Problematic Species and the Quabbin Reservoir: Balancing Ecological Diversity, Recreation, and Water Quality

Dates: January 4 – 22, 2010
Days: Weekdays
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Location:Meeting in Webster 102 and the lower floors of Seeley Mudd; faculty presentations and technology trainings in various classrooms; on-site visits to the Quabbin Reservoir and the Harvard Forest.

Description: Spend Interterm studying a nearby ecosystem while developing technology skills that you may well need for school or jobs in the future. In this special topic course lasting 3 weeks, you will learn about the complex array of ecological, public access, and management issues confronting the nearby Quabbin reservoir, the major source of fresh water for Boston. Vegetation, animals, and humans can all affect water quality, and climate change can have an impact, too. You will work in teams to research and document some of these effects, in particular the hemlock woolly adelgid, deer, and moose. You will be supported by an interdisciplinary group of technologists, professors, and local governmental agencies.

Problematic Species in the Quabbin Reservoir

Your daily activities will be divided between expert presentations, outdoor fieldwork, technology training, and project development. To record, map, and analyze your data you will learn to use GPS and geographic information systems software. To communicate and share your findings with the community, you'll also learn to use digital cameras and video editing software to create a short documentary film and a web site. Other technologies may be applied if appropriate.

This course is offered by Academic Technology Services, with the participation of Prof. Ethan Clotfelter (Biology & Environmental Studies), Prof. Jan Dizard (Sociology & Environmental Studies), Bethany Bradley (Copeland Fellow), the Harvard Forest, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

We'll be using the following resources in the class: