283-2 Research and Writing Exercises to Explore Wetland Ecosystems In An Undergraduate Course.

See more from this Division: S05 Pedology
See more from this Session: Soil Science Education Trends for the 21st Century: I
Tuesday, October 23, 2012: 9:05 AM
Hyatt Regency, Regency Ballroom G, Third Floor
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Paula Gale, University of Tennessee, Martin, TN
A wetland science class has been developed for a diverse audience of students. Although the majority of the students taking the class are interested in careers in Wildlife Biology and Plant and Soil Science, it regularly draws students from other disciplines across campus. The diversity in interests and academic background of the student population in the class has been considered in the development of the course. The course has been structured around the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain regional supplement to the USCOE Wetlands Delineation Manual which provides introductory information to the students regarding hydrology, soils and vegetation. This approach helps the students wade through and interpret a government document, while providing a better understanding of what a wetland is. However, this approach does not begin to address the diversity or uniqueness of wetland ecosystems. In an attempt to cover the diversity of these ecosystems the students are asked to select a wetland topic and to 1) write a term paper over the topic and 2) make and present a Powerpoint presentation to their peers. This encourages them to conduct research, write, and present their findings, all skills that they need to hone. The term papers are due at mid-term in the course allowing the instructor time to grade and make suggestions for the presentations that are made during the last weeks of class. Overall the students have found the exercise beneficial, even though they complain immensely when actually doing it.
See more from this Division: S05 Pedology
See more from this Session: Soil Science Education Trends for the 21st Century: I