Education and Human Resources [ED]

ED53A MCW:Level 2 Friday 1340h

Hands-on, Inquiry-Based Classroom and Laboratory Assignments: Bringing Research in Earth-Surface Processes and Hydrology to K-12 and Undergraduate Students II Posters

Presiding:K Pound, St. Cloud State University


Inquiry-Based Projects Within the Local Watersheds

* Nikitina, D ( , California University of pennsylvania, 250 University Ave., California, PA 15419, United States

Hydrological and geomorphologic characteristics of local watersheds are being investigated by undergraduate students in different Geoscience classes at California University of Pennsylvania. Local stream assessments, water quality monitoring, assessment of drinking water supply, non-point source pollution, stream bank erosion, mass wasting, environmental impact of different land use practices are among topics of laboratory reports, individual and group course long projects of students in the Department of Earth Sciences at California University of Pennsylvania. These projects have two folded educational benefits. Students gain unique educational opportunities being involved into service-learning projects, residents of the community are being educated as students present results of their studies on the website and in the Newsletter. Local environmental groups benefit from students projects as student contribute their time to organizational activities, collect and analyze data, make recommendations, propose future study designs, and staying involved with organizations as officers after the course of study or though internship programs. This paper will present several examples of inquiry-based hands-on educational opportunities conducted by students within local watersheds in Southwestern Pennsylvania.


Water Plan 2030: A Dynamic Education Model for Teaching Water Management Issues

* Rupprecht, C ( , Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210011, Tucson, AZ 85721-0011
Washburne, J ( , Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210011, Tucson, AZ 85721-0011
Lansey, K ( , Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210011, Tucson, AZ 85721-0011
Lansey, K ( , Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210072, Tucson, AZ 85721-0072
Williams, A ( , Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210011, Tucson, AZ 85721-0011

Dynamic educational tools to assist teachers and students in recognizing the impacts of water management decisions in a realistic context are not readily available. Water policy issues are often complex and difficult for students trying to make meaningful connections between system components. To fill this need, we have developed a systems modeling-based educational decision support system (DSS) with supplementary materials. This model, called Water Plan 2030, represents a general semi-arid watershed; it allows users to examine water management alternatives by changing input values for various water uses and basin conditions and immediately receive graphical outputs to compare decisions. The main goal of our DSS model is to foster students' abilities to make knowledgeable decisions with regard to water resources issues. There are two reasons we have developed this model for traditional classroom settings. First, the DSS model provides teachers with a mechanism for educating students about inter-related hydrologic concepts, complex systems and facilitates discussion of water resources issues. Second, Water Plan 2030 encourages student discovery of cause/effect relationships in a dynamic, hands-on environment and develops the ability to realize the implications of water management alternatives. The DSS model has been utilized in an undergraduate, non-major science class for 5 course hours, each of the past 4 semesters. Accompanying the PC-based model are supplementary materials to improve the effectiveness of implementation by emphasizing important concepts and guiding learners through the model components. These materials include in-class tutorials, introductory questions, role-playing activities and homework extensions that have been revised after each user session, based on student and instructor feedback. Most recently, we have developed individual lessons that teach specific model functions and concepts. These modules provide teachers the flexibility to adapt the model to meet numerous teaching goals. Evaluation results indicate that students improved their understanding of fundamental concepts and system interactions and showed the most improvement in questions related to water use by sector and sustainability issues. Model modifications have also improved student feedback of the model effectiveness and user- friendliness. Positive results from this project have created the demand for a web-based version, which will be online in late 2006.


Teaching Introductory Hydrology Courses: From Basic Fluid Mechanics to Surface, Subsurface and Oceanic Flows, With a Little Help From Mathematics

* Fedele, J J ( , Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, St. Cloud State University, 720 Forth Ave South, St. Cloud, MN 56301, United States

