EXCITING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS ABOUT SCIENCE THROUGH FIELD-BASED INVESTIGATIONS AND RESEARCH
The spring 2004 course drew fifteen students from nine different degree programs with disparate scientific interests and experience. Six separate research projects involving coastal processes, global positioning, computer assisted mapping, tide and wave energy, carbonate geology, and coastal change were assigned to a pair of student leaders based on their personal character, experience, and interests. The leader pairs oversaw data collection performed by the entire class, and were responsible for data analysis and interpretation as well as the formal presentation of the research project and results at an undergraduate research forum sponsored by Youngstown State University.
Two research projects, Changing Coastline at Sandy Point and Salt-water Encroachment Due to Overproduction in the Cockburn Town Aquifer are analyzed in terms of teaching philosophy, learning outcomes, student attitudes, and overall project success in an effort to develop a sense of how and why field-based learning is successful.