Spring 2020 WILD-3850-LB1 XL Syllabus

WILD 3850 Vegetation and Habitat Management

Prescribed fire on Ft. Bragg.

DeRose Lectures LaMalfa Lectures
Readings Assignments

Spring 2020 – 3 credit hours

Instructors: 

Dr. Justin DeRose, QCNR 326, CANVAS inbox, justin.derose@usu.edu

Dr. Eric LaMalfa, BNR 163, Dr. LaMalfa @ CANVAS inbox

Location & Time: Tuesday/Thursday, 3:00-4:15pm MDT, Merrill-Cazier Library 421

Format: Lecture 

Textbook/Reading Material:  See Reading List (below, and on CANVAS) 

Catalogue Description:  Applying ecological principles and concepts to manipulate the composition, structure, and productivity of wildland vegetation for a range of objectives, including the creation and maintenance of wildlife habitat, using a variety of methods, including biological, chemical, mechanical, and fire. (3cr).

Course Background:  It is expected that students already have a solid background in ecology and are familiar with, for example, succession and relative tolerance, and have had an introduction to regeneration ecology and the nature of plant communities. We will build on this background to develop an understanding of vegetation management practices as they relate to: ecological and biological principles, natural resources management strategies, and socioeconomic and environmental constraints. The basic objectives of vegetation management, both in general terms or as they relate to a specific project, must be explicitly understood in terms of desired species composition and structure. We will use specific examples to make this clear, and will focus on implementation of these objectives, using a variety of tools and practices. The relevance of the course will be reinforced by examples and case studies relating to a diversity of natural resource situations, (e.g., restoration, wildlife habitat management, and management of invasive plants).

Student Learning Expectations:  see IDEA (http://www.usu.edu/aaa/idea_faculty_faq.cfm), and WILD learning objectives: (https://www.qcnr.usu.edu/wild/about/assessment/undergrad_assessment)

IDEA Objective # 4 and LO1: Developing specific skills, competencies and points of view needed by professionals in the field most closely related to this course.  

1) Ability to apply ecological concepts and principles to manipulate the composition, structure, and productivity of wildland vegetation for a range of objectives, including the creation and maintenance of wildlife habitat, using biological, mechanical, chemical, pyric, and revegetation methods.

IDEA Objective #11 and LO5: Learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view.

2) Ability to analyze economic, environmental, and social consequences of vegetation management strategies and decisions.

IDEA Objective #8 and LO4: Developing skills in expressing oneself orally or in writing.

3) Develop/improve technical writing skills that are critical for natural resource professionals.

Course Assignments:  All course materials (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) can be found on CANVAS (https://usu.instructure.com/courses/579839). Powerpoints used during class will be posted to CANVAS immediately after each class.  

During the first half of the semester there will be five short writing assignments. Each will be in the same format, i.e., a 1.5-2-page background report on a particular aspect of a native plant species. Feedback on each report should facilitate improvement in both style and efficiency. These assignments have two purposes: provide practice in clear and concise organization of technical material; and, by focusing on a plant species and wildlife species of your choice, help you to put lecture and reading content into context (i.e., apply the material in a meaningful way). A mid-term summarizing the content during the first half of the semester will occur on Tuesday, February 25th (25% of the total course grade) and the reports (25% of the total course grade).

During the second half of the semester you will have four assignments: (1) select an ecological site of interest; (2) set a management objective for the site; and (3) in order to meet your management objective, address how prescribed burning, mechanical treatments, chemical treatments and/or grazing management might be used. Assignments 1-2 are worth 6 points each and assignment 3 is worth 18 points, for a total of 30 points or 3/5ths of the grade for this portion of the class. A mid-term (20 points) for the second half of the semester is a practical problem exercise using the knowledge gained from the previous exercises and material presented in class.  

Grades:  Total Points Possible = 100:  Overall percentages will be based on: Midterm exams=45% Assignments=55%

A

93.0%

to

100 %

C

73.0%

to

< 77.0 %

A-

90.0%

to

< 93.0 %

C-

70.0%

to

< 73.0 %

B+

87.0%

to

< 90.0 %

D+

67.0%

to

< 70.0 %

B

83.0%

to

< 87.0 %

D

60.0%

to

< 67.0 %

B-

80.0%

to

< 83.0 %

F

0.0%

to

< 60.0 %

C+

77.0%

to

< 80.0 %

 

 

 

 

How can I succeed in this class?  It is as easy as 1, 2, 3: 1) show up; 2) pay attention (don’t check email during class); and 3) do the readings and assignments. Materials covered in this course cannot be memorized from a textbook. The material in this course has been collated from a wide variety of sources by your professors. It is your job to extract all the information you can from them and make sure that it makes sense TO YOU. Ask questions in class and ask questions during office hours or in the hallways. The more you put in, the more you will get out.

Professionalism:  Students are expected to behave professionally at all times during class and extend all courtesies and considerations expected in a public forum. Breeches of professional conduct will affect your grade. Disrupting class is not professional. Be on time. Be prepared to make the most of your time in class. Pay attention and have the proper supplies on hand. Reading the course readings prior to class is professional preparation. Please help maintain an environment conducive for learning by not using cell phones or other technology for non-learning purposes in class. A distraction-limited environment is important for learning, and trying to multitask negatively affects you and your classmates.

Late Work Policy:  All assignments are due on the designated dates. You may submit assignments up to 3 days past the due date, but you will lose 10% of the available points per day. If you have circumstances that prevent you from turning assignments in on time, please contact me.

Attendance Policy:  Unexcused in-class or field trip absences can affect your professionalism grade and your ability to complete writing assignments. Excuses for absence due to illness, family emergencies, or other unanticipated events will be handled on an individual basis.