Effectively teaching basic physical principles along with necessary quantitative skills in introductory Earth Science undergraduate courses is often challenging. Instructors of introductory courses who include more than elementary mathematics in their classes are especially concerned not only about achieving satisfactory learning goals but also with student retention. Inevitable diverse mathematics background levels in classrooms and, on occasion, students' fear of mathematics, can negatively affect student interest in the subject and consequently, student learning and permanence in the field. I use a combination of in-class activities in an introductory course in Hydrology in order to encourage positive attitudes towards the use of quantitative methods. Students that will major in Meteorology, Geology or Hydrology are introduced to the ideas of scaling and rudimentary dimensional analysis, along with basic fluid mechanics principles, early in the course. In each class, the aid of visualization in the form of small experiments or short video clips is used to motivate group discussion about the physical nature of their observations and the connections to the natural world. The goal is that students will recognize all these basic principles in action in nature: from underground fluid flows, to rivers, to atmospheric and ocean circulation. Students are encouraged to work either individually or in groups during fixed periods of time on developing their own predictive expressions. They then discuss their results and findings with observations and known theories and formulas. Throughout the course, students become aware of the importance and advantages of the scientific approach in understanding our natural environment by directly experiencing each of its components: observation, inquiring, experimentation, quantification, verification. Maintenance of good levels of student interest in class topics is pursued by a constant going back-and-forth from the fundamentals of fluid mechanics to the tangible physical world through student own discovery of physical processes in the physical world. Students progressively develop their quantitative skills through practice and repetition, and by ensuring they work within a comfortable, positive learning environment.


Uphill Water Flow - An Example of the Crucial Role of Students' Prior Knowledge in Geoscience Education

* Chen, A P ( , University of Minnesota, Department of Geology & Geophysics, 108 Pillsbury Hall, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, United States
Kirkby, K C ( , University of Minnesota, Department of Geology & Geophysics, 108 Pillsbury Hall, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, United States
Morin, P J ( , University of Minnesota, Department of Geology & Geophysics, 108 Pillsbury Hall, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, United States

One of the most important, but often underappreciated, challenges in geoscience education is posed by student misconceptions. Instructors of large geoscience undergraduate class seldom have the time to identify student misconceptions and are often forced to assume a certain base level of student knowledge upon which the course material is built. Empirical results from the past two decades of misconception research in mathematics and physics, however, reveal just how risky this assumption can be. Students' prior knowledge and misconceptions can greatly hinder their acquisition of new expertise and often result in short term rather than long term retention of course concepts. Successful transformation of student misconceptions has been achieved by coupling constructive learning with specific challenges to common misconceptions, but this approach necessitates knowing what those misconceptions are. At present, much more research is needed to identify the misconceptions and prior knowledge students bring to geoscience classes. As an example, the idea that water flows downhill is one of the simplest concepts we have in earth science. A logical, familiar and easily demonstrated concept, it seems a safe assumption that students already know, or will readily accept, that water flows downhill. Yet a recent study of students' map interpretation revealed a remarkable suite of often deeply-held misconception regarding surface water flow. Although the study's original goal was to measure the relative effectiveness of anaglyph and traditional topographic contour maps in conveying the geometry of the land surface, post-study interviews of participating students discovered many misconceptions about surface water flow and factors such as elevation, earth rotation, distance to a large water body, and compass directions. Of fifty-three students interviewed, only six students confidently expressed the idea that water flow is primarily controlled by changes in elevation. Many erroneous responses arose, such as equating �south' with �into the earth', asserting a hemispherical dependence of water flow on earth, equating water flow on familiar spherical objects with water flow on the Earth's surface, an inability to explain east-west river flow, and errors in predicting changes in river flow direction due to hypothetical changes in the Earth's rotation. In addition, our interview results suggest a large percentage of students have problems with small to large scale transfer and that students' confusion regarding water flow exists on multiple conceptual layers. Some of these ideas were so deeply held that students, even when confronted, were willing to believe that water would flow uphill to match their understanding of how it should behave. While it is still unclear how these basic misconceptions impair students' ability to grasp other concepts in an introductory geology course, our interview results serve to demonstrate that assuming students and instructors share common base level knowledge is surprisingly risky.


Transition from Land Water Bodies to Oceans

* Martinez-Colon, M (martinez@marine.usf.edy) , College of Marine Science-University of South Florida, 140 7th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States
Buck, K ( , East Lake High School, 1300 Silver Eagle Dr., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Greely, T ( , College of Marine Science-University of South Florida, 140 7th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States
Lodge, A ( , College of Marine Science-University of South Florida, 140 7th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States

The GK-12 OCEANS partnership between USF's College of Marine Science and East Lake High School in Pinellas County-Florida is bringing the ocean science into the classroom. GK-12 OCEANS provide hands-on inquiry activities to enhance the learning about the local marine environment by establishing comparisons with fresh water ponds. In addition, GK-12 provides a unique link between Marine Science graduate students and educators by creating a learning tool based on environmental research. Science-based inquiry, scientific equipment, data collection and problem solving skills provide the students with the unique opportunity to monitor and research habitats within the vicinity of their school ponds, located near Tarpon Springs-FL. The science concepts learned from monitoring fresh water settings will then be compared via fieldtrips to marine settings. Data collected from the fieldtrips were taken to establish comparisons and analogies between the different environments. All lessons are aligned with states standards (i.e. life processes, ecosystem diversity, and energy). The GK-12 OCEANS is funded by NSF, Progress Energy and the USGS-St. Petersburg, FL.


