CEE 432 – STREAM ECOLOGY
Description of physical, biological, and chemical characteristics in streams and rivers including an integrated treatment of the environmental factors affecting the composition and distribution of biota; emphasizes the application of ecological engineering principles in aquatic ecosystem protection and management.
Course: CEE 432 – Stream Ecology
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Meeting time: Mondays & Wednesdays, 11:00-12:20
Meeting location: 1518 Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory
Credits: 3 Undergraduate hours, 4 Graduate hours
Prerequisites: consent of instructor
Instructor: Rafael O. Tinoco, Ph.D.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
205 N. Mathews Ave
2514 Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory
Urbana, IL 61801
Office phone number: (217) 265-6931
Office hours: Thursday, 3:00-4:30pm, 2514 Hydro, or by appointment
Contact: Email strongly preferred, I’ll get back to you by the end of the day at the
latest (8:00 - 17:00).
The course will introduce students to critical issues in stream and watershed ecology with an emphasis on the physical and chemical mechanisms affecting the organism distribution and success in stream ecosystems. Fundamentals of fluid mechanics, morphodynamics, ecology and modern community ecology will be reviewed and applied to running water environments. The students will focus on habitat studies, at both macro- and micro-scale, from a physical-chemical perspective, leveraging their understanding of watershed quantification and channel description to discuss water chemistry and quality, to identify factors affecting fate and transport of organisms in stream ecosystems. Basic ecological theory will be used to study community organization, production, the role of biota as ecosystem engineers, as well as organic matter and mineral cycling. The students will apply the physical, chemical and biological tools and understanding developed throughout the course in the context of watershed protection approaches, modern management and regulation, with an emphasis on watershed classification and landscape ecology issues, as well as recent advances in the use of ecologically based analysis approaches in stream management. The course includes hands-on laboratory sessions at the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory and field experiments on local natural waters.
Upon completion of the course the students will:
Identify critical issues for management, protection and restoration of natural running waters.
Identify and characterize the physical, chemical and biological processes affecting organism success and distribution in stream ecosystems.
Develop the skills to represent such processes analytically and using simple numerical methods.
Apply and integrate basic ecological theory to assess the impact of biota as ecosystem engineers.
Design, conduct and evaluate laboratory experimental studies and field campaigns using state-of-the-art measurement and surveying equipment and techniques.
Apply their understanding of the fundamental processes and their interactions to stream restoration and naturalization projects.
Information will be disseminated primarily via the website. Announcements will also be made during lectures, but it is the students’ responsibility to check it often.
< >: An extensive set of notes will be posted online prior to each class. < >: One mid-term and one final exam will be conducted. They will be comprised of an in-class quiz (30minutes) to evaluate basic understanding of the concepts and a take home component to synthesize, integrate, and apply the knowledge developed throughout the course.< >: Six problem sets will be assigned during the course. You are encouraged to work with fellow students but the final write-up must be individual and show your own work. All assignments are due at the beginning of the class. No late assignments will be accepted unless for a justifiable family/medical emergency. If you will be traveling or have any conflicts with the schedule, please let me know well before the deadline.< >: We will conduct experiments during class, at the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory, and in local natural waters. Participation is mandatory and data from those experiments will be used in your homework assignments. An individual, brief and concise report is required for each experiment. Specific guidelines will be provided on the website.
Final Project (For Graduate students, 4-hour option): You will work on teams on an independent project due at the end of the semester. Specific guidelines will be provided separately. You will need to incorporate parts of the analysis conducted during your HW assignments, so make sure you write any computer code from the HWs on a way that will make it easier for you to reuse / modify it for your final project.
Attendance and participation: Students are expected to attend and actively participate during class discussions. As engineers and scientists you should be able to communicate and express your ideas in both technical and layman terms, and class participation is a unique way to practice such skills.