ESF 516: Ecology White Mountains


76271 (for web registration)




Peter Palmiotto






Summer 2011

Meeting Schedule:

Wed 6/1 (6:00PM-8:59PM)
Wed 6/15 (6:00PM-8:59PM)
Mon 6/27 - 7/1 (TBA)


Competency Areas Spring 2010 and earlier: Natural Communities
Competency Areas Fall 2010 and Spring 2011: Methods or elective
Prerequisite: Ecological Dynamics of Landscapes, Community Ecology of NE Landscapes or permission of instructor.
Restricted to ES students from April 12 – 26. Open to all students on April 27.

Please Note: Attendance at pre-trip meetings is mandatory. Enrolled students who fail to drop the course by noon, 2 weeks before the first pre-trip meeting or who fail to attend the pre-trip meeting will be held financially responsible for the cost of the trip and will forfeit their seat in the class. Students on the waitlist are strongly encouraged to attend the first class.

The White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, rising to an elevation of 6288′, is where a variety of ecosystems are distributed by latitude and elevation. In this course students will explore factors that influence the distribution and health of these ecosystems. Factors such as acid deposition, disturbance regimes and climate change will be examined to understand the dynamic nature of these natural systems and how ecological research can inform environmental policy (e.g., Clean Air Acts 1970 and 1990). On Mt. Moosilauke and at the Hubbard Brook Forest Experiment Station students will study the ecology of N. hardwood, spruce-fir, and alpine communities through experiential learning comprised of field observations, data collection, and data analysis. Students will focus on field and analytical methods used to quantify species composition, structure, history, and the nutrient status of the ecosystems present. Techniques will include qualitative and quantitative vegetation assessment via plot sampling and the development of ecosystem nutrient budgets. Mountain trail hiking with a day pack will part of the regular class activities.
Course fee: $250 for food and lodging