From Map Texture Observations to Geologic Interpretations: The Quaternary Glacio-Fluvial History of the Upper Midwest Using Anaglyph Stereo Maps

* Pound, K S ( , Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN 56301, United States
Jennings, C E ( , Minnesota Geological Survey, 2642 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN 55114, United States
Morin, P J ( , The National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics and Department of Geology and Geophysics, Pillsbury Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States

An anaglyph stereo map of the Upper Midwest presents the viewer with a mosaic of distinct regions characterized by different textures. The nature and shape of the textures forming this mosaic reflects the surface processes that shaped these geomorphic regions. The distinct textures range from smooth and flat (subglacial till plain and proglacial lake plain) to bumpy and pitted (stagnation moraine), to ribbed (subglacial streamlining in drumlin fields), incised or veined (fluvial), and wrinkled (exposed chemical weathering front on deformed crystalline rocks). The boundaries of these distinct textures (geomorphic regions) can be mapped, and �cross-cutting' relations can be used to help determine the relative age of each geomorphic region. The map captures the surficial record of multiple Quaternary ice advances and retreats from both the NW (Keewatin Ice center) and the NE (Labrador Ice Center), as well as contemporaneous or subsequent modification by non-glacial processes. The map also allows recognition of 'problem areas' such as the bend in the Minnesota River and the 'Driftless area' of southwestern Wisconsin. Students use their observations of textures to divide the map into geomorphically (texturally) distinct terrains by drawing boundaries on the map or cutting the map into �jigsaw' pieces. Alternatively, a sheet of laminating film can be used to draw the boundaries on; this facilitates the important distinction between data (observations) and interpretations, and preserves the map. This exercise can be used as a lower-level, short (2-hour) exercise, or it can be used as an introductory exercise that frames an entire upper-level course. Regardless of the level at which it is used, this exercise is powerful; it does not require pre-existing knowledge, it uses student observations of data, and it forms a reference point for the study of specific glacial and fluvial processes. Maps for this exercise can be downloaded from


Liquefaction Demonstration Fabricated in the Modeling and Educational Demos Lab (MEDL) at the University of California Los Angeles

* Glesener, G B ( , UCLA Earth and Sciences, 595 Charles Young Drive East Box 951567, Los Angeles, Ca 90095-1567, United States

Since early 2006, we have been developing a laboratory to facilitate the fabrication of class room models. We have named this lab the Modeling and Educational Demos Lab (MEDL). The lab is equipped with various tools from all skill levels and also stores useful material utilized to create the models and demonstrations. The services of the MEDL are available to all departments. One of the first demonstrations created in the MEDL was a liquefaction demo. This model was fabricated using common, inexpensive materials found at the local hardware store. A vibrating sander mounted upside-down in a wooden box is the mechanism used to replicate the shaking of the earth. A very important piece of the liquefaction model is the speed controller, originally designed to control the speed of a wood workers router. The speed controller is used to set the frequency of the shaking. Any clear container can be used to hold the sand, water, and building model. The liquefaction model vibrates a container filled with water-saturated sand with a model of a building placed on top. The building sinks into the sand as water is forced out of the spaces between the grains, and then floods the surface. One laboratory application this demonstration could be used for is the testing of various soils to find which soils are susceptible to liquefaction. Students can experiment with a variety of clays, silts, and sands to observe the different reactions between the water, soil, and vibration. Testing in earth science classes at UCLA has proven successful. Students' are attracted to the rate at which the building model is swallowed by the sand and water. The liquefaction model is a successful tool in targeting student's senses and attracting the students to the field of earth science.


