95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

OOS 42 - Training the Next Generation of Ecologists: How Universities Are Doing It

Thursday, August 5, 2010: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
315-316, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Sonia Ortega
Jennifer H. Doherty
While the overwhelming majority of scientists agree global warming is due to human activities, only about half of Americans agree with this concept. This disparity must be breached by increasing communication between scientists and the general public. To be effective in this role, future scientists must be trained to communicate effectively with non-technical audiences. The NSF Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 education (GK-12) program provides funding for training graduate students in this role. Through the GK-12 program, graduate fellows bring their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research practice, findings and enthusiasm to K-12 learning settings so that teachers and students are more directly exposed to the ways that scientists use existing knowledge to generate new discoveries, how these discoveries are applied in the real world and what it means to be a STEM professional. Graduate students receive training in communicating STEM subjects to technical and non-technical audiences, leadership, team building, and teaching. Furthermore, the GK-12 program provides institutions of higher education with an opportunity to transform the conventional graduate education by infusing and sustaining GK-12-like activities in their graduate programs. Although few GK-12 programs are able to continue beyond initial NSF funding, preliminary findings from an overall program evaluation indicate that over four-fifths of Principal Investigators report that they plan to sustain some elements of the program that will have a positive effect on the training of graduate students to be effective communicators and to create linkages with the general public. The goal of this session is to consider the most effective ways to sustain GK-12-like activities after initial NSF funding is exhausted. Each speaker will summarize the challenges faced and strategies used in sustaining their individual project.
8:20 AM
Academic service learning: Engaging undergraduate students in ecology education and civic responsibility
Denise Mitten, Prescott College; Scott M. Herron, Ferris State University
9:00 AM
Richard Beal, SUNY- College of Environmental Science and Forestry
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
GK-12 at a biological field station: Infusing ecology into rural Michigan schools
G. Philip Robertson, Michigan State University; Thomas Getty, Michigan State University; Charles W. Anderson, Michigan State University; Robin Tinghitella, Michigan State University
10:10 AM
Saint Joseph's University GK-12 and beyond: Institutionalizing science education outreach
Karen Snetselaar, Saint Joseph's University; Susan Glassman, Wagner Free Institute of Science; Michael McCann, Saint Joseph's University; Mary Dana Semos, Wagner Free Institute of Science; Scott McRobert, Saint Joseph's University; Becky Mathers Lowery, Saint Joseph's University
10:30 AM
Transforming undergraduate education: Institutionalizing outreach with academically-based community service courses
Lori H. Spindler, University of Pennsylvania; Jennifer H. Doherty, University of Washington; Cory Bowman, University of Pennsylvania; Idris Stovall, University of Pennsylvania
10:50 AM
Graduate training through Project Flowing Waters: Challenges at Texas State University
Weston H. Nowlin, Texas State University; Julie Westerlund, Texas State University; Timothy H. Bonner, Texas State University; Richard Earl, Texas State University
11:10 AM
Challenges and strategies at Colorado State University
John Moore, Colorado State University; Kimberly Melville-Smith, Colorado State University
See more of: Organized Oral Session