Prereq: Biology 171 or a college-level course in biology and another natural science course or permission of instructor.
Meets on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
This field course is focused on the ecology of Great Lakes coastal wetlands and their characteristic plant species. Basic concepts of ecosystem structure and function are emphasized in lectures, discussions, and field trips to diverse herbaceous and forested wetland along the Great Lakes coasts surrounding the Biological Station (UMBS).
UMBS’s location less than twenty miles from the Mackinac Bridge provides excellent access to all types of coastal wetlands along Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior, as well as the St. Mary's River. Wetland types include bogs, fens, and marshes growing on a broad range of soils and bedrock types. Emphasis is placed on the integration of topography, sediments, and vegetation at each field site. Response of vegetation to characteristic Great Lakes water-level regimes and land use changes will be studied. Standard vegetation sampling and GPS techniques will be taught, and students will participate in long-term vegetation sampling and restoration projects currently being conducted by multi-university teams in both the United States and Canada. Students will also study the linkage between aquatic vegetation and aquatic invertebrates, fish, and birds, with brief introduction to faunal sampling techniques.