Catalog Details

Course Catalog

ESP5440 - Watershed Systems

Credits: 3

This course is dedicated to integrated environmental analysis of watersheds, but it is not the study of water, per se, but rather the spatial unit defined by the flow of water, and the dynamics within these environmental systems. Watersheds are a microcosm of global ecosystems, containing the same dynamic relationships between land, water, and air but on a scale more accessible to study. This course provides students with a detailed overview combined with specific, high-impact examples of complex earth systems. It uses the watershed concept as a tool for analyzing water, energy, element, and sediment budgets, including biogeochemical cycles with important feedbacks to larger systems. It includes human impacts and reliance on these budgets and prepares students to see how global-scale ecosystems are integrated with each other and with society. Students should be prepared to read, comprehend and analyze several scientific papers each week, and to discuss them in class.