Academic Integrity (from the USU Student Code):  Students have a responsibility to promote academic integrity at the University by not participating in or facilitating others' participation in any act of academic dishonesty and by reporting all violations or suspected violations of the Academic Integrity Standard to their instructors. The definitions of cheating, falsification, and plagiarism can be found HERE, along with the process for reporting and disciplinary actions for academic integrity violations.

Withdrawal:  If a student does not attend a class during the first week of the term or by the 2nd class meeting, whichever comes first, the instructor may submit a request to have the student dropped from the course. (This does not abdicate responsibility from the student to drop courses which they do not plan to attend.) Students who are dropped from courses will be notified by the Registrar’s Office through their preferred e-mail account. Students may drop courses without notation on the permanent record through the 2 weeks of the class and a W will be permanently affixed to the student’s record. 

Accommodations for Disabilities:  Students with physical, sensory, emotional or medical impairments may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All accommodations are coordinated through the Disabilities Resource Center (DRC) in Room 101 of the University Inn.  Please contact the DRC as early in the semester as possible: 797-2444 voice, 797-0740 TTY, toll free at 1-800-259-2966, or drc@usu.edu. Once approved, the DRC will coordinate with faculty to provide accommodations.

Mental Health:  Mental health is critically important for the success of USU students. As a student, you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. USU provides free services for students to assist them with addressing these and other concerns. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Students are also encouraged to download the “SafeUT App” to their smartphones. This application is a 24/7 statewide crisis text and tip service that provides real-time crisis intervention to students through texting and a confidential tip program that can help anyone with emotional crises, bullying, relationship problems, mental health, or suicide related issues.

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment:  Utah State University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free from acts of sexual misconduct and discrimination and to fostering respect and dignity for all members of the USU community. Title IX and USU Policy 339 address sexual harassment in the workplace and academic setting. The university responds promptly upon learning of any form of possible discrimination or sexual misconduct. Any individual may contact USU's Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity (AA/EO) Office for available options and resources or clarification. The university has established a complaint procedure to handle all types of discrimination complaints, including sexual harassment (USU Policy 305), and has designated the AA/EO Director/Title IX Coordinator as the official responsible for receiving and investigating complaints of sexual harassment. As your Instructor, I am a mandatory reporter, meaning that if you wish to discuss an issue with me I must report it. However, if you would like a confidential meeting, trained advocates are available through USU's Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information (SAAVI) office and CAPSA in Logan. Advocates will help you navigate your options, seek medical attention, get a sexual assault forensic exam, receive counseling, file a police report, or report to the university.

Course Schedule, Readings, and (Assignments):

DeRose lecture

Week

Date

Topic

Readings

1

Jan 7

Course intro/Forest vegetation dynamics

 

1

Jan 9

Forest vegetation dynamics, continued

Long 2003

1

Jan 10

(Introduction due)

 

2

Jan 14

Stand dynamics

Long et al. 2004

2

Jan 16

Stand dynamics, continued

Long and Shaw 2005

3

Jan 21

Forest disturbances

Perera & Buse 2004

3

Jan 23

Forest disturbances, continued

DeRose and Long 2007

3

Jan 24

(Fire effects assessment due)

 

4

Jan 28

Disturbance-based management

Long 2009

4

Jan 30

Disturbance-based management

Agee & Skinner 2005

4

Jan 31

(Habitat value due)

 

5

Feb 4

Seed collection and handling

Johnson et al. 2004

5

Feb 6

Manipulation - Reproduction treatments

Gallo & Pejchar 2016

5

Feb 7

(Wildlife species habitat due)

 

6

Feb 11

Manipulation - Stand treatments

Hayes et al. 1997

6

Feb 13

Manipulation - Stand treatments, continued

Tappeiner et al. 1997

6

Feb 14

(Seed collection and handling due)

 

7

Feb 18

Manipulation – continuation and review

Long & Smith 2000

7

Feb 20

Summary & review

 

7

Feb 20

(IDEA course survey - extra credit due)

 

8

Feb 25

Mid-term exam

 

8

Feb 27

No Class

 

 

LaMalfa lecture

Week

Date

Topic

Readings

9

Mar3/5

SPRING BREAK

 

10

Mar 10

Range Fundamentals and History

Monsen 2004b

10

Mar 12

Ecological sites, state and transition models

Briske et al. 2005

11

Mar 17

Principles of rangeland vegetation manipulation

Chambers 2014

11

Mar 19

Site suitability (climate, soil, topography,biotic)

Stevens 2004a

11

Mar 19

(Ecological site description due)

 

12

Mar 24

Grazing management

Briske et al. 2008

12

Mar 26

Grazing management

Kothman 2006

12

Mar 26

(Management objective due)

 

13

Mar 31

Controlling plant competition: (1) fire

Monsen 2004a, 2004c, Whisenant 2004

13

Apr 2

Controlling plant competition: (2) mechanical

Stevens&Monson 2004a

14

Apr 7

Controlling plant competition: (3) chemical

Vallentine 2004

14

Apr 9

Controlling plant competition: (4) biological

 

14

Apr 9

(Recommended prescribed burning, mechanical treatments, chemical, and/or grazing management treatments due)

14

Apr 14

Seeding desired plants           

 

15

Apr 14

(Rangeland mid-term assigned)

 

15

Apr 16

Planning – Putting it all together

Washington State 2008 Swanson 1994

15

Apr 16

(First draft of Rangeland mid-term due)

 

16

Apr 28

All work completed

 

16

Apr 28

(Final draft of Rangeland mid-term due)

 

 

Course Reading List 

Can be found on Canvas at this (link).