Genigraphics Research Poster Template 36x48

Genigraphics Research Poster Template 36x48

DEVELOPING RESEARCH BASED LABORATORIES FOR INTRODUCTORY PHYSICAL AND
HISTORICAL GEOLOGY
Jose P. Cervantes, Diane I. Doser
Department of Geological Science, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso TX 79902
[email protected], [email protected]

Project

Abstract

Exploring Geoscience Methods - InTeGrate

In 2014, a 5 year grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) was
awarded to The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to create research based
labs in introductory courses in the College of Science. In the 2016-2017
academic year the Department of Geological Sciences added 1 section of
research based physical and historical geology labs. Geological Science majors
are strongly encouraged to participate in these labs, but any interested
students are admitted to the labs. The first 6 weeks of both courses focused
on developing geoscience skills such as reading maps and keeping field
notebooks. Both courses had a shallow subsurface geophysical field research
experience that focused on soil changes along the Rio Grande. We also used
some units from the InTeGrate modules on Exploring Geoscience Methods
and Climate of Change. The students enjoyed the field experience and a
laboratory based on soil analysis. In the first semester student attendance and
completion of on-line, pre-lab assignments was poor. Students also had low
computer skills and difficulty making predictions and drawing conclusions. We
modified the lab based on those problems and have seen much improvement
in performance.

The first semester we used material from unit 1 on geoscience thinking, we
found most students did not complete the required readings prior to class.
This made discussion of how geoscientists approach research problems
differently than other scientists difficult. In fact, the students showed a
reluctance throughout the semester to read any materials posted on-line or
complete any pre-lab or missed lab assignments. Consequently their final
course grades suffered (see figure at lower right of poster). In the second
semester, class time was allotted for completing the units reading assignment
followed by group presentations and discussions. This led to better
participation and retention of the material throughout the semester.

The purpose of these freshman level labs was to expose students to
geoscience research as early as possible in their undergraduate careers. In
both semesters the lab began with an introduction to geoscience thinking
activity which included material from unit 1 of the InTeGrate Exploring
Geoscience Methods module. In Spring 2017 material from unit 1 of the
InTeGrate Climate of Change module was used as a homework assignment.
In both Fall and Spring semesters the students learned how to conduct field
research and to process and analyze the data collected. Both research
projects focused on shallow subsurface geophysics studies of soils along the
Rio Grande in west El Paso, TX. In the Fall 2016 semester the majority of
students were geology majors. Only three geoscience students who took the
Fall 2016 lab continued on to the Spring 2017 lab. Several of the nonreturning majors decided that based on the lab and field experience they did
not want to become geologists, several dropped out of UTEP due to poor
performance in other courses and at least one major could not fit the spring
lab into their schedule. The make up of the labs is shown below. Most other
STEM majors came from the Computer Science program.
Student Demographics
100
90

Climate of Change Quiz
100

100

100

100

100

90

60
Percent

Each semester, the students collected and interpreted various types of
geophysical data (magnetics, conductivity, resistivity and GPS). In Fall 2016,
the study focused on soil changes related to the building of a levee and
walking path. In Spring 2017, the study focused on how soil conditions
influence the growth of trees along the Rio Grande. The spring research was
done in collaboration with environmental science majors enrolled in a
sophomore level research course.

80

80

70

70

Final Grades

60

60

50

50

50

40
30
20
10
0

spring 2017
Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q5

Q6

Q7

Q8

Q9

Q10

Final Evaluation
The word clouds below reflect the student answers to the question What
were the two most interesting things you learned in this class ? that was
included on the final exam for each lab. The responses clearly indicate they
felt they learned considerably from the field trip and analysis of the data they
References
collected. Several students also specifically
felt they learned a great amount
from working together in groups throughout the semester.

