ENV 586b () / 2023-2024

Topics in Applied Aquatic Ecology

Credits: 1.5

Spring 2024: Time and location TBA

Climate change, land use conversion, and aquifer depletion are among the many challenges affecting wetlands, ponds, lakes & rivers. Human water use, both past and present, has significantly impacted global water resources. Understanding how aquatic ecosystems are impacted by human activities as well as anthropogenic climate change is critical if we are to conserve & use our water resources sustainably. This course will focus on the ecological effects aquatic ecosystems experience due to human activities. Human alteration of aquatic ecosystems dates back thousands of years. We will analyze, through the lens of Western science as well as through global perspectives spanning local, regional, and indigenous knowledge, how human activity has impacted aquatic systems and their biota. Our particular focus will be the use of aquatic ecosystems for food resources (e.g., fisheries, agriculture). Within this topic we will explore (1) how rivers, lakes and wetlands have been modified to provide food and (2) how these modifications impact resident biota, aquatic resources, and adjacent terrestrial systems. Increased pressure on natural resources is anticipated as the global population increases. An understanding of the consequences of our modifications on the aquatic landscape will help in assessing and planning for how these aquatic resources can be managed sustainably.