Campus Nitrogen Budget
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: Aug 30, 2006
This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
Context for Use
Savanick, S (2005) Guidelines for College-Level Nitrogen Budgeting (Microsoft Word 138kB Aug12 05).
Savanick, S. (2004) Campus Ecology: Bridging the Gap Between Sustainability Efforts and Urban Ecology. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Minnesota. Chapter three is an example of a nitrogen budget for the University of Minnesota.
Teaching Notes and Tips
- Have Students Brainstorm the Campus Links to Nitrogen Budget:
- Have Students Pick Topics or Subtopics for Individual or Group Research
- Have/Needs Assessment (Birnbaum, 2004): Have students discuss:
- What they know about their topic?
- What they need to know about their topic?
- Develop Research Plan
- Have students assign tasks to group members
- What are the intermediary steps of the project? Include deadlines and timelines for project completion.
- Keep Good Records Have students log all telephone and email communcations with staff in one notebook. Have students keep organized by using file and email folders, as well as keep track of data on a spreadsheet program.
- Report Progress . One half of the way through the course, have student report on their activities to date. For individual student projects, have students meet with faculty each week to report.
- Report Findings. Have students report findings both orally and written. Have students prepare an executive summary of their research for campus decision-makers. Invite campus decision-makers to review the presentations.
- Student Peer Assessment Rubric for Group Work (Microsoft Word 37kB May20 05) When students work in groups, use this seven item rubric to rate other team members on such items as work ethic, participation in discussion, and ability to meet deadlines (from Gallery Walk).
- Instructor Evaluation Rubric for Written Reports (Microsoft Word 40kB Jul5 07)an eleven part rubric for evaluating the quality of students' oral reports from (from Gallery Walk).
- Oral Report Evaluation Rubric (Microsoft Word 56kB Jul6 07)from (Gallery Walk)
References and Resources
Baker, L., Diane Hope, Ying Xu, Jennifer Edmonds, and Lisa Lauver (2001) Nitrogen Balance for the Central Arizona-Phoenix (CAP) Ecosystem Ecosystems 4, 582-602.
Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research is the site for one of the National Science Foundation funded Long-Term Ecological Research site in an urban area.
Savanick, S. (2004) Campus Ecology: Bridging the Gap Between Sustainability Efforts and Urban Ecology. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Minnesota.
The Environmental Literacy Council has more information on the Nitrogen Cycle.