70
majors
other STEM
female
hispanic

50

Student performance in Fall 2016 was poor, due in part to many students
inability to complete missed labs and turn in work on-line, although we
repeatedly offered them assistance . The students also had poor computer
skills (e.g., only 50% knew how to use Excel) making it difficult for them to
analyze data and write a final report. Based on these results, we provided
more in-class readings and guidance at the beginning of Spring 2017 before
requiring students to turn in on-line assignments. We also insured they
completed preliminary computer generated maps and figures in lab so that
they would be able to immediately use these materials in their final reports.
By taking a slower and guided approach we saw an increase in student final
grades.
Student Grades
50

46

45

38

40
35

29

30
25

29

21

20

14

15

0

Contact
30

spring 2017
Year

8

5

fall 2016

spring 2017
A

20

8

7

10

40


10

Email: 0
fall 2016
Website:
Phone:

100

Students conducting geophysical field work along the Rio Grande in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017.
Clockwise from top left Magnetics, GPS, Conductivity, Resistivity.

Percent

80

The reading on adapting to climate change and the related questions from
unit 1 of this module were used as a take-home lab assignment when a
University holiday conflicted with the lab schedule. An in-class quiz on the
reading was given during the next lab and the results are shown below. The
questions that most students had a difficult time answering were: Q3 (related
to how the Incas decided when to plant crops), Q6 (related to why certain
Yucatan lakes were good for gathering sediments) and Q9 (related to what
was examined in mud samples of Greenland lakes)

Percent Correct

Introduction

Climate of Change - InTeGrate

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

B

Year
C

D

0

F

Acknowledgements
This research was supported by HHMI Sustaining Excellence Award No.
52008125 to S. Aley as part of the UTEP PERSIST Program.

Recently Viewed Presentations

  • JRC Visitors'Centre: May - Nov 2015

    JRC Visitors'Centre: May - Nov 2015

    The resources of IAEA, EC, US NRC and other cooperation programs are used for implementation of separate tasks concerned with training, improvement and maintaining of the personnel qualification ... The NTP is the document in practical use by ANRA and...
  • Wise Before the Event Troubleshooting Guide to IA in IB ...

    Wise Before the Event Troubleshooting Guide to IA in IB ...

    Wise Before the Event Troubleshooting Guide to IA ... Certainly I have less grounds for concern than when supervising Extended Essays or TOK essays. ... From OCC Resources DOs&DONTs.pdf Wise Before the Event Troubleshooting Guide to IA in IB Diploma...
  • Mri Evaluation of Pediatric White Matter Lesions

    Mri Evaluation of Pediatric White Matter Lesions

    MRI - brain. diffuse swelling of the brain due to extensive edema of the white matter. DWI - the posterior limbs of the internal capsules and optic radiations and the central corticospinal tracts within the cerebral hemispheres exhibit diffusion restriction.
  • The Universities Language Training Project

    The Universities Language Training Project

    Provide access to second language tools to Canadian universities Information kit for coordinators and students What is exactly the difference between these three groups?
  • DEMOCRACY AND LIBERALISM Give me the liberty know,

    DEMOCRACY AND LIBERALISM Give me the liberty know,

    (living space) - This was to become the foreign policy expression of the . Aryan myth. It stated that "inferior nations" next-door to Germany would have to make room for the "superior" Germans. This applied to the 'Slav' peoples -...
  • English I

    English I

    Watch Romeo and Juliet balcony scene (35:00 - 52:00) Have students complete Act II, scenes 1 - 2 questions. ... Have students complete the QR Scavenger Hunt by scanning QR codes posted in the class and hallway and answering what...
  • Competent Cells formation and transformation of competent ...

    Competent Cells formation and transformation of competent ...

    Competent Cells formation and transformation of competent Cells with DNA. Principle of the experiment: " chemical transformation method " Cells are incubated in CaCl2 solution that help the cells to take up the DNA plasmid by increasing the bacterial cell...
  • Eating Disorders - yorkgpvts.co.uk

    Eating Disorders - yorkgpvts.co.uk

    Eating Disorders "Eating disorders are complex illnesses, rooted in psychological and emotional distress, where people use food and eating as a means of coping with seemingly insurmountable problems. They offer a mechanism for control in a life that seems out...