Wetlands Analysis
Fall 2001 (WI,4cr.)
SUNY Cortland

Dr. C.P. Cirmo, 323 Bowers, x2924, cirmoc@cortland.edu , http//web.cortland.edu/cirmo/index.html

LECTURE MEETINGS: 11:40 - 12:55 T, Th - Rm 339 Bowers

LABORATORY/FIELD: 1:15 4:15 Th - Rm 333 Bowers/Field

LECTURE DESCRIPTION: A survey and in-depth investigation of the physical, chemical and biological structure, function, management and delineation of non-tidal freshwater wetlands, focused on those common to the eastern United States. Lecture topics include the history of wetland use/abuse, current definitions of wetlands, and common indicators of wetland function including hydrology, soils, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem structure. An emphasis will be placed on the hydrogeomorphic setting of wetlands in the landscape, with detailed work centered on wetlands formed in settings influenced by glacio-fluvial activity. Students will be introduced to international wetlands of concern, and to current classification schemes and functional assessments. A semester long field project culminates in a group report and presentation. This is a writing intensive (WI) course.

a. Wetlands (3rd ed.), 2001, R. Mitsch and J. Gosselink, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York
b. Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States (Cowardin 1979)*
*(provided in class for a small duplication fee)
c. NYS Wetland Delineation Manual
d. Other pamphlets and texts as needed and on library reserve

Three lecture exams (includes open book final)                  60% (each 20%)
Literature Review Paper                                                  10%
Quizzes                                                                          10%
Wetland Field Project                                                     20%

Wetland Values vs. Wetland Functions
Wetland Identification/Classification Schemes
Major North American Wetlands - Case Studies
Wetland Regulations: Local and National Perspective
Hydrology and Hydrogeomorphology
Biogeochemistry and Saturated Soils
Palustrine Wetlands
Freshwater Marshes
Northern Peatlands and Bogs
Riparian and Riverine Wetlands
Wetland Creation and Restoration, Mitigation

The student is expected to choose a specific topic in the wetland sciences in consultation with the instructor, and to produce a literature review paper in the format of a journal article and acceptable to the instructor. This will be followed by a short oral in-class presentation (10 minutes) on the topic to the class sometime during the semester.

The student will develop an understanding of the rationale and practices used in the identification, classification, delineation and functional assessment of freshwater wetlands, including the recognition of wetland hydrology, soils and vegetation. Familiarization with wetland delineation manuals, sources of information (including NWI maps, GIS databases, professional agencies, government offices and regulatory contacts), and the practical use of in-field observation techniques, is expected.

An integral part of the laboratory experience will a group project involving the identification, classification, delineation and mapping of the wetlands within a project area at the Hoxie Gorge college field station . Students will use the current NYS delineation manual, GPS point identification, and the NYS wetland delineation procedure. There will also be guest lectures and field trips to major local wetland areas of interest.


Laboratory Grading Criteria:
Lab grade will be based on a) full participation in each allotted laboratory period, b) full and conscientious field participation, and c) successful completion of a detailed group project in the form of a professional consultant or government agency report, followed by an in-class group presentation of results.