2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 55
Presentation Time: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM


SALAZAR, Kara A., Center for Earth and Environmental Science, Department of Geology, Indiana Univ - Purdue Univ Indianapolis, 723 West Michigan Street, SL 118, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5132 and TEDESCO, Lenore P., Department of Geology, Indiana Univ - Purdue Univ Indianapolis, 723 West Michigan Street, SL 118, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5132, salazark@iupui.edu

The Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) is a research and outreach center affiliated with the Department of Geology at Indiana University~Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). CEES coordinates and facilitates an environmental service learning program for approximately 700 IUPUI undergraduate students in introductory science courses yearly. Students from 12 geological and environmental science courses among 4 schools make up the majority of the participants.

A partnership with the City of Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation Land Stewardship Office (Indy Parks) is a core component of the service learning program. CEES scientists conduct wetland and floodplain restoration research and hydrological research within many Indy Parks properties, which are the locations for service learning work days. IUPUI students are paired with CEES scientists and Indy Parks managers to collect data and restore park ecosystems based on site background research. Students are introduced to the site, the activities for the work day and the application to course concepts. Throughout the work day students maintain interaction with CEES scientists and Indy Parks managers to clarify concepts and ask questions. A post-activity survey is administered at the end of each service learning work day to clarify concepts and to invoke further discussion. Each student is then required to reflect on their experiences and write a research paper based on work day applications to earth and environmental science concepts. CEES is currently creating and implementing an evaluation and assessment tool for the service learning program to measure participants’ learning, retention, and course concept application.

One of CEES’ most successful service learning projects is the Lilly ARBOR Project. The one kilometer site is a riparian restoration along the White River adjacent to the IUPUI campus that CEES scientists implemented and monitor. Service learning students helped to design and plant the restoration scheme and assist CEES scientists with the twice yearly tree health and survival monitoring and site maintenance through trash removal and recycling. Service learning programs have led to the collection of extensive data sets yielding meaningful scientific data for restoration managers on reforestation strategies.