2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


MORTON, Sara H. and ANDREWS, Stephen P., Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 301 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-2922, Saramorton@gmail.com

The rigors of academics, campus life and the milieu of opportunities at UC Berkeley can be daunting for the most prepared individuals. With its 22,000 undergraduates, it can be difficult to find a “niche” on the UC Berkeley campus. Undergraduates who participate in the Environmental Science Teaching Program (ESTP) have an opportunity to mentor high school students, design and conduct field experiments, and moreover they find a close community of students and faculty committed to science and education through a non-traditional learning format. Those who take advantage of the program develop and refine their leadership, design, and communication skills. The other strength of the program is that it is multi-dimensional: students can elect to spend more time on research and less time on teaching, and vice versa. In weekly meetings students develop communication skills through oral presentations and by writing and recording times spent in the field and teaching in journals. The many skills learned in ESTP facilitate student involvement in other campus related activities. Undergrads in ESTP also find time to conduct research projects, study abroad, participate in non-for-profit organizations, and campus politics. For example, conducting water quality research for the Friends of Strawberry Creek inspired a student to study stream ecology in a tropical field biology course in Moorea, French Polynesia. The same student, when studying abroad in Italy, decided to participate in a mentorship program there. Mentoring high school students facilitated other students to teach in the Marshall Islands and in Ecuador. ESTP globetrotters are committed to service and research in local communities and abroad.