UC Davis Courses

Ecogeomorphology: Yampa-Green 2019

The course was a multidisciplinary study of the ecology, geomorphology and management of the unregulated Yampa River in comparison with the regulated Green River. Comprised of upper-division undergraduate students and graduate students, the course brought together students from a range of biological and physical sciences to address the geology, ecology, and management of the Green River watershed. The course involved classroom instruction and literature review papers written by the graduate students on specific topics related to the Green River watershed. It culminated with a seven-day rafting trip on the Yampa and Green Rivers during which students collected and analyzed field data.

Ecogeomorphology: Grand Canyon 2016

An extension of previous Ecogeomorphology classes, this class teaches student participants about the geology, ecology, and management issues associated with the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.

Ecogeomorphology: Tuolumne River 2016

This course seeks to introduce advanced undergraduate students to multidisciplinary collaborative watershed and stream analysis through combined laboratory and field study of a selected stream system. Topics relating to management of stream systems will be discussed throughout with emphasis on the management of Sierra Nevada rivers in California. Students from diverse backgrounds will work in interdisciplinary research teams to collect and analyze field data from the Tuolumne River system. These teams will present results of the field studies in the form written reports due at the end of the class. Data collection will focus on key ecological issues relevant to management within the watershed such as: what are the impacts of regulated flow regimes on aquatic biota, what are the impacts from the recent Rim fire, and what long-term monitoring data are needed to address on-going conservation strategies in the face of climate change?

Ecogeomorphology: Grand Canyon 2015

This 3 unit graduate seminar will 1) familiarize student participants with the geology, ecology and management issues associated with the Grand Canyon and Colorado River in the context of global change, and 2) encourage students to become class “experts” in some critical issue or concept relevant to river science in the context of global change.

Ecogeomorphology: Tuolumne River 2015

An extension of previous Ecogeomorphology classes, this class is a field-based multidisciplinary study of the ecology, geomorphology and management of rivers in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, with a focus on the Tuolumne River watershed. Open to upper-division undergraduate students, the course brings together students from a range of biological and physical sciences and engineering backgrounds to address conservation and management issues in California watersheds.

Ecogeomorphology: Grand Canyon 2014

This 3 unit graduate seminar will 1) familiarize student participants with the geology, ecology and management issues associated with the Grand Canyon and Colorado River in the context of global change, and 2) encourage students to become class “experts” in some critical issue or concept relevant to river science in the context of global change.

Ecogeomorphology: Tuolumne River 2014

An extension of previous ecogeomorphology classes, this class is a field-based multidisciplinary study of the ecology, geomorphology and management of rivers in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, with a focus on the Tuolumne River watershed. Open to upper-division undergraduate students, the course brings together students from a range of biological and physical sciences and engineering backgrounds to address conservation and management issues in California watersheds.

Ecogeomorphology: Grand Canyon 2013

Similar to past Ecogeomorphology classes, this year's Graduate class will study the geology, ecology and management of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Students will be "experts" in their field of study, relaying a topic of interest relevant to river science to their fellow classmates. The class will meet for 3 hours weekly during the Winter quarter for discussion and will be followed by a private rafting trip through the Grand Canyon during spring break. Enrollment is by instructor consent only and is dependent upon participation in the previous year's Colorado River permitting process.

Ecology and Management of Sierra Nevada Rivers 2013

This course seeks to introduce advanced undergraduate and early graduate students to multidisciplinary collaborative watershed and stream analysis through combined laboratory and field study of a selected stream system. Topics relating to management of stream systems will be discussed throughout with emphasis on the management of Sierra Nevada rivers in California. Students from diverse backgrounds will work in cooperative interdisciplinary research teams to collect and analyze field data from the Tuolumne River system. These teams will present the collection and results of the field data in the form of a 5-minute video due at the end of the class. Data collection will focus on key ecological issues relevant to management within the watershed: what are the impacts of regulated flow regimes on aquatic biota in the Tuolumne River watershed and what long-term monitoring data are needed to address on-going conservation strategies in the face of climate change?

Ecogeomorphology: Chilko-Chilcotin-Fraser Rivers 2011

This year's ecogeomorphology course studied the headwater lakes and river systems of the Chilko-Chilcotin River system in British Columbia, Canada. The course was focused on developing a conceptual model that tied important physical and biological processes together based on levels of importance and understanding. To compliment the model, eleven technical chapters provided details in disciplines ranging from tectonics and glaciers to biological nitrogen cycling. An interactive map identifies locations of field work activities, interesting islands, and campsites. And of course there are many field logs (Flogs) and photos to enlighten and entertain the casual viewer.

Geomorphology: Santa Cruz Island 2010

The Northern Channel Islands of the Southern California Bight offer a unique opportunity to study the interplay between terrestrial and nearshore processes in an active tectonic setting. These islands are part of the western Transverse Ranges, formed by regional deformation and rotation adjacent to the San Andreas Fault. Santa Cruz Island is the largest of these islands.

