistant
Rebekah Stiling, graduate student, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Office: FSH 317B
Office hours: Thursdays 11:30a-1:30p

Learning Objectives
Students will learn field and laboratory techniques for studying ecological and system functioning of lotic (stream & river) ecosystems and their watersheds based on current methodologies.  Specifically, at the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Gain skills in data analysis and ecosystem modeling through in-lab problems sets and spreadsheet exercises.
  2. Identify, describe, and relate the major physical, chemical and biological processes that structure lotic ecosystems in the field in a group setting through oral presentations.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in a set of standard field methods for characterizing the physical, chemical, biological, and ecosystem conditions of small to medium size streams and rivers. Proficiency will be assessed through direct data collection and/or analysis resulting in the production of a field report.
  4. Identify key taxa present in Pacific Northwest streams/rivers and riparian areas and describe their functional role in the ecosystem. Proficiency will be assessed through in-lab worksheets and problem sets.

Evaluation & Grading
Two (2) graded credits based on the following scheme:

Assignments Percent of final grade
Lab assignments/Problems sets 65
Field trip data analysis and reports 35

Academic Integrity
Plagiarism, cheating, and other misconduct are serious violations of the University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478‐120) and your personal contract as a student.  I expect that you will know and follow the university’s policies on cheating and plagiarism.  Please review the College of the Environment website on academic integrity so that you are clear on what constitutes academic misconduct.  Any suspected cases of academic misconduct will be handled according to University of Washington regulations.  For more information, see the College of the Environment Academic Misconduct Policy and the University of Washington Community Standards and Student Conduct website.  Be advised that as an instructor at the UW, I have the responsibility to notify University Conduct committees about any suspected student misconduct.

Late Assignments & Re-grade Policy
As a matter of policy, late assignments will not be accepted unless you have received approval from the instructor (me) well in advance of the due date or the circumstances are truly beyond your control.  At a minimum, this is at least 24 hours before the due date.  I have full discretion over whether to accept a late assignment and you should assume the default to be they will not be accepted.
If you feel an assignment has been graded inappropriately, submit to me over email within one week of the receiving the graded assignment a brief description of why you feel the grade does not accurately reflect the quality of the work along with the original graded assignment.  Note that we will likely re-grade the entire assignment, not just the part in question.  You can expect to have the re-grade results within one week of submission (or a notification that it may take longer).  If you are unsatisfied with the result of the re-grade you have the option to submit a written appeal to the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Director.  Please review the College of Environment Grade Appeal Process website for more information.

Email & Computer Use
All students are expected to have a working email address and you will receive email relevant to this course on a regular basis.  Students are also expected to regularly check the course Canvas site for announcements and updates relevant to the course.  You are encouraged to reach out to your instructor and TA for help.  In general, you can expect emails sent to instructors between 12a and 3p will be responded to the same day.  Do not expect instructors to read or respond to emails sent after 6p until the following day or on the weekends (we have lives too). 
Writing assignments must be turned in via Canvas as either a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or as a .pdf.  Numerical exercises will be turned in online as either Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, or as photos (if done by hand). 

Disability Accommodations
It is crucial that all students in this class have access to the full range of learning experiences.  At the University of Washington, it is the policy and practice to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.  Full participation in this course requires: 1) the ability to hike 2-3 miles on steep trails carrying up to 15 pounds with regular stops/breaks over the course of 1-1.5 hours; 2) ability to walk and stand in streams with slippery substrate and flowing water; 3) a willingness to get wet; 4) participation in small group discussions on topics relevant to the course, and 5) making short presentations that synthesize small group discussions and/or results of specific analyses to the class orally.
If you anticipate or experience barriers to your learning or full participation in this course based on a physical, learning, or mental health disability, please immediately contact the instructor to discuss possible accommodation(s).  A more complete description of the disability policy of the College of the Environment can be found here. If you have, or think you have, a temporary or permanent disability that impacts your participation in any course, please also contact Disability Resources for Students (DRS) at:  206-543-8924 (V), 206-543-8925 (TDD),,

Required Readings
Course handouts, lectures, and the primary literature will be the dominant source of information.  There is no required textbook.

Lab Schedule 2018

Lab Assignments
Graded assignments for the labs will be a combination of problem sets/calculations and short answer questions intended to be completed during your lab section, although you will have the option of turning them in before your next lab. 

Field Trip Schedule 2018

*Be prepared to get wet on all field trips.  Dress for rain as appropriate.  If you have waders, bring them.  We will have a few available to borrow but you will need to supply shoes that can get wet (old sneakers work well).*

**Students will camp on the lawn at a private residence during the Methow field trip.  The house has two dogs (FYI).**

Field Trip Assignments
There will be a short answer worksheet for the Taylor Creek field trip due the following week.  Students will complete a 2-page graded report based on data collected during the Big Beef Creek field trip, which will be evaluated for accuracy of analysis, quality of presentation (figures, tables, etc.), and insightfulness of interpretation.  The week prior to the overnight trip students will be assigned into groups.  Each group will choose a specific watershed science “theme”.   During the overnight field trip, groups will identify and, when possible, quantify examples of their theme for presentation to the rest of the class.  Students will be evaluated based on the completeness of their observations and clarity of their presentations.

Course Summary:

Date Details