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Introduction to Mountain Research

Spring Quarter

How do you ask ‘researchable’ scientific questions? This course will introduce students to mountain research – how to design a project and safely carry out data collection in rugged environments.  Students will observe the world around them, ask questions, and learn how to answer those questions.  Topics include expedition planning, mountain safety, research project planning and logistics, and the course provides experience with numerous field data collection techniques. Students will learn how to link research questions, methodologies, and field data collection. We will begin each project with a study of the relevant scientific literature. We will learn safety techniques before we move into the field. Students will help collect numerous types of environmental data in the North Cascades.  The overall goal is for students to understand theory based data collection and research design in mountain environments.

Rough Class Schedule:

Field Research Logistics - Expedition Planning, Safety, Research Permits, Health

Proposal basics - Research Question, Literature, Research Tasks, Collaborators

Field Data - Water Quality, Tree rings, Snow Particulate Sampling, Satellite Ground Reference Data, CO2 monitoring, Spectroradiometer data

Disseminating research findings