GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 145-12
Presentation Time: 11:10 AM


MORAN, K.T.1, WHITCOMB, Natalie2 and MAIER, Joey2, (1)Polk State College, 999 Avenue H Northeast, Winter Haven, FL 33881; Science Department, Polk State College, 999 Ave. H, NE, Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299, (2)Science Department, Polk State College, 999 Ave. H, NE, Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299

Science is everywhere! Travel, field work, and coordination with a wide range of disciplines are common in scientific professions; yet students are often exposed only to single-subject classrooms. Working in multi-disciplinary groups, students in globally-focused courses learn that the application of scientific critical thinking applies ubiquitously. With support of the Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative via the French Embassy and collaboration with the University of the Antilles; Polk State College students enrolled in biology, oceanography, and environmental science courses. Field experiences included hiking a volcano, exploring a mangrove swamp, snorkeling coral reefs, assessing wildlife affected by hurricanes, assaying a freshwater reservoir, and learning about marine nearshore dynamics on the island of Guadeloupe, French Antilles, all while immersed in the island’s culture.

With instructional planning, students can meet multidisciplinary course learning objectives simultaneously in the same space, while increasing their appreciation of natural systems. An emphasis on field safety protocols allows shared time in the field to enhance the knowledge base of all involved, increasing their understanding of the interrelationships between disciplines. Sharing field locations also promotes integration of course groups to allow for more sustainable planning. While receiving instruction on field safety, students working in unfamiliar terrestrial and aquatic environments appreciate the shared experience of all scientists, while increasing their network and meeting course objectives along the way. Learning goals are met while expanding students' horizons.