BE100: Loving it to death: Ecology & Human Impacts in the Rocky Mountain West
Tourism and outdoor recreation, such as skiing, hiking, flyfishing and river rafting for example, are major economic drivers in Colorado. Yet, the popularity of these yearround activities is taking a major toll on the local ecosystems. Historic and traditional activities compound the problem, as abandoned mines from the gold rush era leach toxic chemicals into mountain streams and farming/ranching influence species diversity and watershed health. This course aims to establish a foundational understanding of ecological theory and practice, then utilize this foundation to investigate various ecosystems and evaluate the extent of human impacts. Tackling these questions will promote problemsolving skills in the context of complex multifactorial issues and ultimately foster an understanding of the interdisciplinary and holistic nature of conservation biology.