Intensive Study: Freshwater Ecology

420.623.01 SU19 Freshwater Ecology and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems

Full Summer Session

Freshwater Ecology and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems

Course Description

In this summer session course, we will apply the principles of ecology as they relate to freshwater systems, and lecture material will be reinforced with the first-hand experience in the field on a multi-day field trip. Students will learn about and also see the effects of various human activities, and then learn about restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay region. Because literally, everything ends up in the water, this course is valuable because the lessons learned are highly applicable to the challenges faced by humanity in reducing and ultimately reversing our environmental impact. Prerequisites: Principles and Methods Ecology, or equivalent experience.

Course Schedule Highlights
May 15, 2019 Course begins.
June 26-30, 2019 Capstone field trip at ThorpeWood near Thurmont, MD.
Housing in shared cabin/tents during field trip; sleeping bag required. Meals provided during trip featuring local food sources. Activities are all day and extend into evenings after meals. Course fee includes transportation, housing, and food for 5 days and 4 nights of field excursion.
August 21, 2019 All assignments due; course ends


Paul KazyakPaul Kazyak
Paul is a recently retired aquatic scientist from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. His past experience includes design of the nationally recognized Maryland Biological Stream Survey and overseeing monitoring for Chesapeake Bay restoration projects. He has been teaching Freshwater Ecology and other courses for AAP since 1994.


The field trip portion of the course will be based at ThorpeWood, a mountain retreat near Thurmont, MD. Accommodations will be multi-occupancy rooms in a cabin and/or optional tent camping next to the cabin (bring your own tent and associated gear).

Freshwater Ecology and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems


Students should budget for the following costs for the course:
$3972 Tuition
$450 Trip fee
This fee covers lodging and facility fees, ground transportation during the field trip, meals, access to field sites and use of equipment.
Travel to the Thurmont area to join the course: Students are responsible for getting themselves to and from ThorpeWood for the June 26-30 field trip (ride-sharing is highly encouraged).


Registration for the course will open on March 19, 2019, and close on May 7, 2019. Students will register for this course in SIS. Payment is due at the time of registration (tuition $3972+ course fee $450 = $4422). If a student decides to drop this course, $500 of the tuition is non-refundable, regardless of a student’s payment method choice (financial aid, employer assistance, tuition remission, etc). Please note: this course does not follow the regular tuition refund schedule and all tuition and fees for this course are NON-REFUNDABLE when registration closes.

The course needs 8 people to run. Tuition refunds will be made if there are not enough people to run the course. The maximum number of people for the course is 15. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis with priority given to ESP degree candidates. Do not purchase travel or make other investments in your trip until you hear from AAP that there are enough participants to run the trip. If you have any questions please contact an academic advisor.

Important Dates
March 19 – May 7, 2019 Registration is open.
May 8, 2019 Students will be notified if course has sufficient enrollment to run; do not purchase travel or accommodations before this notification.
May 15, 2019 Course begins.
June 26, 2019 Field trip convenes at 10 am at ThorpeWood near Thurmont, MD.
June 30, 2019 Field trip adjourns at 5 pm.


Freshwater Ecology and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems


Students will make their own travel arrangements to and from ThorpeWood (near Thurmont MD) to rendezvous for the field trip. Ridesharing is highly recommended. The university is not responsible for refunds, penalties, or other fees that may be incurred or lost for changes or cancellations of airfare. Trip insurance is recommended.

Important Forms

All course participants must complete:

Freshwater Ecology and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems

2019 Freshwater Ecology Agenda (Draft)
Class Meetings for Lecture
May 15
◦ Intro to FW Eco (online)
May 18
◦ Hydrologic Cycle, Principles of Hydrology 2h
◦ Physical, Chemical, and Geomorphological Processes in Stream Formation 1h
May 22
◦ Physical Properties of Streams, Rosgen Classification System, Physical Restoration 3h
May 29
◦ Chemical Properties of Streams, Chemical Restoration, Nutrient Dynamics, Nutrient Management 3h
June 8
◦ Community and Ecosystem Level Processes Part 1 3h
June 15
◦ Community and Ecosystem Level Processes (cont.), River Continuum Concept 3h
June 19
◦ Freshwater Biodiversity, Introduced species 3h
July 6
◦ Restoration & Protection of Freshwater Ecosystems 2h
◦ Systems thinking in aquatic management 3h
Note: this is a 5hr day 10 am to 3 pm
Field Trip Agenda
June 26
10:00 am Field experience convenes; introductions and move in
11:00 am Introduction to Stream Biota: Systematics and Taxonomy 1 hr
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Taxonomy Lab
4:00 pm Field trip:
Homestead Pond (include mark/recapture marking, zoop, and benthic sampling, hydrolab profile)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Lecture:
◦ Lakes 1h
8:00 pm Free time
June 27
7:00 am Breakfast
8:00 am Lecture:
◦ The Role of Woody Debris and Beavers, Crayfish 1h
9:00 am Field trip: Hunting Creek, Beaver Run, Albert Powell Hatchery
12:00 pm Lunch (boxed)
1:00 pm Field trip: Buzzard Branch, unnamed tributary to Buzzard Branch
3:30 pm Lectures:
◦ Non-tidal wetlands 1h
◦ Migration & Drift, Fish Passage 1h
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Free time
8:00 pm Campfire discussion of required readings
June 28
7:00 am Breakfast
7:30 am Field trip:
Leetown Science Center (8:30 am – noon),
Potomac River @ Brunswick (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm),
Catoctin Creek @ Poffenberger Rd (4:00 pm – 5:30 pm)
12:00 pm Lunch (boxed)
6:00 pm Dinner @ Kazyak/Zaveta homestead
7:00 pm Guest lecturer: David Kazyak
8:30 pm Leave for ThorpeWood
June 29
7:00 am Breakfast
7:30 am All day field trip:
Gwynns Falls @ Carroll Golf Course, Sawmill Run @ BWI, Little Patuxent @Ft Meade, Suzi’s pond – Kazyaks
12:00 pm Lunch (boxed)
6:00 pm Dinner @ Kazyaks
8:00 pm Return to ThorpeWood
June 30
7:00 am Breakfast
8:00 am Free time/Optional taxonomy practice
11:00 am Taxonomy test 1h
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Homestead Pond recapture survey/ pond & lake management discussion
4:00 pm Course review/debrief
4:30 pm Pack
5:00 pm Adjourn