Geomorphology and Ecology of Mountain Landscapes: an interdisciplinary approach to problem-based learning in a particular geographical setting

* Wemple, B ( , Dept. of Geography University of Vermont, 94 Univ Place, Burlington, VT 05405
Thomas, E P ( , Sterling College, P.O. Box 72, Craftsbury Common, VT 05827
Shanley, J ( , U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division, P.O. Box 628, Montpelier, VT 05601

Mountain settings provide some unique conditions for the instruction of earth surface processes and ecology. Recent attention has also highlighted certain risks to mountain environments posed by development pressures and climate change scenarios. We describe a course developed for senior undergraduate students that focuses on an integrated, interdisciplinary view of ecological, geophysical, and socio-political processes in mountain settings. We use a problem-based learning approach where students first learn to collect and analyze data around a set of field problems tackled during a one-week field intensive. Next, students explore a range of research problems from mountain settings through a semester-long seminar focusing on current scholarly readings and visits with resource managers, policy makers and stakeholders. Finally, students craft and execute a research project and present results in a symposium setting. Our course builds on the traditional model of the Geoscience field camp, employs a geographical perspective to think synthetically about the nature of mountain landscapes, uses an interdisciplinary approach to study processes and process-interactions of the mountain setting, and explores some of the unique challenges facing mountain regions. tml


Learning by exploring � planets, plate tectonics, and the process of inquiry

* Bartlett, M G ( , Brigham Young University - Hawaii, 55-220 Kulanui Street, Laie, HI 96762, United States

Inquiry-based instruction should be question driven, involve good triggers for learning, emphasize researchable questions, build research skills, provide mechanisms for students to monitor their progress, and draw on the expertise of the instruction to promote inquiry and reflection. At Brigham Young University � Hawaii, we have implemented an inquiry based approach to teaching introductory Earth science which provides students with little or no background in the sciences immediate access to participation in current research of genuine scientific interest. An example of this process is presented in which students are engaged in reflecting on whether plate tectonics is a general theory of planetary organization and evolution. Students use topographic, magnetic, spectral, and other data from NASA and ESA missions to determine whether �Earth-style� plate tectonics is functional on planets and moons elsewhere in the solar system. Students are engaged in a data-rich environment from which they must formulate and test multiple hypotheses. Throughout the process, students are engaged in small groups to identify what they need to learn to answer their questions, what resources are available to them, how best to report their findings, and how they can assess the amount of learning that is taking place. Students' responses to the course have been overwhelmingly positive and suggest that many of the students are internalizing the meta-cognitive skills the course is designed to inculcate.


Overcoming Students' Misconceptions in Earth Science Education

* Kirkby, K C ( , University of Minnesota, Department of Geology & Geophysics, 108 Pillsbury Hall, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, United States
Finley, F N ( , University of Minnesota, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, 125 Peik Hall, 159 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0208, United States
Morin, P J ( , University of Minnesota, Department of Geology & Geophysics, 108 Pillsbury Hall, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, United States
Chen, A P ( , University of Minnesota, Department of Geology & Geophysics, 108 Pillsbury Hall, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, United States

The University of Minnesota's Introductory Geology Program recently began to develop and use geologic concept surveys. Designed to measure changes in student knowledge and confidence through the semester, these surveys clearly demonstrate the remarkable tenacity of students' prior knowledge and misconceptions in surviving or resisting course instruction, unless instruction is specifically designed to counteract those misconceptions. Students do not simply absorb new information and knowledge, but interpret it in light of their previous understanding of how things work. They use this previous understanding to interpret, revise and often dismiss new information presented in class. This filtering process is one of the most important, if often overlooked, barriers to effective instruction. The present study demonstrates that classroom Ãâ‚Ëœinterventions', targeted to specific misconceptions can overcome this barrier. Once students believe that their previous understanding is incorrect or incomplete and inadequately explains phenomena, they are more likely to understand, accept and use a new interpretation in subsequent explanations. These ideas are well known in education departments, but are less well established in the earth science field. Compared to physics and mathematics, earth science education also suffers from a relative lack of research on students' prior knowledge and misconceptions, the basis on which successful Ãâ‚Ëœinterventions' rely. The present study presents a suite of common earth science misconceptions and demonstrates the effectiveness of targeted Ãâ‚Ëœinterventions' in overcoming them, compared to traditional instruction methods. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of instructors knowing what knowledge or concepts students bring to their courses, as well as the remarkable effort still needed to identify and document students' perceptions of how the Earth works. This work is sponsored in part by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education.


