2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM

Inspire Students to Excel through Service Learning: Case Study of Hurricane Katrina

ARTHURS, Leilani, Geological Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Campus Box 399, 2200 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, 80309-0399, Leilani.Arthurs@Colorado.EDU

In response to Hurricane Katrina and in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns, a seminar was created to educate students on the historical, scientific, and engineering considerations that together resulted in this generation's most severe natural disaster in the United States. Examination of the environmental, engineering, and social factors that led to the devastation experienced in specific communities, such as the Lower Ninth Ward, as well as examination of the aftermath through the paradigms of environmental justice and Catholic social teaching (e.g. stewardship) formed the content basis of the seminar. A service learning approach was the governing pedagogical technique implemented to engage students in active and collaborative learning. To inSPIRE Students to exCel in their own personal development and life-long learners, the seminar was comprised of weekly class meetings and a week-long immersion experience in New Orleans to get to know several residents and to provide them volunteer service in the repair of their homes. The seminar taught to the whole person by connecting with students' Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Recreational, Emotional, Social, and Creative dimensions through a variety of class activities and discussions.