MONITORING THE FLUVIAL SYSTEM OF BOEING CREEK (SHORELINE, WA): DEVELOPING SUCCESSFUL SERVICE LEARNING IN THE GEOSCIENCES
Service learning in a geoscience field data collection context allows students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to real-world situations, while providing valuable services to the local community. The data collected at Boeing Creek will provide the City of Shoreline’s Surface Water and Environmental Services Program and Shoreline Community College with systematic time series observations for long-term monitoring, planning and maintenance of recreational, residential and commercial areas within the Boeing Creek watershed.
This project is designed around small student groups working towards a project outcome that follows specific guidelines jointly developed by course instructors and City of Shoreline staff. This collaboration is key in meeting the challenge of balancing good pedagogy and useful data collection. Students working on this project develop “hands-on and deep learning” on stream and slope dynamics as well as geoscience field study skills. Initial feedback from student evaluations suggests that this project is an effective and engaging approach to learning geomorphic processes, improving the understanding of urban watershed management issues, and exposing students to the ethics of urban conservation.