Water Management and the Tuolumne River 2010

This applied workshop featured analyses of contemporary environmental problems in a multidisciplinary fashion. Students were exposed to both environmental science and policy, tackling some of the toughest issues facing California: water resources, multiple downstream demands, and climate change adaptation. By using the Tuolumne River as a case study, students had the opportunity to learn about the history and future of this landmark river in our nation's history.

Ecogeomorphology: Tuolumne River 2009

The study of streams is inherently multidisciplinary involving a broad array of physical, biological and social sciences. This class will take a trip down the Tuolumne River and study the ecology of this riparian environment. Research performed on 2 separate trips (June 15-18 and June 21-24) included vegetation and substrate mapping, fish surveys, seining, and electrofishing, macroinvertebrate collection, and herpetology studies. Cross sections were developed using a laser range finder for the Mainstem Tuolumne, 2 locations on the Clavey River, 2 locations on the North Fork Tuolumne River, and near Indian Creek.

Ecogeomorphology: Kobuk River 2008

This year, the Ecogeomorphology course examined the most critical issue facing arctic and sub-arctic aquatic ecosystems: global climate change. During class, the students discussed several issues in detail, reviewed published literature, and prepared individual reports for publication on Wikipedia. Following this period of classroom study, the students conducted a two-week field study of the Kobuk River watershed, located above the Arctic Circle in northern Alaska. A primary focus of this study was the status of sheefish (Stenodus leucicthys), a unique arctic fish species of limited distribution, and potential changes to its habitat due to climatic change.

Ecogeomorphology: Grande Ronde River 2007

Riverine ecosystems are commonly thought to exhibit relatively continuous downstream gradients in physical conditions and ecological communities. However, recent research suggests that observed longitudinal gradients in riverine ecosystem form and function are quite variable and largely dependent upon local hydrology, geomorphology and climate. The lower Grande Ronde River, which flows through regions with distinctly different geomorphic and climatic conditions, provided a great opportunity to examine the nature of longitudinal gradients in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem characteristics.

Ecogeomorphology: Green River 2006

Dams disrupt the physical, chemical and biological connectivity of rivers and watersheds. The magnitude of this disruption, and its impact on riverine ecosystems, generally declines with distance downstream of a dam. Flaming Gorge Dam, which blocks the Green River in Colorado and Utah, provides a unique setting for evaluating downstream changes in aquatic and riparian ecosystems below large, multipurpose reservoirs. In June 2006, the Ecogeomorphology course studied the Green from the tailwaters below Flaming Gorge Dam through the Gates of Lodore, past the confluence with the unregulated Yampa River, ending at Split Mountain in Dinosaur National Monument.

Ecogeomorphology: Grand Canyon 2005

Large, multipurpose dams impact the integrity of downstream aquatic and riparian ecosystems. An international effort is underway to evaluate how pulse flow releases might be used as a tool in restoration. An experimental release from Glen Canyon Dam in November of 2004 created a unique opportunity to examine the geomorphic and ecologic response of releases on the health of Grand Canyon ecosystems.

Ecogeomorphology: Skeena River 2004

This course introduced advanced undergraduate and graduate students to multidisciplinary collaborative watershed and stream analysis through combined laboratory and field study. Students from diverse backgrounds worked in cooperative research teams to collect and analyze field data from the Skeena River watershed (British Columbia), one of the largest un-dammed rivers in North America (Dynesius and Nilsson 1994). These teams used field collected data to analyze geomorphic processes and test ecological hypotheses of biotic diversity. Specifically, students studied patterns of aquatic macroinvertebrate and salmonid diversity in multiple tributaries to the Skeena River.

Ecogeomorphology: Scott River 2003

This course seeks to introduce advanced undergraduate and graduate students to multidisciplinary collaborative watershed and stream analysis through combined laboratory and field study of a selected stream system. Students from diverse backgrounds will work in cooperative research teams to collect and analyze field data from the Scott River watershed, a tributary to the Klamath River system. These teams will use the field data to report upon a key ecological issue within the watershed: what characterizes rearing habitat for juvenile Coho salmon in the Scott River watershed and how can this be applied to on-going restoration strategies? Upon completion of the field study, students will report on their conclusions.

Ecogeomorphology: Copper River 2002

Management of large, glacially-influenced rivers forms unique challenges, including a dearth of information about geomorphic influences on the quality and distribution of aquatic and riparian habitats. The Copper River, one of the most important salmon-producing rivers in the world, provides an opportunity to examine, first hand, the feedbacks between habitat conditions and glacial processes.The UC Davis Department of Geology has developed a new course that links the disciplines of earth science in the study of significant environmental and conservation issues in watershed science. Titled the Roy Shlemon Course in Applied Watershed Science, this course is for advanced undergraduates from a broad range of disciplines seeking multidisciplinary field and laboratory training in the field of watershed science.