Wetland Environments

J.S. Aber

Emporia State University

Catalog description: An interdisciplinary overview of physical, biological and cultural aspects of wetlands. Definitions, classifications, origins, and natural processes of wetland environments. Wetlands in boreal, temperate, and tropical climatic settings. Human impact and management of wetland resources. Three credit hours: lectures, exercises and field trip.


This course is intended for students majoring in biological, physical or social sciences with an interest in wetland environments and resources. Topics include the water, soils, plants and animals of wetland ecosystems. Human use, modification, exploitation, and management are examined along with legal and political aspects of wetlands. A one-day field trip is conducted to Cheyenne Bottoms and other central Kansas wetlands. Selected wetlands around the world are described from different climatic settings. The course is delivered for both on-campus and distance-learning students.

Course Procedures
Course requirements Wetland blog
Learning outcomes Course schedule
More online resources Team projects

These web pages remain available in archive status,
but the course will not be updated after May 2017.

Course availability

This course will be taught next in spring semester, 2016. Multiple course sections are available in biology (EB 341), earth science (ES 341/767) and geography (GE 341). Regular (on-campus) students should enroll through normal procedures. The course is also available for distance learning from Emporia State University. Off-campus students should enroll through Distance Education. Distance-learning students should enroll for ES 341 ZA (undergrad) or ES 767 XB (graduate). In order to receive university credit, students must be officially enrolled and must be in contact with the primary instructor for course materials and directions. BIS students must have the prerequisite noted above.

Wetland Environments
Spring 2016 Schedule

The on-campus wetlands class meets on Monday afternoons, 2:00 to 3:20 pm, in Science Hall 131 (except the first and last weeks of the semester). These sessions may be utilized for lecture, review, or lab exercises. However, online lectures and exercises may be done at any other time or location. Lecture notes and lab materials are available via Internet. On-campus students are expected to attend weekly; all students are expected to send weekly e-mail messages concerning course topics and to contribute items for the wetland blog. PDF files are provided via FTP.

First Block Spring 2016
Week* Subject Reading Exercise
Jan. 20 Course orientation Preface, Chap. 1 No on-campus
class session
Jan. 25 Wetland definitions
Wetland methods
Chapter 2
Wetland and peatland
Feb. 1 Wetland hydrology Chapters 3 & 4
Canals and flooding
Hydro data
Feb. 8 Wetland soils Chapter 5
History and wetland soils
Neosho River
Feb. 15 Wetland plants Chapter 6
Wetland vegetation
Wetland plants
Feb. 22 Wetland wildlife Chapter 7
Wetland wildlife
Feb. 29 Wetland change Chapter 8 Mid-term exam
March 1-4
Mar. 7 Ancient wetlands
Cycles and feedback
Chapters 9 & 10 Review exam

Spring break March 14-20

Second Block Spring 2016
Week* Subject Reading Exercise
Mar. 21 Valuation and
Chapters 11 & 12
Management and policy
EPA showcase
Mar. 28 Restoration and
Chapters 13 & 14
Group projects
Apr. 4 Low-latitude wetlands Chapter 15, Tropical wetlands
Florida Everglades, South
, Mississippi Delta
All labs due*
Apr. 11 Mid-latitude wetlands Chapter 16, Northern Plains
Central Plains, Baltic region
Group projects
Apr. 18 Kansas wetlands Chapter 16
Cheyenne Bottoms
Field trip
Apr. 23rd
Apr. 25 High-altitude wetlands
Wetland sustainability
Chapters 17 & 18
Subalpine bogs
Group projects
May 2 Team projects Project presentations
May 9 Final exam (no class) May 9-12

* All labs are due by April 8th.

ESU syllabus attachment.

© Notice: Wetland Environments is presented for the use and benefit of students enrolled at Emporia State University.
Any other use of text, imagery or curriculum materials is prohibited without permission of the instructor, J.S. Aber (2017).