Geosciences

Course Based Research Projects: Carbon Cycle & Isotope Ecology Field School **FULL**

Erik Gulbranson, Visiting Assistant Professor

Course: Geo Sci 194, Sem 001
Class Number: 23137
Credits: 3/NS
Time: TR, 2:00 – 3:15
Place: Lapham 264

Course Description

This course will largely take place in the forests, wetlands, and prairie of southeast Wisconsin, thus we will transcend the typical classroom lecture format in order to gain experiential learning about the environment. Our focus will be on the ecology and Holocene history of climate and ecologic change in SE Wisconsin, and we will study these topics by conducting experiments in the application of geochemistry to ecologic systems.

Students enrolled in this course can expect to be immersed into field studies of landscape evolution, and ecologic and climatic change. Cutting-edge scientific equipment such as laser-spectroscopy isotope analyzers and a tree-ring station (for dendrochronology) will be used in this course, and students will gain hands-on experience in using this equipment and understanding the data produced from it. Students will work in teams to tackle one of many general topics (soil, forest and wetland ecology, paleoclimate and paleoecology).

The teams will synthesize their results and present their conclusions. And for the grand finale we will work together, as a multidisciplinary team, to paint a bigger picture of and climate and ecosystem change in Wisconsin.

NOTE: The field work for this class will take place in Downer Woods, located in the northeastern part of the main UWM campus, near the Klotsche Center. No transportation is needed.

About the Instructor

Erik Gulbranson is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences. His work is focused on ecosystem responses to climate change and other sorts of global change. He conducts research in areas such as Antarctica, Argentina, Russia, and Wisconsin.