Content with Disciplines : Environmental Studies

Environmental Science SL Course: Hydrology

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The “OVU EcH2O Water Purification Research Project” will underpin the study of water sciences in this course. Students will study the hydrological cycle, water chemistry, environmental pollution and control, water contamination and methods for water purification. All students will be expected to demonstrate a mastery of all topics through successful completion of quizzes, problem sets, and exams as well as a water purification design assignment. Table 1 Learning Outcomes Learning Outcomes Standards Addressed Activities Assessments Articulate the knowledge and skills of contemporary science NSTA 1.A, 1.B., 1.C., 1.D, and 1.E Class discussion, peer presentations, and research paper Quizzes, assignments,…

The Great River Greening Project: urban land restoration projects

The Great River Greening Project, a non-profit community-based organization, where biology students will participate in urban land restoration projects. This project is paired with the “”Race to Save the Planet”” learning community, an integration of the Environmental Science, Ethics, and Environment, Politics and Society courses into one interdisciplinary course. The Great River Greening Project

The Program for Ethics, Science, and the Environment

The program for Ethics, Science, and the Environment assists students to understand and resolve value conflicts raised by scientific inquiry, biotechnology, and natural resource use. Programs include an applied ethics certificate offered to undergraduate students, workshops on ethics for local high school students and civic organizations, a biweekly student-faculty discussion forum, and a newsletter with articles writen by professors and religious leaders which express varying views on critical moral issues. Website

Service Learning Meets the Environment at Clear Lake

Joel Ostroff, an associate professor of microbiology at Brevard Community College, has designed a microbiology service learning component where students test the school’s lake water to determine if it is safe for plants, animals, and humans. Students from the course are trained in the use and maintainance of the equipment and in turn teach local underprivileged teenagers how to conduct the tests as well. Brevard students are not required to participate in the service, but recieve an extra 10% on their test grade, which accounts for 50% of their course grade. Contact: Joel Ostroff at Ostroff_J@Al.Brevard.cc.fl.us or 407.632.1111 ext 62550…

Think Globally, Act Locally, Model Individually

Central Florida Community College’s environmental service course linked community service, participation in the political process and public policy development through the study of environmental science and student service. The course (which fulfills biological or physical science credit for participating students) was divided into three parts in which students learned about global environmental problems, worked to solve local environmental problems, and strove to become individual agents of change. The course’s community contact and group research helped students understand how to use the political process to address community problems. Website

Lead Contamination of Jordan River Sediments

As part of a freshman chemistry course students can participate in a service learning project where they map the sediment of the Jordan River for lead, zinc, and copper. The US Geological Survey planned to conduct such a survey, but did not have the resources. In laboratory sessions students processed the samples. In the first year the course was offered service had no bearing on the grade, but in the future the professor will factor a students’ service work into the final grade. Contact: Eward M. Eyring, Professor, at 801.581.6958 or eyring@chemistry.utah.edu This information originally appeared in “”Science and Society:…

Public Health and Environmental Service on the Texas-Mexico Border

During Alma’s “”Spring Semester”” students take four weeks in May to study intensely one subject. One year a professor decided to teach a course on public health along the Texas-Mexican border. The class included an on-site investigation of and service to the people in the area. For the first week students studied the historical and political background of the area. Students gave 35-40 minute presentations to their classmates and were tested on the material at the end of the week. Upon arrival in El Paso in the second week students dug a ditch for a septic tank and began to…

Mathematical Modeling and Differential Equations course: Problem solving with the community

A mathematician s livelihood consists of solving problems. It isn t a far stretch to translate this into efforts to help communities solve real-life problems. Students who took Mathematical Modeling and Differential Equations at Augsburg College split into two teams that partnered with a school district and an environmental organization to do a collaborative research project with the community. Students chose their projects after presentations by community members. Those working with the school district created more effective and efficient options for the school busing system. Those working with the environmental organization analyzed toxic data to show connections between toxicity and…

Instrumental Methods Analysis Course: reinvigorating a dull and difficult course

At Loyola University in Chicago, Instrumental Methods Analysis was once a course notorious for being both dull and difficult. The only students who enrolled were senior chemistry majors who were required to take the course. Faculty dreaded teaching it. But when Dr. Alannah Fitch began teaching the course, she decided that things were going to change. Dr. Fitch searched for ways to reinvigorate the course, and hit on three ideas. First, she would tie the course to social issues. This would appeal to the religious values of Loyola, a Jesuit university which had recently put particular emphasis on its service…

Teaching across disciplines: Watershed Education Project

Universities may be split into academic departments, but communities aren t. Effective service to the community often requires the integration of a number of disciplines. The Watershed Education Project at Oberlin College brings together faculty from six different disciplines (English, anthropology, biology, engineering, history, sociology), linked by their common interest in the local Black River. Together, they teach a year-long multidisciplinary course using the river as its unifying theme.   From Service Matters 1998: Engaging Higher Education In the Renewal of America s Communities and American Democracy Website: http://www.oberlin.edu/~envs/projects/watershed/

