EPSCoR Funded Undergraduate Research and Outreach Activities at Wesley College.
Bruce Allison, Environmental Science, Wesley College, 120 N. State St., Dover, DE 19901
Environmental science outreach and undergraduate research initiatives at Wesley College were funded as a part of the Delaware EPSCoR grant (NSF EPSCoR Grant No. EPS-0447610). A major focus was to build an infrastructure to enhance undergraduate research through internships and mentored projects and to integrate undergraduate research into courses. As a result of the EPSCoR network, new outreach activities in the form of teacher training have been developed. Internships with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) have been established and they have provided additional training in GIS and field and analytical laboratory techniques. New undergraduate research projects have been integrated into existing courses with the purchase of equipment from the grant. In watershed ecology, a stream assessment was done following the USDA Stream Visual Assessment Protocol. Kayaks and GPS/GIS technologies were used as part of the project. A greenhouse project using a new photosynthesis/soil respiration instrument was done as part of two senior projects. New outreach assistance has been provided to the Delaware Department of Education. Middle school teacher workshops have been offered as part of the new state module in watersheds. The EPSCoR grant has been instrumental in increasing the visibility of the Wesley College Environmental Studies Program.