Better Field Instruction by Using Jigsaw Groups

* Sammons, J I ( , Sammons' Ink, Ltd., 271 Hamilton-Allenton Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852, United States
Murray, D P ( , University of Rhode Island, Department of Geosciences, Kingston, RI 02881, United States

Do any of these sound familiar? $\bullet$ Most of my students do well at field stops, but there are always the few at the back. $\bullet$ I'd like to guest speak at the local High School, but the students have too little background. $\bullet$ I wish I could spark the interest of my introductory classes. Jigsaw is the solution to these problems. This easy-to-apply technique puts students in the driver's seat. They make the inferences-they own the discovery. You'll see that ``A-ha!'' as though it were a first time event. Jigsaw brings new excitement to familiar activities for every student in your class, even that guy in the back. Best of all, the technique does not depend on the style or force of personality of the instructor. It is easy to learn and suitable for use by Teaching Assistants. Here's how it works: 1. Identify the critical concepts necessary for a full understanding of the field stop or activity. 2. Divide your class into Expert Groups. The members of each Expert Group will master one of these critical concepts. 3.Dissolve the Expert Groups. Divide your class into new Jigsaw Groups to address the field stop or activity. Each Jigsaw Group includes members from each Expert Group. Like pieces of a puzzle, each Jigsaw Group member brings a critical piece to the problem. This talk will demonstrate Jigsaw Groups in action at a field stop. You'll see the crucial identification of critical concepts, small lab explorations carried out by the Expert Groups to master their assigned concepts, and Jigsaw Groups working a complex geological feature. You'll learn how to trouble-shoot less-than-successful first attempts and you'll leave with a step-by-step template that will allow you to adapt your existing activities to Jigsaw technique.


Models and Materials: Bridging Art and Science in the Secondary Curriculum

* Pak, D ( , Marine Sciences Institute and Materials Research Lab, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, United States
Cavazos, L ( , Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, United States

Creating and sustaining student engagement in science is one challenge facing secondary teachers. The visual arts provide an alternative means of communicating scientific concepts to students who may not respond to traditional formats or identify themselves as interested in science. We have initiated a three-year teacher professional development program at U C Santa Barbara focused on bridging art and science in secondary curricula, to engage students underrepresented in science majors, including girls, English language learners and non-traditional learners. The three-year format provides the teams of teachers with the time and resources necessary to create innovative learning experiences for students that will enhance their understanding of both art and science content. {\it Models and Materials} brings together ten secondary art and science teachers from six Santa Barbara County schools. Of the five participating science teachers, three teach Earth Science and two teach Life Science. Art and science teachers from each school are teamed and challenged with the task of creating integrated curriculum projects that bring visual art concepts to the science classroom and science concepts to the art classroom. Models and Materials were selected as unifying themes; understanding the concept of models, their development and limitations, is a prominent goal in the California State Science and Art Standards. Similarly, the relationship between composition, structure and properties of materials is important to both art and science learning. The program began with a 2-week institute designed to highlight the natural links between art and science through presentations and activities by both artists and scientists, to inspire teachers to develop new ways to present models in their classrooms, and for the teacher teams to brainstorm ideas for curriculum projects. During the current school year, teachers will begin to integrate science and art and the themes of modeling and materials into their classrooms. Initial results indicate that the participating teachers developed a clearer understanding of the uses and limitations of models the classroom, better understanding of materials science, and strong initial ideas for integrated curricula.


Illustrating Latin American Geology With Free Geospatial Data Obtained Through the Internet

* Abolins, M J ( , Department of Geosciences, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Cole, L , Department of Geosciences, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Estep, T , Department of Geosciences, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Collins, L , Department of Geosciences, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Travers, L , Department of Geosciences, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Geoscience educators can use images from global geospatial data archives to illustrate the geology of any part of the world. For example, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Geosciences faculty and students used free geospatial data obtained through the internet to prepare illustrations for a �Geology for Teachers� course to be taught in Costa Rica during Summer 2007. MTSU geoscientists downloaded data with the freeware Multi- protocol Geoinformation Client (MPGC) developed by the NASA Earth Observing System Higher-Education Alliance (�GeoBrain�). MTSU geoscientists used MPGC to download images from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory World Map Service and the Integrated Committee on Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS) European Data Server. These images were derived from Shuttle Radar Topography Mapping (SRTM), Blue Marble Next Generation (BMNG), Defense Meteorological Satellite Mapping (DMSP) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. MTSU geoscientists also downloaded SRTM data through the U.S. Geological Survey Seamless Data Distribution System, and they downloaded bathymetry through the University of California, San Diego's Satellite Geodesy web site. After downloading the data, MTSU geoscientists used Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) software to prepare the illustrations. Features visible on illustrations include the geomorphic regions of Costa Rica, the Middle America Trench off Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, faults, active volcanoes and human settlements. With data downloaded through MPGC and the other internet data sources listed above, geoscientists can illustrate the geology of any part of Latin America.