Summer at Rivers
Academic, Athletic, and Arts Programs at The Rivers School

Field Methods in Environmental Science

Field Methods in Environmental Science


Field Methods in Environmental Science

June 18-29, 2018, 9 am - 12 pm
Open to students entering grades 10-12
Course Credit:  1/2 Trimester Science

Environmental Science uses fundamental principles in biology, chemistry, and physics to foster and sustain livable environments. In this field-based course, students will learn basic principles in environmental science, such as species interactions, nutrient cycling, and atmospheric chemistry, and apply those principles to environmental challenges like sustaining biodiversity, reducing toxic algae blooms, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Throughout this course, students will split time between the classroom, the lab, and nearby field sites. Students will map tree communities in forests in Weston, explore the ecosystem structure of Nonesuch Pond, and visit active construction sites to see environmental science in action. Throughout, students will learn both the theory behind ecological methods, and gain hands-on experience implementing those methods in the lab and in the field. 

The culminating experience in this course will be a field-based independent research project that will use field methods to answer a question inspired by each student's unique interests. Students may probe the structure of aquatic communities, test out methods to reduce water pollution, or design habitats to support populations of endangered species, among a host of other possible ideas. The tools of environmental science can address a wide range of challenging and pressing issues in our world today. In this course, students will not only learn those fundamental principles, but also gain experience using them to address real-world challenges that inspire them to action. 

Dr. Chris Dalton, instructor

Dr. Chris Dalton received his doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University in 2015. There, he studied fish physiology and tropical food webs in the context of human disturbance to natural ecosystems, working in places ranging from Trinidad to coastal Connecticut to the Pacific Islands. While receiving his doctorate, Dr. Dalton taught introductory Environmental Science at Cornell University, leading a small-group, discussion-oriented alternative to lecture-based introductory courses , earning multiple teaching awards from the university for his work.

Since graduating from Cornell, Dr. Dalton has used his research experience to design improved operations in health care organizations, and, most recently, he has taught freshman biology and chemistry and AP Environmental Science at the Rivers School. He is passionate about helping students get excited about science and connect with the natural world. Prior to his doctorate, Dr. Dalton received his B.S. in Biology from Yale University, where he studied fisheries in Long Island Sound and was a Residential Counselor. 


Details & Eligibility

▸ Part of the Summer Mini-Term
▸ On-Site Course
▸ Students Entering Grades 10-12
▸ June 18 - 29, 2018, 9 am - 12 pm
▸ $875 each (2 for $1,600)
▸ Credit:  1/2 Trimester Science

2018 Tuition: $875 per course
Select 2 courses for $1,600 (includes lunch)

Financial aid is available (June 1 deadline)

Ask a Question