Intensive Study: Natural Resources Sustainability
420.705 Natural Resources Sustainability: Field Study in Alaska
Date: Summer 2020 in conjunction with the Sitka Sound Science Center
Infused with wildlife, scenery, and a unique blend of cultures, there is simply no place like southeast Alaska to focus on key ecological challenges from energy to fisheries. This course will center around Sitka, which is part of the inside passage community and is flanked by majestic peaks like Mount Edgecomb and the Pacific Ocean. This course will take advantage of the quintessential coastal Alaskan environment to create an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to learning. By taking advantage of nature’s backdrop we will be able to delve into a diverse range of fieldwork that will vary from geologic field trips around Baranof Island, to hiking the temperate rainforest of Tongass National Forest, to exploring the intertidal environment near the Alexander Archipelago. There is no doubt that in Alaska one can view nature’s full might. We will revel in the exuberant arctic summer while deeply analyzing global questions of sustainable resource management in an anthropomorphically impacted area through a field-based exploration of Southeast Alaska.
This course also fulfills the ESP Residency Requirement.
Eligibility and Prerequisite
This course is open to all JHU alumni, graduate students, and undergraduates that are EPS or ENVS majors in their Junior or Senior year.
This interdisciplinary field-based course examines the natural, cultural history, and resource management in the ecosystems of Southeast Alaska. Through class lecture/discussion and field excursions, students obtain an understanding of integrated resource management and sustainability in protected areas while assessing options for addressing impacts and perturbations in habitats where species have and continue to be affected. The course will emphasize a variety of disciplines including: marine science and fisheries, wildlife management, geology, energy resources, forestry, botany, eco-tourism, and anthropomorphic impacts to biodiversity and marine and wilderness areas.
Field Excursions & Activities
- Hike the Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rainforest in the world
- Get hands-on aquaculture training in one of Alaska’s oldest fish hatcheries
- Tour the local hydro-electric dam and learn about rural Alaskan energy systems
- Watch for bears while kayaking through pools of spawning salmon
- Hike the lava fields of Mt. Edgecumbe, a leaky transformer volcano
- Experience subsistence living by foraging for your lunch with a local edible plant expert
- Take identification photos on a whale watching cruise through Sitka Sound
- Don a dry suit for cold water snorkeling with a kelp forest ecologist
- Tour the docks and talk with local fishermen about gear, conservation, and politics
- Observe 500,000 nesting sea birds at St. Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge
- Enjoy guest lectures, panels, and fireside chats with local experts from Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Sitka Conservation Society, the US Forest Service, University of Alaska, the native Tlingit clan, and many more.
Additional details will be made available after field work by the three instructors during Summer 2019.
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