URP 505– Urban Planning & Environmental Change

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Course Details

Course No.: 22811

Department: Urban and Regional Planning

Semester: 2016 Spring

Location: Diefendorf – 206

Meeting Day(s): Tuesday-Thursday

Meeting Time: 10:00AM - 11:20AM

Faculty: Wooster

This course explores a place-based approach to land use planning and   environmental conservation, using the Niagara River Watershed as the study area.

The approach is based on the “Conservation Action Planning” methodology for identifying ecological attributes and assessing their health so that effective conservation strategies can be developed and implemented.  The focus is on protecting and restoring water quality, ecological function and wildlife habitat. We will use a variety of assessment tools to evaluate existing conditions as well as  the effects of potential stressors like climate change, sprawl, energy demand, and invasive species.

Methods and tools to be used include:

  • Scientific models to define and evaluate the viability of biodiversity features
  • Indicator plant and animal species and communities
  • Conservation objectives in the context of landscape and function
  • GIS desktop analysis
  • Baseline documentation and field assessments
  • Reference sites
  • Hydrology: Active River Area components
  • Municipal conservation policies and regulations
  • Ecosystem benefit calculations

Course requirements: 

Graduate only; full participation in readings, discussion, and field trips; 2-3 short paper/presentations demonstrating an understanding or application of one of the above methods or concepts; and a final project (individual or team depending on class size). Final project theme TBA depending on student interests.