Tatoosh 2019 | Field studies and research in Alaska

Explore wild Alaska, earn credit toward your degree, and have the adventure you’re itching for. Tatoosh courses provide hands-on research experience in summer sessions. 2-, 3-, and 6-week long programs are a great fit for undergraduates interested in everything from biology to art to politics. Dig into our 2019 courses below, and check out @tatooshschool for photos and videos from the field.

3 weeks: May 21 – June 11, 2019

Community Ecology

6 weeks: June 18 – July 31, 2019

Case Studies for a Changing World

2 weeks:  August 2 – 16, 2019

Salmon Class

Learn more at tatooshschool.org and apply at tatooshschool.org/apply

Here are the full course descriptions:

3 weeks: May 21 – June 11, 2019

Community Ecology

 

Program outline

This 3-week intensive focuses on the ecological and human communities that inhabit the core of the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion. We will explore from the Outer Coast to the Inside Passage, and study interactions at varying scales and across biological, social, biophysical, and cultural boundaries.

The CE program begins with a 4-7 day backcountry expedition in the Prince of Wales Island archipelago. The remainder of the program is spent in the forests and rivers of Prince of Wales, at base camp in Coffman Cove, and with wrap-up in Wrangell. Two academic courses are taken concurrently.

Course descriptions

Community Ecology (4 semester or 6 quarter units, 410/510) examines the physical, biological, economic and political frameworks essential to informed stewardship if salmon-producing watersheds, healthy forests and communities in the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion. Students practice stream, upland forest and community survey and monitoring techniques that contribute to long-term collaborative stewardship work. A community ecology lens adds consideration of organizations and networks on the landscape and in human communities, enhancing students’ knowledge of resiliency and sustainability in the ecoregion.

Applied Methods in Field Research and Education (1 semester or 2 quarter units, 410/510) explores methods for the development and implementation of active teaching and research programs that integrate people, leadership, academics, community and ecology. The course describes and uses non-formal teaching and learning techniques, place-based education, and community interaction in higher education.

 

6 weeks: June 18 – July 31, 2019

Case Studies for a Changing World

 

Program outline

This 6-week summer session tackles signs, symptoms, and solutions in our changing world. Expedition-based and experience-centered, this program makes wild lands and the working landscape your lecture hall. Base camp is the jumping-off point for sea kayak expeditions, community engagement, and research.

Coursework begins with an introduction to the geomorphology, paleoarchaeology, and ecology of southern Southeast Alaska. Next, we’ll dig into topics in rapid ecological and social change, from shifting salmon species composition in local streams to the changing socioeconomics of rural America. We’ll think about different time scales, and biophysical, social, and political tools for responding to change. We’ll talk with experts, and see first-hand examples of resilience.

Course Descriptions

Introduction to southern southeast Alaska (1 semester or 2 quarter units, 410/510) develops a foundational understanding of the geomorphology, paleoarchaeology, and ecology of southern southeast Alaska, from the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island to the Stikine River.  The course also covers essential cultural and social histories of the region.

Case studies for a changing world: land, animals, fishes (4 semester or 6 quarter units, 410/510) applies theories of community ecology and conservation biology in the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion. Topics include community dynamics in nearshore aquatic habitats, island biogeography, stream ecology and restoration, wildlife ecology and management, forest succession, and water quality. Case studies include at-risk Alexander Archipelago wolves; karst-forest-fish systems; and salmon habitat restoration.

Case studies for a changing world: people (4 semester or 6 quarter units, 410/510) begins with an overview of contemporary natural-resource based economies and conservation in southern southeast Alaska. Topics include economies of place, collaborative land management, public lands policy, and culture, sustainability and resiliency in rural communities. Case studies include the Prince of Wales Landscape Assessment Team and landscape-scale planning; Sitka black-tail deer and the subsistence economy; and Alaska Native leadership in resource management.

 

2 week: August 2 – 16, 2019

Salmon Class

 

Program Outline

This two-week intensive is all about salmon. The lifeblood of Alaska, the five species of Pacific salmon have adapted to their changing coastal habitat for thousands of years. Now, from the ocean to their headwaters habitat, their abundance is at risk. We’ll explore why, and what to do next.

Salmon class begins with a 4-5 day sea kayaking expedition in the Prince of Wales Island archipelago. We’ll read up on the geomorphology, biology, and ecology of Pacific salmon. Next, we’ll sit down (or walk around on-site) for discussions with commercial fisherman, hatchery managers, fishing guides, biologists, and public lands managers to better understand what its like to work on the front lines of the last abundant wild salmon fisheries in the world.

Course Description

Alaska Salmon Studies (4 semester or 6 quarter units, 410/510) begins with an introduction to the life histories and biology of Pacific salmon in evolutionary and ecological contexts. The course examines the theory and practice of conservation biology with southeast Alaskan salmon as a case study, and students practice field research methods in a collaborative setting. Next, the course addresses human dimensions of the salmon system, characterizing community-scale economies and reviewing policies designed to support the well-being of Alaskan fishing towns and villages. The course also introduces approaches to salmon aquaculture worldwide and discusses their implications for wild Alaskan salmon in the ocean and at market.

 

Learn more at tatooshschool.org and apply at tatooshschool.org/apply

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