Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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NATRS 123 - Backcountry Watershed and Forest Assessment

Credits: 12
A field intensive course that covers uses and management of watersheds and the forests contained therein. Teaches watershed scale assessments, backcountry management, and human dimensions of wilderness use including forest harvesting practices across the State of Washington. Topics include land use assessment and management impacts through extensive field exercises in individual, team, and group situations. Students conduct basic trail maintenance, orienteering and examine uses and misuses of backcountry resources. Students create a field journal including a management plan for effective backcountry use. Summer field trip includes base camping, backpacking and/ or backcountry day hiking and field-intensive studies.

Enrollment Requirement: NATRS 182  and NATRS 270  with grades of 2.0 or higher; and instructor consent.

Course Fee: $450.00

Course Outcomes:
Students who successfully complete this class will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate safe and effective methods for accessing remote areas of watersheds.
  2. Safely and critically assess the health of a watershed based on field observations of land use actions and management across multiple types of land ownership.
  3. Demonstrate competencies in backcountry travel, orienteering, backcountry safety, and trail management. 
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and skills from hands-on field learning and practice as well reading and presentations, field lectures, labs and demonstrations.
  5. Develop skills in note keeping, map interpretation, and use of GPS.
  6. Demonstrate components of leadership through their ability to work well in teams in rugged conditions, as well as the necessary planning and organization.
  7. Demonstrate field observations and produce a field journal.
  8. Demonstrate skills in punctuality, timeliness, leadership, professional attitude and respect.
  9. Demonstrate critical thinking in discussions, essay writing and a research report.

Program Outcomes

  1. Attain a job in the Natural Resources field.
  2. Manage Forestland or Resources to attain positive outcomes.
  3. Demonstrate effective written and verbal communications between industry partners and cooperators.

College-wide Outcomes
  • Critical Thinking - Critical thinking finds expression in all disciplines and everyday life. It is characterized by an ability to reflect upon thinking patterns, including the role of emotions on thoughts, and to rigorously assess the quality of thought through its work products. Critical thinkers routinely evaluate thinking processes and alter them, as necessary, to facilitate an improvement in their thinking and potentially foster certain dispositions or intellectual traits over time.
  • Responsibility - Responsibility encompasses those behaviors and dispositions necessary for students to be effective members of a community. This outcome is designed to help students recognize the value of a commitment to those responsibilities which will enable them to work successfully individually and with others.
  • Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning - Quantitative Reasoning encompasses abilities necessary for a student to become literate in today’s technological world. Quantitative reasoning begins with basic skills and extends to problem solving.
  • Written Communication - Written Communication encompasses all the abilities necessary for effective expression of thoughts, feelings, and ideas in written form.

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