On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Hydrogeology, Soils, and Low-T Geochemistry in the 21st Century
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Cutting Edge > Hydrogeology > Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013 > Teaching Activities > Public Information Campaign: Soil Erosion, Conservation, and Watershed Health

Public Information Campaign: Soil Erosion, Conservation, and Watershed Health

Kathryn Szramek, Drake University

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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Jun 6, 2013

Summary

Students in groups of two create a 4-minute educational video, brochure, and poster on an aspect of soil erosion, soil conservation, and/or watershed health for agricultural regions within the midwestern states. This is a half term project and the materials are presented in a forum towards the end of the semester. The project is aimed to help students learn to pitch science to a wide audience and provide practice (indirectly) applying scientific principles to conservation efforts.

Context

Audience

Undergraduate major/non major environmental science course. Students with all types of backgrounds

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Before the project the course covers soil erosion processes in the classroom and the field.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a culminating project that occurs over about 6 weeks with check points along the way.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

soil erosion, soil conservation, and watershed health.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Synthesis of ideas, critical evaluation of soil conservation methods, and development of a region specific conservation model.

Other skills goals for this activity

Writing, presentation skills using various platforms (poster, brochure, and video), research using WWW, government, and library resources.

Description and Teaching Materials

Half semester project on soil erosion, soil conservation, and watershed health.

Student Handout for Soil Conservation Campaign (Acrobat (PDF) 78kB Apr30 13)



Teaching Notes and Tips

The main problem I have with this is ensuring students really focus on the region. I meet with them as the project progresses to make sure that they keep focused on the region.

The videos are generally well done. I find that I need almost no intervention with the videos because most students have some experience and since I keep the video production open they can play to their strengths.

Assessment

Students present their campaigns at a forum where they introduce their materials.
The project is graded on the quality of information, degree of tailoring the information to the region, proper citations/references, and overall professional look to the campaign.

References and Resources

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