Classes, University of San Francisco

ENVS 100

Understanding our Environment w/lab

This course is an introduction to environmental science and environmental studies for non-science majors. It examines the environmental impact of population growth on natural resources; mineral and resource extraction; water resource use and water pollution; air pollution and climate change; and conventional and sustainable energy supplies. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using class discussions, laboratory exercises, and environmental surveys to reinforce scientific principles. Offered every semester.


ENVS 325

California Ecosystems

University of San Francisco, Department of Environmental Science

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.


ENVS 390

Field Botany

University of San Francisco, Department of Environmental Science

This field based botany course aims to familiarize students with the diversity of California’s flora through exploration of botanical gardens and wildlands throughout the Bay Area. The primary objectives of this course are to teach students how to identify more than 50 of the most common plant families in California, and how to use dichotomous keys to identify plants so you can conduct botanical surveys. 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 plant keys and further identify plants to genus and species. Many of these plant common families are found around the world and will allow students to be able to use this skill in other parts of the country and world. 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 and learn how to use The Digital Jepson Manual eBook on an iPad in the field, the online version of the Jepson Interchange, and calflora.org for keying and identifying plants. This class is approximately 75% field trip and 25% classroom.


ENVM 623

California Ecosystems

University of San Francisco, Masters of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) Program

USF MSEM Restoration Ecology Class 2012The primary goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of ecosystems in California, with consideration of natural biotic and abiotic processes that shape these ecosystems, impacts from anthropogenic stresses, policies related to ecosystem management and conservation, and restoration of these ecosystems. In each class, we will explore a diversity of ecosystems found throughout California and sample them to better understand their structure, functioning, and key abiotic and biotic processes.


ENVM 625

Tropical Restoration Ecology

University of San Francisco, Masters of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) Program

This field course is designed for both graduate and undergraduate students to learn about the practice of Ecological Restoration as well as the science of Restoration Ecology through hands on experience in restoring habitat for endangered wildlife in tropical rainforests and riparian ecosystems. Emphasis will be placed on the application of ecological principles to restoration design, implementation, and monitoring. Major course topics will include: restoring soils, vegetation, and hydrology at restoration sites; restoration for wildlife habitat; invasive species management; collecting data from and using reference sites as models; and monitoring and assessment of restoration projects. The class will take place in Malaysian Borneo along the lower Kinabatangan River at the Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp (TREC) managed by KOPEL. KOPEL is a Community-based organization, protecting rainforest ecosystems, wildlife and biodiversity of the Lower Kinabatangan while preserving the livelihood of the local population.


ENVM 629

Wetland Delineation I

University of San Francisco, Masters of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) Program

The main objective of this course is to provide participants with a comprehensive, hands-on introduction to delineation of jurisdictional wetlands in California. Major course topics will include: field identification and characterization of 3 wetland parameters; practice using routine method for delineating wetlands in the field; and national, state and regional wetland policy and regulatory relevant to delineation of wetlands in California. This course focuses on teaching procedures used to delineate wetland boundaries using the 1987 Corps Wetland Delineation Manual (Technical Report Y-87-1) and the Regional Supplements to this USACE Manual for the Arid West Region (version 2, 2008).


ENVM 630

Wetland Delineation II

University of San Francisco, Masters of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) Program

redwood-creekThis course will expand upon the wetland delineation principles taught in the Wetland Delineation I course. 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 will continue practicing documentation 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.


ENVM 680

Field Botany

University of San Francisco, Masters of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) Program

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 more than 30 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 plant 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 Digital Jepson Manual eBook on an iPad in the field , the online version of the Jepson Interchange  and calflora.org for keying and identifying plants. This class is approximately 75% field trip and 25% classroom.