Developing InTeGrated Curriculum for Upper Division Courses in Earth Sciences

Thursday 4:30pm-5:30pm Red Gym
Poster Session


Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
William Hoyt, University of Northern Colorado
Graham Baird, University of Northern Colorado
Joe Elkins, University of Northern Colorado
The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the University of Northern Colorado is presently serving as an InTeGrate implementation site. Our focus is on promoting recruitment and retention in the Earth Sciences through outreach efforts and through the development of curriculum that is relevant and applicable to the interdisciplinary nature of real world problem solving in the environmental sciences. A part of this project involves the development of activities for use in upper level core courses that align with InTeGrate program goals and curriculum standards. In this poster, we share four upper division course activities implemented in Spring 2016 that have the objectives of enhancing relevancy of upper level course content and improving student interest and experience in interdisciplinary analysis and problem solving. Development of activities was a collaborative process among faculty and initial assessment data from the activities is presented. Activities include (1) a student examination of deforestation rates through the Holocene as a way of considering the evolving role of humans in climate change in a Paleoclimatology course; (2) a comparison of organic carbon content of modern and ancient sediment deposits in an Oceanography course as a prompt for examining modern fossil fuel creation and consumption; (3) an analysis of the need and scarcity of mineral resources and the resulting societal issues in an Ore Geology course; and (4) an analysis of the role of federal legislation (such as the Homestead Act and the Dawes Act) on land use and how changes in land use can obscure our interpretation of geomorphic processes in a Geomorphology course.