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Designing Undergraduate Research Experiences for Nontraditional Student Learning At Sea
Journal Of Geoscience Education
  • James E. Gawel, University of Washington Tacoma
  • Cheryl L. Greengrove, University of Washington Tacoma
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The environmental science curriculum at the University of Washington, Tacoma (UWT) is based on an experiential learning model that enhances undergraduate education by involving students in ongoing research projects that extend beyond the classroom into the broader scientific community. Nontraditional student learning is especially enriched by access to unique hands-on field experiences that foster a sense of scientific ownership. During the summers of 2001 and 2002, undergraduate students from UWT participated in two very different marine research courses designed by environmental science faculty. By comparing these two course designs, we have identified two primary issues of importance when setting up a field research program at sea. First, learning outcomes are dependent on the platform chosen for the research cruise, and thus the vessel to be used must be considered when designing a curricular model. Second, planning and implementation considerations need to be addressed regardless of the platform chosen. Planning challenges include early advertising, minimizing costs, and scheduling for nontraditional students; while implementation considerations include research group configurations and the structure of the post-cruise working environment.

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Citation Information
James E. Gawel and Cheryl L. Greengrove. "Designing Undergraduate Research Experiences for Nontraditional Student Learning At Sea" Journal Of Geoscience Education Vol. 53 Iss. 1 (2005) p. 31 - 36
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