F&ES 724a / 2018-2019

Watershed Cycles and Processes

Credits: 3
Fall 2018: Tu,Th, 10:30-11:50, Kroon 319


Everyone lives in a watershed, an area of land that funnels rainfall and snowmelt to a stream, river, lake, or section of coastline. F&ES 724 explores watershed processes that affect, or are affected by, the stocks, flows, and quality of freshwater. It also surveys challenges faced by watershed managers, while emphasizing the science that informs their choices. By drawing from the fields of hydrology, ecology, and chemistry, the course begins by examining the flows of water, nutrients, carbon, and pollutants through watersheds. This basic knowledge underpins watershed management decisions that, for example, are intended to safeguard drinking-water quality, ensure sustainable freshwater consumption, and preserve ecosystem services that depend on healthy riparian corridors. Following treatment of watershed functions, FES 724 shifts focus toward impacts of landscape alteration and other anthropogenic stresses on freshwater cycles, water quality, and the ecology of sensitive watershed ecosystems. The course culminates by covering measurements, models, and other tools used in watershed assessment and with case studies of science-based watershed planning and adaptive management.