ENVS 325: California Ecosystems
This course will explore the diversity of ecosystems found throughout California with a focus on plant ecology. Students will be introduced to main concepts and current research in plant ecology in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Course content will highlight how the availability of water, nutrients, light, interactions with neighboring plants or animals, and the frequency of disturbances such as a fire interact to influence the plant communities or vegetation in an ecosystem. This course will also examine human impacts on California’s ecosystems, their management, and current state of restoration efforts. Emphasis will be placed on a holistic and hands-on approach to ecosystem ecology, using field trip exploration of ecosystems, laboratory exercises, and class discussions to reinforce scientific principles.
Wetland Delineation I
Developed and taught this graduate level field course consisting of four all-day Saturday classes. Basic Wetland Delineation is a 40-hour training course that focuses on procedures used to delineate wetland boundaries using the 1987 Corps Wetland Delineation Manual (Technical Report Y-87-1) and the Regional Supplement: Arid West Region (2008). The main objective of this course is to provide participants with a comprehensive and hands-on introduction to delineation of jurisdictional wetlands in California. Course included field demonstrations of proper procedures to identify hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology indicators. This course consists of 50% lecture and 50% field excursions and laboratory exercises (plant and soil labs), emphasizing a hands-on approach. Students conducted a group wetland delineation either at Rush Ranch National Estuarine Research Reserve or the Presidio of San Francisco as their final project for the class. Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Spring 2015.
Wetland Delineation II
Developed and taught this graduate level field course in the MSEM program consisting of four all-day Saturday classes. The main objective of this course is for students to practice implementing the delineation procedures described in the Arid West and Western Mountains, Valleys and Coast Supplemental Delineation Manuals. Students practice documentation of field indicators of vegetation, soil, and hydrology in the field and learn how to do so using Comprehensive Wetland Delineation techniques for complicated or very large projects. Upon completion of the course students are able to determine plant species composition and percent cover using basic as well as transect sampling techniques; analyze soil and hydrology characteristics used in wetland delineations using field techniques; and develop a wetland hydrology monitoring program for difficult wetland situations. Students learn how to prepare a wetland delineation report and use procedures for collecting and presenting the data requested by the Army Corps. Also, students learn how to delineate waters of the U.S. in the Arid West. Various types of GPSs are used to delineate wetland boundaries and collect data points. This course will consist of approximately 25% lecture and 75% field exercises, emphasizing a hands-on approach practicing and honing wetland delineation skills. At the end of the both Wetland Delineation I and II courses, students can work with a team to confidently delineate a variety of types of straightforward wetlands using the routine on-site method and be able to identify difficult wetland situations in the Arid West. Fall 2014.
Ecology and Human Impacts
Teach the lecture and/or lab sections of this undergraduate ecology course. This course introduces the discipline of ecology and the application of ecological principles in environmental science. The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of basic ecology, ecological management issues, and ecosystem policy with special consideration of local issues in the San Francisco Bay Area and California. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to ecology, using field experiences, laboratory exercises, and class discussions to reinforce scientific principles. Hands-on experiences focus on implementation of the scientific method to reinforce classroom learning. Each lab section designed, planted, and monitored their own native plant establishment experiment on campus throughout the semester. Course syllabus available upon request. Spring 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Understanding Our Environment
The principle goal of this core course is to provide students with an understanding of and appreciation for many broad aspects of environmental science, with emphasis on environmental impacts from anthropogenic activities. This course focuses on learning the scientific theories and natural cycles that describe the world around us and then understanding how those cycles can and have been impacted by human activities. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using laboratory exercises, field experiences, short essays, and class discussions to reinforce scientific principles. Course syllabus available upon request. Fall 2010, Fall 2011 (2 labs only), Spring 2012.
Will teach this graduate level field course in the MSEM program consisting of four all-day Saturday classes in Spring 2015 for the first time. This field based botany course aims to familiarize you with the diversity of California’s flora and become more comfortable with keying plants so you can conduct wetland delineations, rare plant surveys, and other botanical surveys. The primary objectives of this course are to teach students how to identify the 25 of the most common plant families in California and how to use a dichotomous key. By learning to recognize characteristics of the San Francisco Bay Area’s plant families, students will be able to distinguish between families in order to become comfortable using taxonomic plants keys and further identify plants to genus and species. We will practice keying plants in the field using the new updated version of the book Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region: Mendocino to Monterey (Linda H. Beidleman and Eugene N. Kozloff, May 2014). We will learn how to use The Jepson Manual eBook on an iPad in the field (http://www.ucpress.edu/ebook.php?isbn=9780520952898), the online version of the Jepson Interchange (http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/interchange/), and calflora.org for keying and identifying plants. This class will be 75% field and 25% classroom. Field sites will be located around the Bay Area within 1.5 hours of the USF campus. They will include but are not limited to the following: San Francisco Botanical Gardens, Tilden Regional Parks Botanical Garden, GGNRA, and State Park sites. Spring 2015