ESRM 304
Environmental and Resource Assessment
Autumn 2017






Course Review


Class Meeting Times and Locations:

Lecture: M-W-F 9:30-10:20 AM

Lab: Tue or Wed 12:30-4:20 PM       

Locations: WFS 201 (lecture); St. Edward State Park (most labs)


ESRM 304 is one of 3 interdisciplinary courses comprising the core of the Environmental Science and Resource Management curriculum in the School of Forest Resources. It is required of all majors but is also available to those wishing to pursue the ESRM minor, as well as any other non-majors. The only prerequisite is a basic course in statistics, which may be taken concurrently.

In this course you will be exposed to field and lab measurement and monitoring procedures from a diverse set of disciplines, the scientific method, processes for developing research questions, and hypothesis testing.  The real world of natural resource issues requires the use of an interdisciplinary team approach where scientists from different disciplines make contributions to resolving a larger complex problem. The purpose of this course is to introduce the methods used in scientific investigations, how scientists from different disciplines use these methods in their specialty, and how these can be integrated in the context of a larger resource problem. The concepts and skills you will learn will take place in a forestland use situation, namely, nearby St. Edward State Park. 

Specifically, by the end of this course you will have

  1. developed familiarity with methods that researchers use to produce relevant, unbiased information,
  2. acquired basic field skills from each of several scientific discipline areas,
  3. considered how the basic computational procedures of introductory statistics support scientific research, and
  4. appreciated, through numerous examples, the various contexts in which natural resource issues commonly require an interdisciplinary research approach. 

This course will prepare you for more advanced courses in natural resource science and measurements and related fields.

Communications & Office Hours

Eric Turnblom, course lead: Friday 10:30 AM - 11:20 AM.
Robert Swan, TA: Tuesday 10:30 AM - 12 PM, Thursday 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, or by appointment.

To schedule a meeting with either the course lead or the TA, contact them by email or phone. 

To contact any other instructor, use email or phone to schedule an appointment.

Format of Lectures

ESRM 304 has 3 lectures per week (M W F at 9:30 AM in MEB 246). The “lectures" will include traditional instruction by one or more Professors as well as small group discussions and other forms of learning. We have organized this course to stimulate student discussion and participation to make for enjoyable and effective learning. You are expected to be punctual, to participate in discussions, and be respectful of views of others. In most weeks you will be assigned readings either on electronic reserve, in the course reader, or in handouts presenting case-studies for class discussion. At times you may be assigned to a discussion group or analysis team.

Format and Requirements of Labs

ESRM 304 has two lab sessions (same material; students sign up for one only) on Tue and Wed both from 12:30 - 4:20 PM. Most of the labs will be held at St. Edward State Park where you will be learning various field skills and gathering data that will be used for weekly analysis reports and for the final integrated "Design Puzzles" group project. Locations on campus for other labs will be announced. Lab attendance is REQUIRED

We have the SEFS bus reserved for all field trips to St. Edward State Park and will meet in the large parking lot (C-10) behind Bloedel Hall at 12:30 PM. Field activities are planned so we can head back to campus no later than 4:00 PM. Please be on-time for the campus departure; it takes about 30-40 minutes to drive to and from St. Edward State Park and we would all like to get back on time.

You should have adequate, warm clothing including full rain gear and adequate footwear; parts of St. Edward State Park are brushy, steep, and can be muddy. Working in the field can be pleasant and fun but only if you are warm and dry! You may also want to bring a dry change of clothes for after some labs dependent upon weather - the bus will be locked during lab and you may leave bags on it during lab if you wish.

Course Materials

There is no textbook. The instructors have placed course readings on reserve/online in lieu of asking you to purchase a course reader. A packet of aerial photos and soil, contour and vegetation cover maps will be provided. Frequent reference to these aerial photos and maps will be made throughout the quarter.  Individual instructors may provide additional notes and handouts during the quarter. 


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