Partnership with the Forest Grove School District: meeting the needs of ESL students

A strong example of an initiative at Pacific University that both teaches citizenship skills to students and enables the University to be a citizen in the community is our multi-faceted partnership with the Forest Grove School District. This school district has a very high percentage of students on free and reduced-cost lunch program and a rapidly increasing population of Spanish-speaking students. Limited funding from the State challenges the district to meet student needs and as a result it depends heavily on assistance from the community. Students from Pacific tutor English as a Second Language students, read to primary grade students…

The Service-Learning Cross-Curricular Emphasis and the “”2+4=Service on Common Ground”” initiative

The mission of the Liberal Arts program at KCC is to provide broad-based, integrated, cross-curricular general education courses for students who transfer to four-year institutions or embark on career paths, and instill a desire for life-long learning and personal development. In pursuit of this mission, KCC Provost Dr. John Morton engages in numerous campus-community partnerships and builds leadership collaborations with University of Hawai i (UH) Senior Vice-President and Community College Chancellor, Dr. Joyce Tsunoda, Dean of the UH College of Social Science, Dr. Dick Dubanoski, and UH President, Dr. Kenneth Mortimer. In addition, Dr. Morton has created an intellectual environment…

“Biology of Global Change” course: becoming an active participant in solving environmental problems

During the winter 2000 term at Carleton College, Phil Camill, Assistant Professor of Biology, taught a class entitled “”Biology of Global Change.”” Through the creative curriculum of Professor Camill with help from the two ACT service-learning student coordinators and the environmental studies intern, the students in the course were able to experience community-based learning in which they developed civic competencies and civic habits. They were given multiple opportunities to do the work of citizenship through real projects of impact and relevance that were linked to their academic learning. A major emphasis of the “”Biology of Global Change”” class was to…

Environmental Issues: Student Enhancement and Development Partnership

As part of an honors Environmental Issues course students at Gannon University lead workshops on ecology at a local camp. Elementary school students come for a day of hands-on learning after studying the environoment in school. Part of the Gannon students’ final grade is based upon their journals written about the workshop experiences. Contact:Dr. Steven Ropski at 814.871.7637 or ropski_s@cluster.gannon.edu This information originally appeared in “”Science and Society: Redefining the Relationship”” by Stephen Miller. Published by Campus Compact, 1996.

Partnering with other colleges: Land conservation effort

Much environmental work requires a large number of people dedicated to a single, concentrated effort. This is exactly what took place at Sideling Hill Creek in Maryland when a team of students from Mount St. Mary s College, Garret Community College, and Frostburg State University joined community volunteers to engage in an environmental conservation effort. The volunteers spent the day planting pine seedlings along the creekbed. Over the course of the day, the group planted more than one thousand seedlings, covering three acres of land and widening the existing buffer along the creekbed by 200 feet. From Service Matters 1998:…

Combinatorial mathematics for Community Collaboration

Students in UMM’s math department developed statistical models to examine the behavior of Stevens County economic data over a period of time. The result was a display of seasonal economic and employment fluctuations in certain industries, and an evaluation of the trends in these fluctuations. Students in Combinatorial Mathematics course analyzed transportation and network flow within the city of Morris. They developed partnerships with the local department of transportation and police departments. The students developed the most efficient snow plow routes and studied how to best place street signs. The Design of Experiments course analyzed four topics relating to water…

Regional Ecosystem Applied Learning Corps

The Regional Ecosystem Applied Learning Corps is a collaborative program between Southern Oregon University, The Rogue River National Forest, the City of Ashland, and twelve other land management and community organizations. The program intergrates an academic and applied learning curriculum allowing REAL Corps members to gain a comprehensive understanding of public land management policies and practices, knowledge of social and ecological issues and gain practical experience through accomplishment of projects benefiting public lands, the surrounding communities, and enviroment. Website

Multiple lessons from a single community problem: project around Lake Winnecook

In some cases, the multiple lessons that grow out of a single community problem can bring together various campus disciplines, service-learning projects, and community organizations. In Unity, Maine, a campus-wide partnership between Unity College and a neighborhood association was recently formed to address issues associated with the local lake. A grant from the National Science Foundation provided faculty members with release time while they developed related service-learning courses. The result was the development of fourteen different service-learning classes engaging in studies related to the water quality of Lake Winnecook. Classes conducted water testing, studied pollution, algae growth, and related policy…

Generations in Exchange

Adults can learn a great deal about ingenuity and determination from children. An “Eco-Troop” of fourth and fifth graders in Florida grew fond of the scrub jay, an endangered species that is so friendly the bird will eat a peanut from an open hand. The students were determined to protect the scrub jay. Oblivious of the monumental difficulties involved in buying the land necessary to preserve the scrub jay’s local habitat, they set to work. The school principal and their teacher brought the parents together with the children for weekly strategy sessions. Teachers and children refused to allow the adults…