GEOSCI 341 - Ecosystem Science in the Rockies
Section: 711
Term: SU 2010
Subject: Geological Sciences (GEOSCI)
Department: LSA Earth & Environmental Sciences
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Introductory course in Geology, Ecology, or Global Change.
Other Course Info:
Su at Camp Davis, Wyoming.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

GEOSCI 341/ENVIRON 341 introduces students to principles of environmental science using the Rocky Mountains as a field laboratory. The unique and diverse geological history and climate of this region controls the occurrence of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the plants and animals of which they are composed. We will develop and use an understanding of geological and metrological processes to understand the distribution and function of grasslands, forests, and alpine ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains. This course is designed for majors in geological sciences, natural resources and environmental science to gain field-based knowledge and experience of Rocky Mountain geology and ecology. It is also designed for students majoring in other areas who have a general interest in this subject matter. This course will be team taught by professors from several different disciplines.

An introductory college science course or permission from course coordinator is required.

Fees and Tuition

Fees: $675 includes transportation, food, and lodging. Course materials are not included in the above course fees.

Tuition: Tuition for five credits must be paid directly to the University of Michigan. Guest students are charged upper division rates. Up-to-date tuition rates can be found at the U of M Registrar website. Departmental Financial Aid to help offset tuition is not available. Please direct any questions to or call 734-615-8600.

Camp Davis web site
To apply to the Camp Davis GEOSCI 341 program, click the link above and download the Camp Davis Application. Deadline for applications is May 1st, 2010.

Course Curriculum
This course is taught in modules as a hands-on research experience. At the end of each module a project write-up is due. Some projects are completed in small groups of 3-4, whereas others are completed by each student. A list of last year’s projects is given below, but they do change somewhat as instructors develop with new project ideas.

Mountain Meteorology. Using a weather station in camp and flying an instrumented  weather balloon, students learn the basic principles of mountain meteorology, cloud identification and severe weather.

Rocky Mountain Geology. Through field observations students learn rock identification, the geologic history of the Rockies, and how geology and glaciations affects the chemistry of streams and soils.

Rocky Mountain Forest Ecology. Students integrate their knowledge of mountain meteorology and geology to understand the driving factors behind five distinct mountain ecosystems. Identification and investigation of soils, woody plants, shrubs and wildflowers are included.

Forest Succession in Riparian Zones. Students learn the basic principles of forest succession and investigate rates of biomass production and carbon sequestration.

Stream Hydrology and Fluvial Ecosystems. Studies of stream hydrology and sediment transport are integrated with identification of aquatic organisms and their habitats.

Environmental Degradation Related to Mining. Students investigate the effects of historical mining on the ecology of the northern Yellowstone region.

GEOSCI 341 - Ecosystem Science in the Rockies
Schedule Listing
711 (LEC)
Note: FIELD COURSE IN JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING JULY 13 TO AUGUST 12. Camp Davis application required in addition to regular registration. See web site at
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