Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM
COLLABORATIONS IN WATERSHED STUDIES IN NORTHWEST INDIANA CREATED THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES INNOVATIVE STEWARDSHIP THROUGH EDUCATION NETWORK (GLISTEN)
The Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship through Education Network (GLISTEN) is an inter-disciplinary, inter-collegiate, and inter-community effort, to connect undergraduate STEM education and civic engagement through work aimed at protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. GLISTEN was established in 2010 through a grant to the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement at Harrisburg University from the Learn and Serve America Higher Education Program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Multiple GLISTEN clusters exist around the Great Lakes. The Northwest Indiana cluster is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the restoration of the Lake Michigan watershed by integrating efforts in education, stewardship, and research. Selected undergraduate STEM students serve as student stewardship liaisons, a paraprofessional position where students are the logistical and intellectual “glue” that connects community partners, the public, and institutions of higher learning. Selected students work full-time in summer with community partners. In the academic year, students act as peer leaders to develop curriculum components that create and execute learning opportunities through civic-engagement and build greater awareness of the work of the community partners. The STEM courses offered at each university are project and concept driven and promote the SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities) model of science education through civic engagement. Developing curricula and research activities that incorporate concepts of watershed and ecological restoration and monitoring promotes high-order learning skills through a problem-based approach that facilitates hypothesis testing, experimental design, data synthesis and critical thinking. The curriculum development, service work, and research have proven to be mutually beneficial for undergraduate students, faculty, and the communities of Northwest Indiana. The strong emphasis on watershed restoration and the preservation of open space for an enhanced quality of life is consistent with the values and priorities of the communities of Northwest Indiana and the larger Calumet region.