University of Dayton Chautauqua Course


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Chautauqua Course 18


Ecology and Geology of the Colorado Front Range


P. KELLY WILLIAMS, Department of Biology, University of Dayton

DONALD SULLIVAN, Department of Geography, University of Denver


July 26-29, 2015 on Mt Evans (near Idaho Springs), Colorado                             Apply: DAY


Note: This course will run from early morning to late evening each day.  Estimated cost for lodging and meals is about $50 per person per day.  This course has a course fee of $495 (in addition to the $100 application fee) which covers field trip costs and other course related expenses.  See note below concerning high elevations and medical problems.  Also see the Western Slope course, DAY-13, which occurs immediately after this one. For those in both courses, rides are offered from the first to the second.


This four day course will focus on the ecological communities and geological features of the Colorado Front Range.  The geological setting of the Front Range is one of remarkable contrasts from glaciated Pre-Cambrian 14,000 foot peaks to the folded and faulted sedimentary rocks as the Rockies formed.  Organisms have adapted to these conditions and are often distributed along elevational gradients.  This course will explore those organisms in the geological setting and their adaptations both in the terrestrial and aquatic environments.


Lodging will be at the University of Denver Mt Evans Field Station.  The Station is located an hours drive west of Denver at 10,700 feet elevation on the Slopes of Mt Evans (14,264 feet).  There is easy access to alpine environments by a paved road from Echo Lake.  Participants with medical problems should consult their physician relative to spending five nights at an elevation of 10,700 feet.


Photographic images and the course schedule can be found on the web at:


For college teachers of:  biology, geology, environmental science, science education and other disciplines.  The course will be offered at a general level.  Prerequisites: none.



Tentative Costs for 2015

Application fee: $100

Course fee: $495 [Due in March 2015]

Optional on-site lodging and meals: approximately $195 total for 4 nights and 12 meals at Field Station



Dr. Williams is Professor of Biology at the University of Dayton.  His research interests have focused upon small mammal population ecology and evolution of mole salamanders.  Dr. Williams has extensive interest in science education at all levels including the instruction of Ecology of the Rockies and Geology and Ecology of the Colorado Western Slope in the Chautauqua program.  Dr. Sullivan is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Denver.  His research interests involve the reconstruction of past vegetation and climates through paleoecological studies. He has extensive experience in field sites in Colorado and western Turkey. 



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University of Dayton Chautauqua Course