Skagit Valley College

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   River Ecology & Watershed Management

 Title Abbreviation:   RIVER ECOL/WTRSHED MGMT

 Department:    ENVC

 Course #:    304

 Credits:    5

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    5.5

 CIP:    030101

 EPC:    16B

 REV:    2018

 Course Description  

Watershed perspective to learn about rivers and streams with special emphasis on the Pacific Northwest coastal ecoregion. Topics include hydrology, hyporheic flow, geomorphology, stream classification, riparian ecology, and biogeochemical cycles. Development of watershed and ecosystem management at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales including adaptive management processes incorporating cultural values and philosophies allowing successful watershed management.


Prerequisite: Admission to BASEC or Department Chair permission.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 44

Lab: 22

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Vocational Preparatory Required for ATA degree  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Utilize stream classification systems to inventory stream conditions.
  2. Understand and quantify stream hydrology.
  3. Quantify and evaluate the biotic integrity of streams using primary production and macroinvertebrate communities.
  4. Quantify and evaluate fish communities in various stream habitats.
  5. Quantify and evaluate riparian conditions for wildlife.
  6. Evaluate current landscape processes responsible for hydrology and quantify management recommendations for ecological restoration.
  7. Understand and utilize stream systems as sentinels; especially when providing management recommendations.
  8. Develop an understanding of various cultural values associated with rivers and their riparian zones in the past and present.
  9. Assess anthropogenic changes to riverine ecosystems.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

Course Contents

  1. Channel processes, classifications, and responses.
  2. Hydrology and stream quality including hyporheic zone.
  3. Biotic stream classification.
  4. Decomposition.
  5. Primary production.
  6. Macroinvertebrate communities.
  7. Fish communities.
  8. Riparian wildlife.
  9. Ecosystem process; dynamic landscape process, riparian forests, LWD.
  10. Watershed management.
  11. Rivers as sentinels.
  12. Cultural values associated with river systems and their riparian zones in a historical context.