InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Changing Biosphere > Instructor Stories
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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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.
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Instructor Stories and Adaptations

These resources describe how the module was adapted for use in different settings. We hope these stories inspire your own use of the module and give you insight into how to adapt the materials for your classroom.

Photo of Camille Holmgren
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Photo of Camille Holmgren[creative commons]
Provenance: Camille Holmgren, SUNY Buffalo State
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.
Camille Holmgren: World Natural Environments at SUNY Buffalo State This 45-person course functions as an introduction to the geography major, but most students take the course to fulfill their general education (natural science) requirement. The module was used during the final third of a 15-week semester. All units were used, including Unit 3, which has been significantly changed and reordered within within the module, and another unit that has since been removed. This course met twice a week for 75-minute classes.

Rebecca Teed Profile Photo
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Me[creative commons]
Provenance: Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.
Rebecca Teed: Concepts in Earth Science for Middle-Childhood Educators II at Wright State University-Main CampusThis course focuses on Earth systems. It has several prerequisites, including introductory classes in physics, chemistry, Earth science, and life science. There were 9 students, pre-service teachers who will be licensed to teach science to students in grades 4–9 (ages 9 to 15 years). Over the 14-week semester, we covered most of the units in the module in addition to material that has been removed and a student-centered capstone project. The class met twice a week for two-and-a-half hours/class.

Additional Instructor Stories

Michelle A. Fisher, M.N.S.: Using Changing Biosphere in Biology for Majors at Three Rivers College
Michelle Fisher, Three Rivers Community College
Over a 5-week period, I incorporated the "Changing Biosphere" module into the Ecology section of my Biology for Majors course to allow students to explore the interdependence between the biotic and abiotic world through changes in relationships among the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. This Spring 2018 semester, I had 16 students. The class had four 50-minute lectures, one 2-hour lab per week. The course is for 5 Credit Hours (Contact Hours: Lecture 4 hours, Laboratory 2 hours. Total 6 hours per week). We met on T/Th from 8:00 AM – 10:45 AM Through use of the module, I hoped to connect the geosciences to the study of ecology and to the understanding humans as actors in the dynamic and evolving nature of ecosystems. I hoped to integrate scientific data of the geologic record of biodiversity to apply student understanding of how the Earth's interrelated systems have responded to change in the past to address the grand challenge of threats to biodiversity in modern day.

Ellen Wisner: Using InTeGrate Materials in General Biology II at University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Ellen Wisner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
I used material from three different Integrate modules in my General Biology II course. This is the second biology course taken by majors at UNCC, and covers evolution, animal and plant structure and function, and ecology. As a part of the course students do a service learning project related to sustainability. These modules helped to incorporate more discussion of topics related to sustainability in the course, and helped to better link their service learning project to the material covered during class.

Molly Redmond: Using InTeGrate Materials in Biology 3144 (Ecology) at UNC Charlotte
Molly Redmond, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Teaching the Carbon Cycle, Climate Change, and Feedback Loops in Introductory Ecology I used material from the Carbon, Climate and Energy Resources Module and the Changing Biosphere Module, along with some inspiration from the Systems Thinking Module, in my intro Ecology class. This a required core class for Biology majors at UNCC and consists largely of juniors and seniors, but most students have little to no background in environmental science or ecology. I taught two sections of this class, each section had 76 students and met twice a week for 75 minutes. I did the activities in both sections. Our classroom was designed for active learning, with 76 desks on wheels. These desks can face forward during the lecture portion of the class or be moved into groups for activities. This flexible arrangement works very well for my class, which is mix of traditional lecture, frequent clicker questions, and longer group activities. The room has five projectors, so students can see slides on all walls of the room. The one downside is that the room is so full of desks, it's challenging for me to move around the classroom and nearly impossible for the students to move around out of their desks. I modified the InTeGrate materials to suit the physical structure of the classroom and my relatively large (but not huge) classes.

Also Related to Changing Biosphere

Teaching about the Critical Zone and the Changing Biosphere
Nov 30 2016 Wednesday, November 30th 10:00 am PT | 11:00 am MT | 12:00 pm CT | 1:00 pm ET Presenters: Camille Holmgren (SUNY Buffalo State) and Tim White (Penn State University) This webinar is part of a series supporting ...

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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 »