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Fjord Ecosystems and Climate Change

Target Audience: Undergraduate Student
Graduate Student

Institution: University of Washington, Friday Harbor Laboratories

Institutional Web Link:

Course Description: FHL 568b. This course, designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, will focus on fjord ecosystems, which are common coastal features (~5000 globally) from polar to temperate latitudes, serve as major interfaces between the cryosphere and the ocean, provide a broad range of ecosystem functions and services to natural and human communities, and are very sensitive to climate change. Fjord ecosystems are influenced by various physical and biogeochemical drivers, they are often coastal hotspots of productivity and biodiversity, they harbor an extraordinary range of habitats, and they are the foci of fisheries, waste disposal, and ecotourism. In addition, fjords provide model ecosystems to understand basic oceanographic forcing, to illustrate interactions between disturbance and productivity gradients in driving biodiversity, to test how horizontal subsidies across ecosystem boundaries structure food webs, to examine the influence of larval source-sink dynamics on metacommunities, and for elucidating how anthropogenic stressors (from waste disposal to climate warming) are altering coastal ecosystems. Thus, fjords provide outstanding exemplars to elucidate and model how physical and biogeochemical processes influence pelagic and seafloor ecosystem structure and function, and to show how climate warming will alter key coastal ecosystems.

Course Fees and Expenses: TBD. See:

Scholarships, Fellowships, Associated with the Course:
Some course-specific funding may be available.

Funding Source: National Science Foundation (NSF)

How to Apply:

Application Closing Date: 04/01/2018

Course Begins: 2018-07-16

Course Ends: 2018-08-17


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