Noel Cawley, Glenville State College, High Springs, FL
This college contains a diverse body of students; while some students are from rural areas many others are from the suburbs or urban areas with little experience in being outdoors. Many of the students have little experience or confidence in interpreting information and making decisions based upon those interpretations. Most courses are taught within labs or on the campus property with perhaps a few trips during the semester. To effectively teach wetlands ecology in this setting, advanced planning to arrange for transportation, site access, and trips that go past the allotted time for lab was absolutely necessary. A required overnight camping trip that allowed the class to see wetlands types not available to them otherwise was a component of the course requirements. Another aspect to teaching this course is that many of the available wetlands (those within driving distance for lab) are due to anthropogenic activities and are not naturally occurring, necessitating an increased emphasis from naturally occurring to manmade wetlands. None of the students taking this course have ever taken a soils or plant taxonomy course. Expectations of student outcomes were 1) develop the ability to describe and recognized hydric soil indicators, 2) create a digital herbarium, learn to use keys to determine plant species, and to recognize the most common wetland plants, 3) understand how hydrology influences wetland type, and 4) to gain an appreciation for the value of wetland habitats.