530-1 The Wesley College Environmental Studies Undergraduate Research Model.

Poster Number 183

See more from this Division: A01 Resident Education
See more from this Session: Teaching Innovations (Posters)

Monday, 6 October 2008
George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E

Bruce Allison, Environmental Studies, Wesley College, Dover, DE
Wesley College is primarily an undergraduate institution. Undergraduate research in the environmental studies (ES) program has been in place for over 15 years, but it was not central to the overall mission. In the past eight years, ES undergraduate research has taken on a new role. Undergraduate research opportunities include:

• Required senior thesis
• Course project requirements
• Directed research funded by external grants and college support
• Internships

The science curriculum was restructured in 2002, and ES students are now required to complete a senior thesis. In the fall semester students complete their research proposal; and then initiate their research, analyze their data and write their senior thesis. At the end of the spring semester, students present their research in both oral and poster formats. Undergraduate research is also embedded into selected upper division courses as projects. Students not only gain experience in developing research skills, but they also hone their writing skills.

Directed ES research and internships are funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF)/EPSCoR grant and ES resources. The broad theme under EPSCoR is complex ecosystems with a focus on ecosystem health. Students are involved a variety of projects that include geographic information systems (GIS) applications, water quality and land use, coastal zone management, environmental policy and computer modeling. Undergraduates involved in directed research, senior thesis, internships and course work projects are afforded an opportunity to publish and to make presentations at national conferences. Examples of student projects and student published research will be presented and summarized to include computer simulation results, fieldwork, data analysis and faculty interaction.

See more from this Division: A01 Resident Education
See more from this Session: Teaching Innovations (Posters)

Previous Abstract | Next Abstract >>