Earth & Environmental Sciences
Tulane University of Louisiana
Gulf Anoxia Course Project part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Each lab section is divided into 2 groups, research teams and special interests for this activity. Students on the research teams work in groups to analyze official NOAA reports on the causes of anoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. Each student team seeks to design and present a public policy recommendation for how Minnesota communities can mitigate their role as a source of nitrogen to the Mississippi River system. The teams present their ideas in a town meeting format to their peers with debate of the merits leading to a final vote on which plan to endorse (or a new plan to develop based on elements from each of the plans). The special interest students are grouped based into populations likely to be affected by the policy recommendations designed by the research teams. They are tasked to research the Gulf Anoxia issue using the same resources as the research teams but while identifying with their special interest. Interests include: Small Family Farmers, Large Agrobusiness Farmers, Fertilizer Industry, Hunters/Fisherman, Property Rights Advocates. During the debate the special interest teams represent their group in the discussion. All students vote as individuals in the end. Note, another project on climate change uses this same format with the role of research and special interest teams reversed so all students get the presentation experience.
My Special Place part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students pick a place of significance to them (their Special Place) for analysis in this semester-long project. (A model is provided by the instructor using a place the students are not likely to have visited.) Students write a descriptive essay of their special place in which they describe the place's location, significance to them, physical and biological appearance, and the student's initial thoughts of how the place formed and continues to develop both naturally and by anthropogenic processes. Students complete a checklist of course topics they think will assist them in analyzing their special place. Students with places of similar characteristics are placed in writing groups of 4. Over the next month, each week each writing group analyzes one student's essay with feedback being given orally on the quality of the writing, interpretation of the site, ways to improve the essay, etc. The instructor provides written feedback to each student at the same time. After meeting with their writing group the student meets with the faculty member 1 on 1 for an interview/feedback session about the site. This is focused on the comments of their peers and interpretation of the site. Student writes a brief essay response about the feedback they received. By the middle of the course the student must turn in a revised copy of this initial essay which is them graded. Each week, as the course moves through various topics, students complete short writing sessions in which they indicate how the topic of the week helps to explain their special place (or why it does not), and they pose questions relating to that content. These very rough pieces are read by the instructor for problems/feedback and become notes for the final essay. Students examine the stratigraphy of their special place (often highly speculative and based on library research) to pose a 3rd dimension to the structure of their place. Students find and analyze a topographic map of their special place. Students prepare a final essay for the end of the course in which they analyze their special place based on what they have learned about geology. They also perform a thought experiment on how global change may influence their place in the next 100 years. They pose remaining questions they still have and describe the role they will play, if any, in its future.
Our Geologic Environment part of Quantitative Skills:Courses
This course is a general education lab science course taken by non-science majors to fulfill a lab science and man and environment general education distribution requirements. The course is based on the content found in introductory geology survey courses, but emphasizes human interaction with the natural environment using a place-based case study essay/project, and two significant research/debate group projects relating to climate change and mitigation of nitrogen pollution from rural Minnesota of the Gulf of Mexico. Weekly labs and lectures and field trips form the remainder of the course.
Sadredin Moosavi part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Workshop 08:Participant Profiles
Sadredin Moosavi Earth & Environmental Sciences Tulane University 6823 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA 70118 504.862.3168 504.865.5199(fax) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org As a graduate student at the University ...