ENV 724a () / 2021-2022

Watershed Cycles and Processes

Credits: 3
Fall 2021: 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. ENV 724 examines 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 investigating cycles that govern the fates of water, nutrients, carbon, and pollutants within watersheds. This basic knowledge underpins watershed management decisions that are, for example, intended to safeguard drinking-water quality, ensure sustainable freshwater consumption, and preserve ecosystem services that depend on healthy riparian corridors.  In coordination with treatments of watershed functions, ENV 724 explores the impacts of  anthropogenic stresses on freshwater flows, water quality, and the ecology of sensitive watershed ecosystems. The course also covers measurements, models, and other tools used in watershed assessment and case studies of science-based watershed planning and adaptive management.