Field Applications in Mine Reclamation Science
TEXT: Restoration and Revegetation of Western Ranges and Wildlands, Steven B. Monson and Richard Stevens, Published by U.S.Forest Service.
Mine reclamation science will be covered from the starting point of native species seed harvesting from shrubs, forests, grasses, and trees. Guest lecturers from the mining industry, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Resources Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service), the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Utah Division of Wildlife, the Utah Division of Landscape Design, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining, and several commercial seed harvesting and seed processing companies will provide instruction in seed collection/preservation.
Weekly class outings will be conducted at field sites where students will harvest pine cones, berries, wildflower seeds, etc., from vegetation in a variety of terrain and climates. Students will also visit the Utah Division of Wildlife Ephram Experimental Station, the State of Utah Lone Peak Nursery, and the largest commercial seed processing facility in the western states in Lehi, UT.
Service learning in the earlier class outings will be focused on seed harvesting for the later service learning activities – – hands-on re-vegetation of a disturbed mine site on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property on the west slope of the Oquirrh Mountains. The latter course component will require 1 -2 weekends of service beyond the weekly field outing service component.
Each Tuesday lecture will be preceded by a 15-minute quiz (1:00-1:15 p.m.) on the previous week's lecture and field exercises.
An additional class requirement will be completion of group project presentations by students. Groups of students will cooperatively report on a selected field activity from among the class outings. For example, a group may present a summary of the preparation and completion of pine cone harvesting activities in the Wasatch Mountains.
Actual field outings can be planned only in consideration with the weather conditions that unfold in the autumn. The following outline is intended to serve as a representative schedule of possible field outings.
September 26 Overview of Mine Reclamation
October l / October 3 Wildflowers
October 8 / October 10 Wetlands Native Species
October 15 /October 17 Sage, Rabbit Brush
October 22 / October 24 Grass Seed Collection
October 29 / October 31 Commercial Seed Processing Facility
November 05 / November 07 Willow Bundling
November 12 / November 14 Pine Cone Harvesting
November 19 / November 21 Division of Wildlife Experimental Stn.
November 26 / Project Presentations
December 03 / December 05 Mine Site Re-vegetation
QUIZZES (10) 50%
CLASS PROJECT 25%
CLASS PARTICIPATION 25%
FULFILLMENT OF SERVICE LEARNING CRITERIA
Students in the class provide a needed service to a community. Activities in the class culminate in student hands-on reseeding of a disturbed mining site on U.S. Bureau of Land Management Property. This site would undoubtedly remain scarred and un-vegetated for the foreseeable future because of the unavailability of funds and resources within BLM for site reclamation.
The service experience relates to the subject matter of the course. Each week, students will learn about the science of seed harvesting and then go into the field to apply these techniques. Students will then plant harvested seeds on a disturbed mine site at the course conclusion.
Activities in the class provide a method for students to think about what they have learned through the service experience and how this learning relates to the subject of the class. A significant fraction of the student requirements in the course is a project presentation that will require students to link classroom material with their field experiences in one of the course subject topics.
The course offers a method to assess the learning derived from the service. Credit is given for the learning and its relation to the course, not for the service alone. Students will be quizzed weekly on both the subject matter and field experiences associated with the preceding week's activities.
Service interactions in the community recognize the needs of service recipients, and offer an opportunity for recipients to be involved in the evaluation of the service. The learning service activities — seed harvesting and re-vegetation of a mining disturbed site — have been developed in conjunction with recommendations of U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management administrators. Federal agency professionals will, in fact, participate in actual instruction (as guest lecturers) and conduct of field trips (as escorts on federal property) for the class.
The service opportunities are aimed at the development of the civic education of citizens even though the course may also be focused on career Preparation. The proposed service learning class contains a substantial element of education about the realities of abandoned mine lands in the United States. Namely, the inventory of lands that require mitigation is far in excess of that which can be addressed within current federal budget expenditures. Some (if not most) of the necessary cleanups will require coalitions of volunteerism and donated resources. The class service in this course will reinforce this reality.
Knowledge from the discipline informs the service experiences with which the students are involved. The course attempts to integrate the necessary science into the learning experience of the students. Thus, the lecture component of the course — with carefully chosen professional experts — is meant to be an essential facet of the overall class. The student experience is intended to be much more than simple attendance at ten field trips. The preparatory lectures are deemed to be essential to the focus of the course.
The class offers a way to learn from other class members as well as from the instructors. Field activities and class projects are centered around student interactions. Many of the proposed activities will not be individualistic tasks. Rather, complex activities will require teams of students to delegate sub-activities to one another that result in overall project completion.
Professor: Richard McNearny, Steve Onysko
Videos & Presentations
Designing & Delivering a Service-Lea
Connect2Complete Resource Guide
Building Engaged Departments
More Syllabi Archive
Submit a Syllabus for the Archive
Educational Policy – Community Par
Educational Policy – Community Pro