Field Techniques in Wetlands (Biol 358)

Great Lakes Campus - Summer Session I

Course Description

A comprehensive overview of wetland ecosystem processes, values, legislation, and quantification. Students will learn to evaluate and quantify soils, hydrologic status, and vegetation in a variety of wetland ecosystems including bogs, emergent marshes, forested wetlands, and wetlands converted for agriculture, and to apply standard tools developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to assess wetland extent and habitat quality. Prerequisite: one year of general biology or one semester of general ecology. (4-credits) Field.

Professor: Dr. Heath Garris
Meets: Wednesday & Friday

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Knowledge Gained

  • Wetland ecosystem properties, services, and significance
  • History and current regulatory framework for wetlands
  • Ecosystem feedback to global processes (carbon balance and sequestration)

Skills Developed

  • Habitat identification and delineation (USACoE: Wetland Delineation)
  • Habitat quality assessment (Michigan Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands (MiRAM) & Indices of Biotic Integrity)
  • Hydrologic determination
  • Basic Soil Survey and Characterization
  • Vegetation survey
  • Geodatabase development and mapping (ArcGIS)
  • Technical reporting for regulatory compliance

Field Experiences

  • Beaver Pond
  • Upper Manistee Headwaters Preserve
  • Sunset Trail Swamp
  • Skegmog Lake Wildlife Area
  • Big Twin Lake
  • Manistee Lake
  • Bear Lake Bog
  • Grass River Natural Area


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