Wetland Ecosystems


FALL 1998


NSTRUCTOR'S NAME: Kent C. Jensen LOCATION: Piya Wiconi
TIME & DAY:         Thursday, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

OFFICE HOURS:              Tuesday         12:00pm-1:00pm Pine Ridge
(phone: 605/455-2321-o)    Wednesday   12:00pm-1:00pm Piya Wiconi
(phone: 605/745-7601-h)    Thursday         3:00pm-5:00pm Piya Wiconi
                                            Friday              9:30am-5:00pm Piya Wiconi

DESCRIPTION: This course will cover the fundamental processes that contribute to the unique nature of wetland ecosystems; as well as the various functions and values associated with wetlands. Emphasis will be placed on the wildlife habitat component of wetlands and management strategies to enhance wetlands for wildlife habitat purposes.

REQUIRED TEXT: Weller, M.W. 1987. Freshwater Marshes: Ecology and Wildlife Management. Univ. of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 151pp.

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS: Various handouts and homework assignments provided by the instructor.

Payne, N.F. 1992. Techniques for Wildlife Habitat Management of Wetlands. McGraw Hill, New York, NY. 549pp.

MAJOR COURSE OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this course are to (1) familiarize students with (1) the 3 dominant indicators of wetlands, (2) understand the major functions of wetland ecosystems and their associated values, (3) become familiar with the common plant and animal communities of wetlands, (4) understand the differences among various wetland classification systems, (5) become familiar with the different major wetland types in North America, and (6) become familiar with the major wetland wildlife habitat management techniques commonly used by wildlife managers throughout North America.



Topic #1      Introduction to the Course:

Assignments and responsibilities
What is a wetland?

Topic #2      Basins, Hydrology, and Diversity

Wetland Formation via Physical Forces
Biological Influences
Wetland Diversity

Topic #3      Wetland Classification Systems

Circular 39
Stewart and Kantrud
Cowardin Classification System
 HydroGeomorphic (HGM) Classification System

Topic #4      Substrate and Vegetation Structure

Water depth (and clarity) influences
Plant life forms
Marsh Islands, Edges, Vegetation Layers

Topic #5      Wetlands as Ecosystems

Nutrient and Energy Flow
Food Chains and Webs
Wetland Functions
Wetland Values

Topic #6      Wetland Communities

Animal Adaptations
Resource Competition and Partitioning
Social Relationships
Animal Sounds and Wetlands
Wetland Edges - ecotones

Topic #7      Major Wetland Types

Freshwater Marshes (Palustrine)
Lakeshore Marshes (Lacustrine)
Coastal Marshes
Bottomland Hardwoods
Tundra Systems

Topic #8      Dominant Animals of Wetlands

Mammals (muskrat love!!)
Herptiles (Amphibians and Reptiles)
Importance of Invertebrates

Topic #9      Wetland Habitat Dynamics

Seasonality and Wildlife Response
Succession and Wildlife Response
Food Resources
Instability and Wetland Habitats

Topic #10      Wetland Management and Restoration

Philosophical Considerations
Natural Management Methods
   Water Level Management
   Herbivores (muskrat love again!)
   Other types of Vegetation Management
Artificial Methods
Wetland Restoration Methods
Wetland Creation
Management at Loggerheads (Birds vs. Fish)
Carp and other Exotics
Limits of Management

Topic #11      Wetlands and Man

Wetland Loss - good and bad
Valuating and Evaluation Wetlands
Some Negative Aspects of Wetlands
Water Level Modification
Water Level Stability
Wetlands for Purifying Water and for Energy Production
Wildlife Users - Nonconsumptive
Wildlife Users - Consumptive
Endangered Species/Endangered Habitats
 Scientists and Wetlands

Topic #12      Wetlands in the Future 

Human Need for Water
Wetlands in Conflict
Conservation Goals and Policies

DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this syllabus was, to the best
knowledge of the instructor, correct and complete
when distributed for use at the beginning of the semester.
However, this syllabus should not be considered a contract
between Oglala Lakota College and any student. The
instructor reserves the right to make changes in course
content or instructional technique without notice or obligation.


Specific Factors

1. Exams:
Exams will be given three (3) times during the course covering material presented in lecture If a student misses a regularly scheduled exam, it is his/her responsibility to make contact with the instructor within 7 days to arrange a make-up time. Failure to do so will result in a zero (0) for that exam.

2. Attendance:
Attendance is important! Being on time and not leaving class early are important. Class discussion and interaction can make a difference in your overall success with all aspects of this course. Failure to make-up class material covered during lecture will result in poor performance. There are two (2) ways which a student will be dropped for poor attendance: 1) students missing 3 consecutive classes or 5 classes total will be dropped and/or 2) students accumulating a total of 20 missed class hours, regardless of reason, will be dropped (this includes being late-to-class or leaving-class-early). In addition, it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor (via phone, note, or visit) within 24-hours of an absence to provide an explanation to be considered an excused absence.

3.  Class Participation:
Reading assignments should be read in advance of scheduled class time. When reviewed during class, students are expected to contribute to class discussions.

4.  Grading Scale:
All reports, exams and class participation scores will be assigned numeric values (see Final Grade Calculation below). For the final calculation of student's course grade, the final scale will be used:
90-100% = A
80-89% = B
70-79% = C
60-69% = D
59% or below = F

5. Final Grade Calculation:
Your final grade will be calculated based on points earned from exams and reports. Total points earned divided by total possible points and converted to a percentage will result in a score between 0 - 100%. That percentage will be converted to a letter grade
using the standard grade scale (see above).

Points by category will be:

Exams (3 @ 100 points each) = 300 points

Total Possible Points = 300

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