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Complex Systems and Sustainability

HES 220, 3 credits, Spring
Cross listed with: ANT / GEOS

Instructor(s): Vicken Hillis

Introduces the fundamentals of complexity science and systems thinking. May include dynamics, chaos, emergence, information theory, networks and evolution. Students use modeling exercises to apply course concepts to sustainability and human-environment systems.

Foundations in Human-Environment Systems Science

HES 400/500, 3 credits, Fall
Cross listed with: BIOL 497/597, ENVSTD 498, GEOS 497/597, PUBADM 597

Instructor(s): Kelly Hopping

Explores transdisciplinary and collaborative approaches in human-environment systems (HES) science to help solve complex environmental problems facing human society, such as global climate change and natural resource management. Provides students with a foundational understanding of the theories, methods, and applications of HES science.

Vertically Integrated Project: Environmental Sustainability

VIP 200-024; 400-024; 500-024, 1 or 2 credits, Fall/Spring
Instructor(s): Kelly Hopping, Vicken Hillis

Our interdisciplinary team is tackling sustainability challenges across the planet – from rangelands to wetlands, from Boise to Bhutan. Students will work with Human-Environment Systems faculty to address these real-world challenges, while simultaneously building skills in mapping, data analysis, and collaboration. Each student will be matched with a project based on individual interests. More details on VIP courses here.

Social Network Analysis

HES 597, 3 credits, Fall
Cross listed with: DATA-LA 420 / ANT 597

Instructor(s): Vicken Hillis

Introduces and applies concepts and empirical methods of network analysis in a field-base project. Social networks influence learning, economic behavior, and adoption of new products and organizational innovations.

Human-Environment Systems Seminar

HES 598, 1 credit, Fall/Spring

Instructor(s): Jodi Brandt, Vicken Hillis, Kelly Hopping, Matthew Williamson, Megan Cattau

Introduces students to current applied topics in human-environment systems science. Students engage in professional development activities for future careers. May include oral presentations, academic writing, and networking and developing an internet presence.

Research Methods in Human-Environment Systems Science

HES 600, 3 credits, Spring

Instructor(s): Jodi Brandt, Matthew Williamson

Trains students to design interdisciplinary research. Introduces methods employed in human-environment systems science. Includes spatial analysis, social science approaches, and agent-based modeling.

Landscape Ecology

HES 610, 3 credits, Spring

Instructor(s): Jodi Brandt

Introduction to the history, theory, quantitative methods, and practical applications of spatial analysis in environmental research, using the discipline of landscape ecology as a foundation. Focuses on the interplay between spatial pattern and process, where it comes from, why it matters, and how it changes through time.

Ecology of Disturbance and Recovery

HES 597, 3 credits, Fall
Cross listed with: BIOL 597

Instructor(s): Megan Cattau

This course focuses on how natural disturbances – including wildfire, drought, invasive species, etc. – play a significant role in shaping the composition, structure, and function of terrestrial ecosystems. Students will evaluate and discuss the concepts of disturbance and disturbance regimes, synergistic effects of multiple disturbances, the human influence on disturbance regimes, and disturbance risks across ecosystems under both current and future conditions. This course will also address post-disturbance recovery processes in the context of ecosystem stability and resilience, including restoration and natural succession.

Drone flight planning and operations

HES 598, 1 credit, Fall
Cross listed with: GEOS 598

Instructor(s): Megan Cattau

This one credit seminar will give students practical skills in flight planning and operations with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones. Students will become proficient in the use of flight planning software to plan and parameterize a mission; capable of operating a drone; and knowledgeable about UAS equipment, sensor types, and UAS-based spectral data products at a basic level.