Service Learning and Local Hydrogeology in the Classroom: An example from Anchorage, Alaska

LeeAnn Munk
University of Alaska Anchorage
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A semester long project in which students work in small groups to analyze a local hydrogeology issue of importance to the community.

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This project is used in an undergraduate level course. Students work on the project in groups of 3-4 throughout the semester along with standard undergraduate hydrogeology curriculum

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students will build on knowledge and skills gained throughout the course as they develop their projects.

How the activity is situated in the course

The project is meant to be a semester long and culminates in an oral presentation and written report. Students have deadlines throughout the semester to keep them on track.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

The students are required to submit a proposal summarizing how they will approach the problem. The students are required to synthesize information on groundwater occurrence, groundwater flow, etc. from a variety of sources including existing geologic and hydrogeologic reports, consultant reports, and municipal records. Students will also develop their own hydrostratigraphic cross sections.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students are required to assess and critique hydrogeologic reports from consultants as well as state agencies.

Other skills goals for this activity

Students will also gain experience in oral and written presentation skills.

Description of the activity/assignment

This project is designed to introduce students to a local hydrogeologic problem or issue of interest to the community. The project requires the students to learn about their local groundwater environment and apply principles and concepts that they learn in the classroom to an issue that is of concern to the public. This project provides a good introduction to "real world" problems that the students are likely to encounter as professionals. Students are required to synthesize information from a variety of sources and develop their own assessment of the problem and also to make recommendations based on their professional opinions.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students are evaluated on a series of assignments including a proposal, preliminary assessment of the problem, final written and oral presentations, and a peer evaluation within their work groups.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

[] Alaska Hydrologic Survey

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