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Title: Implementation and Assessment of an Interdisciplinary NSF/REU Site on Watershed Sciences PDF
Url: http://search.asee.org/search/fetch?url=file%3A%2F%2Flocalhost%2FE%3A...
Creator: Lohani, Vinod
Publisher: American Society for Engineering Education
Description: Authors experiences of implementing a successful NSF/REU site (2007-10) on watershed sciences and engineering at Virginia Tech, a large research university, are discussed. Research mentors representing civil engineering, environmental engineering, geology, biology, crop and environmental sciences, water resources, environmental chemistry, engineering education, and academic assessment disciplines made a significant contribution in the success of the site. The site received funding in authors' 3rd attempt. A summary of reviewers' comments during unsuccessful attempts and authors proposal modifications are presented to demonstrate strategies that led to successful funding of the site. The goal of the site is to provide a diverse group of undergraduate students a stimulating interdisciplinary environment, where critical research questions within watershed sciences and engineering are addressed and their analytical skills and creativity as future scientists and engineers are nourished. To achieve this goal, eight highly qualified students (five female, three male), hereafter referred to as REU fellows, were recruited in summer 2007. Fellows came from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds including chemistry, ecology, geology, environmental engineering and electrical engineering. Fellows 10-week long research projects included: ecological stoichiometry, microbial source tracking, watershed instrumentation, cycling of metals in aquatic environments, drinking water chemistry, and water-energy nexus. Fellows also attended weekly forums and discussion meetings conducted by VT experts and attended a national conference that was held on Virginia Tech campus. Fellows made periodic presentations of their research, prepared a final research report, and also submitted a reflection essay about their experiences. Four fellows returned to Virginia Tech late fall and presented their research papers at a regional water research conference. Assessment of NSF/REU site outcomes was conducted with the help of two external experts in education research and academic assessment. Assessment tools included online /in-class surveys, pre- and post test questions, and a focus group interview. This article includes a brief description of program assessment tools, a summary of assessment results and recommendations, and some excerpts of self reflections of REU fellows.
LC Classification: Geography. Anthropology. Recreation -- Physical geography -- Geomorphology. Landforms. Terrain -- Other natural landforms -- Floodplains, river valleys, watersheds
Social sciences -- Industries. Land use. Labor -- Industries. Land use. Labor -- Special industries and trades -- Environmental engineering industries. Pollution control industry
Technology -- Engineering (General). Civil engineering -- Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
GEM Subject: Science -- Engineering
Science -- Biological and life sciences
Vocational Education -- Trade and industrial
Resource Type: Instructional Materials
Lesson Plans
Reading Materials
Science Materials
Teaching Guides
Format: pdf
Audience: College/University Instructors
Higher Education
Secondary Education
Students
Teachers
Technical School First Cycle
Technical School Second Cycle
University First Cycle
University Second Cycle
Vocational Training
Language: English
Rights: American Society for Engineering Education
Access Rights: Free access
Date Of Record Release: 2009-08-14 03:00:02 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2012-06-13 16:00:49 (W3C-DTF)
Source Type: ATE Center
Source: National Center for Manufacturing Education
Full Record Views: 56
Resource URL Clicks: 12
Cumulative Rating: NOT YET RATED
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