Project EDDIE: Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry & Exploration

Scientists are increasingly using sensor-collected, high-frequency and long-term datasets to study geological and environmental processes. Our interdisciplinary team of faculty and research scientists has developed flexible classroom modules that aim to expose undergraduate students to such real-world experiences. These modules utilize large, long-term, high-frequency and sensor-based datasets that can be used in a variety of introductory, mid-level, and advanced courses that meet a series of pedagogical goals, allowing students to: (i) manipulate large datasets to conduct real-world, inquiry-based investigations; (ii) develop reasoning about statistical variation; and (iii) become excited about first-hand experiences with the scientific process. Each module requires students to collect data from online sources, such as discharge and water quality data from the US Geological Survey, ecosystem carbon dioxide flux data from FLUXNET, lake temperature data from the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network, and seismic data from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.

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EDDIE Modules

Project Goals

Our objective is to develop stand-alone modular classroom activities for undergraduate students using large long-term and high-frequency datasets framed by the following pedagogical goals:

  1. Develop skills required to manipulate large datasets.
  2. Conduct inquiry-based investigations.
  3. Develop students' reasoning about statistical variation.
  4. Engage students in authentic scientific discourse.
  5. Foster conceptions about the nature of environmental science.
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To assess achievement of the pedagogical goals during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years, we used pre- and post-module student questionnaires. This information allowed us to determine whether our modules were effective at engaging students and increasing their quantitative skills, and to revise modules prior to widespread online dissemination in 2016. Our initial results suggest that students who complete an EDDIE module had significantly improved spreadsheet skills, an increased understanding of how to use large datasets, and a greater appreciation for the value of high-resolution and long-term data. Thus, in addition to developing critical data management skills, working with large datasets cements the real-world application of basic geological and environmental concepts.

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Publications and Presentations

Learn more about Project EDDIE by exploring our Publications and Presentations.

Project Support

Project EDDIE is supported by funding from NSF DEB 1245707. Project EDDIE is sponsored by the National Association for Geoscience Teachers.

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