Introduction to Freshwater Ecology

Of all water on Earth, only about 2.5% is fresh water, with most unavailable as ice and snow. It is no wonder that freshwater quality and associated illness are the primary causes of human mortality and social conflict. This introductory course explores relationships between freshwater organisms and their environment. We will examine key physical, chemical and biological factors that govern inland waters such as lakes, streams and wetlands. We will also address interactions between humans and water and discuss these challenges and opportunities in conservation and management. This course will also use a series of case studies to highlight specific concepts and applications.

Course objectives:

  • Provide students with a broad background in general theories and foundations of freshwater ecology, understanding that science is an evolving endeavor.
  • Encourage students to think critically about the nature and causes of human activities that impact the aquatic environment.

Intended Audience: This course is specifically designed for practitioners and agency personnel, including biologists, ecologists, hydrologists, lawyers, planners and regulators involved in freshwater issues addressing fisheries, water supply and water quality issues.

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