InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Changing Biosphere > Instructor Stories > Camille Holmgren
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
showLearn More
These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »
How to Use »

New to InTeGrate?

Learn how to incorporate these teaching materials into your class.

  • Find out what's included with each module
  • Learn how it can be adapted to work in your classroom
  • See how your peers at hundreds of colleges and university across the country have used these materials to engage their students

How To Use InTeGrate Materials »
show Download
The instructor material for this module are available for offline viewing below. Downloadable versions of the student materials are available from this location on the student materials pages. Learn more about using the different versions of InTeGrate materials »

Download a PDF of all web pages for the instructor's materials

Download a zip file that includes all the web pages and downloadable files from the instructor's materials

Camille Holmgren: Using Changing Biosphere in World Natural Environments at SUNY Buffalo State


About this Course

This is an introductory general education course. Although required for our majors, it is primarily populated by non-majors seeking to fulfill their natural science requirement.

44
students
Two 75-minute sessions
Syllabus (Microsoft Word 62kB Jun23 16)

A Success Story in Building Student Engagement

This module was used over several weeks in an introductory physical geography course. Although required for geography majors, it is primarily populated by non-majors seeking to fulfill their natural science requirement. The focus on a big issue facing society—extinctions and biodiversity loss—led to a high level of engagement among students who came to the course with a range of academic backgrounds, interests, and abilities. Students were also introduced to scientific uncertainty and the idea that there is not always a single answer or approach for addressing societal issues such as setting priorities for biodiversity conservation.

The module promoted discussion and led to participation by students who had not previously volunteered questions or answers in class.

My Experience Teaching with InTeGrateMaterials

I taught this module in a 75-minute class period, which is longer than the 50-minute time period for which the lessons were designed. I used the extra time to implement the units at a more leisurely pace and/or had incorporated pre- and/or post-class assignments into the class time.

Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course

I used the materials in the final third of my course after having covered material on the atmosphere, weather, climate and climate change, and biogeography. I used Unit 1 as an introduction before I covered plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes (non-Integrate material). After this, I returned to Integrate and used the rest of the units without a break.

Assessments

I used all of the formative assessments embedded within the units except for Unit 3 (now Unit 2), where I had students turn in the handout for grading instead of the optional homework. The formative assessments allowed me to monitor student learning, provide feedback, and identify gaps and misconceptions. These could then be addressed while teaching the module and in my revision of materials. The summative assessment was included as part of the final exam, but could also be assigned as homework.

Outcomes

My primary goals for this module were to increase knowledge and foster curiosity about the natural environment by students at my urban institution. The focus on biodiversity loss, a critical issue facing society, really sparked interest. This was clear both in the classroom and pre- and post-instruction surveys. Through the module students were truly able to see the impact humans are having on biodiversity and could evaluate this impact in the context of the long-term geologic record.

Explore other InTeGrate Instructor Stories

Classroom Context

Already used some of these materials in a course?
Let us know and join the discussion »

Considering using these materials with your students?
Get pointers and learn about how it's working for your peers in their classrooms »

These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »