Environmental Science (EVS) 616
Field Practicum in Coastal Science
A Coastal Institute IGERT Project Class
Summer 2007

Class Syllabus (.pdf)

Last updated 6/12/07 17:00

Trainees are encouraged to meet regularly to discuss literature and data analysis approaches. Some meeting times have been suggested below.

Week of May 21




Fish Monitoring in Narragansett Bay

Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MERL Conference Room
Introduction to EVS 616; Introduction to fish monitoring

Wednesday, 8 a.m. to late afternoon
Depart from Wickford Shipyard at 8 a.m. sharp
Fish trawl at Fox Island and Whale Rock aboard Capt. Bert
Trainee-only discussion of literature and data analyses following field work

Read in the order listed:
Oviatt, C. S. Olsen, M. Andrews, J. Collie, T. Lynch and K. Raposa. 2003. A century of fishing and fish fluctuations in Narragansett Bay. Reviews in Fisheries Science 11:221-242.

Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder. 1953. Fisheries of the Gulf of Maine. Fish. Bull. Fish. Wildlife Ser. 53:577p.

Week of May 29
(Monday, May 28
Memorial Day Holiday)

Oxygen Monitoring in Narragansett Bay

Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., MERL Conference Room
Introduction to oxygen monitoring; Trainee-only discussion of literature

Wednesday, 8 a.m., meet in Jamestown (directions)
CTD survey for hypoxia in Greenwich Bay aboard Eastern Surveyor

Bergondo, D.L., D.R. Kester, H.E. Stoffel and W.L. Woods. 2005. Time-series observations during the low sub-surface oxygen events in Narragansett Bay during summer 2001. Marine Chemistry 97:90-103.

RIDEM. 2003. The Greenwich Bay fish kill - August 2003: causes, impacts, and responses. 32 pp.

Suggested background reading:
Oviatt and Gold. 2005. Nitrate in coastal waters. Ch 8 in Addiscott, T.M. (ed) Nitrate, Agriculture and the Environment.

Week of June 4

Packing List

Monomoy Wildlife Refuge, Cape Cod

Monday, 8:30 a.m., Depart CI Narragansett for Chatham, MA.
Meet in the parking lot at the CI in Narragansett. Lunch at the Refuge while Steph gives an overview of horseshoe crabs, shorebirds, and management at the Refuge. Afternoon at the beach tagging crabs, followed by a quick look at statistics at the office.

Overview of shorebirds and public use (esp. shellfishing). Intro to designing a shorebird study. Intro to shorebird identification. Data collection on North Monomoy Island. Back to the office to enter data into spreadsheets, discuss statistical methods, findings, additional questions.
Tuesday 8 p.m. Return to CI Narragansett.

Wednesday, 9 a.m. - ?
Trainee-only discussion of literature and data analyses

Check out the photos from last year's trip


Burger et al. 1997. Importance of beach, mudflat and marsh habitats to migrant shorebirds on Delaware Bay. Biological Conservation 79:283-292.

Gill et al. 2001. Why behavioural responses may not reflect the population consequences of human disturbance. Biological Conservation 97:265-268.

James-Pirri et al. 2005. Spawning densities, egg densities, size structure, and movement patterns of spawning horseshoe crabs, Limulus polyphemus, with four coastal embayments on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Estuaries 28:296-313.

Week of June 11

Benthic Studies

Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., MERL Conference Room
Introduction to Benthic Fauna; Trainee-only discussion of literature

Wednesday, 8 a.m., Fort Getty Dock, Jamestown (directions)
Diver-collected cores and Van Veen grabs north of Jamestown aboard Eastern Surveyor

Required Readings:

Related to Lab Exercise
Grassle, J.F., J.P. Grassle, L.S. Brown-Leger, R.F. Petrecca, and N.J. Copley. 1985. Subtidal macrobenthos of Narragansett Bay: Field and mesocosm studies of the effects of eutrophication and organic input on benthic populations in J.S. Gray and M.E. Crhistiansen (eds.) Marine Biology of Polar Regions and Effects of Stress on Marine Organisms. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Essential Background
Ruth Patrick:

Ecological Indicators:
National Research Council. 2000. Ecological Indicators for the Nation. Executive Summary. National Academy Press.  Pages 1-17.

Benthos and Ecosystem Health:
Scrimgeour, G.J. and D. Wicklum. 1996. Aquatic ecosystem health and integrity: Problems and potential solutions. J. North American Benthological Society 15:254-261.

Supplemental reading related to site characteristics:
Valente, R.M. et al. 1992. Mapping of benthic enrichment patterns in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Estuaries 15:1-17.


Week of June 18

Baltimore Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site
Exploring Human Dimensions: A Major Challenge for Ecosystem Scientists

Monday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., MERL Conference Room
Trainee-led discussion of literature with faculty

Tuesday, meet at T.F. Green Airport for flight to Baltimore
Arrive late morning.
Afternoon meeting with Parks & People, visit Watershed 263 and Minebank Run.
Dinner with UMBC IGERT trainees.

Wednesday Watershed studies with Peter Groffman

Thursday TBD
Depart after lunch for the airport. Return to PVD later afternoon/early evening.

Check out the photos from last year's trip


Essential Background (not necessary to summarize):
What is an LTER? (last year's version handed out in hard-copy on 6/12)
The three central questions of the Baltimore LTER (handed out in hard-copy on 6/12)
Pickett, S.T.A., et al. Highlights of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study: Urban legends and Improved Management for Cities (poster)

Readings to prepare for discussion:

Group 1:
Likens, G.E. 2004. Some perspectives on long-term biogeochemical research from the Hubbard Brook ecosystem study. Ecology 85:2355-2362.

Groffman, P.M., et al. 2004. Nitrogen fluxes and retention in urban watershed ecosystems. Ecosystems 7:393-403.

Group 2:
Excerpts from the Baltimore LTER proposal

Grimm, N.B., et al. 2000. Integrated approaches to long-term studies of urban ecological systems. BioScience 50:571-583.

Group 3:
Cook, W.M., et al. 2004. Learning to roll with the punches: adaptive experimentation in human-dominated systems. Front Ecol Environ 2:467-474.

Kaye, J.P., et al. 2006. A distinct urban biogeochemistry? TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 21:192-199.