Engaging Early Career Undergraduates in the Geosciences ...

Engaging Early Career Undergraduates in the Geosciences ...

Engaging Early Career Undergraduates in the Geosciences Through Field and Research Activities Kenneth M. Voglesonger, Jean M. Hemzacek, and Laura L. Sanders Department of Earth Science Northeastern Illinois University Geological Society of America National Meeting October 10, 2011 Overview Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) & First Year Experience (FYE) Program Muddy Waters: Chicagos Environmental Geology National Science Foundation Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (NSF-OEDG) Targeted Investigations in Environmental Resources Related to Agriculture (TIERRA)

Project United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Preliminary results from year one Goals for the future Northeastern Illinois University Comprehensive public university North side of Chicago Federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution 12,000 commuter students Most diverse public university in the Midwest (U.S. News and World Report) 9,498 9.5 students: 10.0 31.2 39.5

First generation0.3 college 41.8% % % % % % First year students: 12% African American; 41% Hispanic Other Caucasian Hispanic African American Asian Total

Undergradua te Enrollment Native American Student Population Fall 2010 9.5 % Decrease in diversity 41 0.0% 7.3 2.4% 17. 53.7 Occurs in all%STEM disciplines 1% % Other

Caucasian Hispanic African American Asian Total Major s Native American Earth Science Majors Fall 2010 19.5% First Year Experience Program Required courses for all freshman Integration of academic success skills,

transitioning from high school to college, and discipline specific content Focus on Chicago Earth Science Two Courses Chicago Rocks! Geology in the City Muddy Waters: Chicagos Environmental Geology Recruitment from courses More diverse target audience Muddy Waters Course Supported by NSF-OEDG Focused on Environmental Geology within the urban Chicago environment Natural and anthropogenic impacts on: Water quality Water quantity Focus on field and laboratory activities Goals:

Increase number of students majoring in STEM-related fields Improved awareness of geoscience disciplines and careers Muddy Waters Field and Lab Activities Local weekly field trips North Branch of the Chicago River, North Shore Channel, Forest Preserves, Lake Michigan, groundwater wells Basic Surveying Topography and Gradient Telescopic Level, Stadia Rod, Total Station Muddy Waters Field and Lab Activities

Water Sampling and Analysis pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity Colorimetry Nitrate, Phosphate, Sulfate, Chloride, Fluoride Muddy Waters Field and Lab Activities Water Quantity Watersheds and the hydrologic cycle Stream velocity and discharge Semester project: Calculation of a water budget for North Branch of the Chicago

River Watershed, urban impacts on water quality parameters Muddy Waters Other Activities End of Semester Field Trip build a sense of community, bridge to the major High energy, fun, attractive Include advanced Earth Science majors Stickney Water Treatment Plant Boat Tour Alumni Visits Professionals working in Environmental Geology Careers Other

Caucasian Hispanic African American Asian Native American Enrollment Muddy Waters Enrollments Fall 2010 1 0 2 2 6 5

Demographics representative of first year 7 student population Spring 8 0 2 2 3 Increase in enrollments in year two 2011 Recruitment Strategies Fall 2011 4 0 0 0 29 2 1

0 9 5 Muddy Waters Preliminary Results Student Pre- & Post-Surveys from Spring 2011 Questions focus on Plans to take more Earth Science and other STEM courses Attitudes about science and Geology Small pool of students (n=8) Limitations on statistical analysis of results Number of Muddy Waters Students indicating: Very likely to take science courses past general education requirements

Pre = 3, Post = 7 Very likely to take another Earth Science course Pre = 1, Post = 5 Strongly agree that science is fun Pre = 1, Post = 7 Strongly agree that a science degree could help them get a good job Pre = 1, Post = 4 TIERRA Project Targeted Investigations of Earth Resources Related to Agriculture Recruitment from Earth Science First Year Experience courses Summer research program focused on soil science Relation to

agricultural sciences Summer 2011 13 students TIERRA Students 0 2 4 4 Other African American Asian 2

Caucasian 13 Hispanic Summer Native American Total Students 13 students Two students already Earth Science Majors Rest undeclared 1 TIERRA Project Training Soil Sampling Physical properties of soil

Chemical analysis of soil Surveying, creation of topographic maps Research Projects 5 groups of students All focused on North Park Village Nature Center Located in Chicago, North of NEIU Mark Bramstedt, Illinois State Soil Scientist TIERRA Project Exposure to professionals and careers in USDA related professions Field Trips Field Offices of National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) USDA regional offices

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory (NSERL) Purdue University TIERRA Research Projects NEIU Student Research Symposium 2 poster presentations 1 oral presentation Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American in Science (SACNAS) National Conference; San Jose, California October 27th October 30th 4 poster presentations TIERRA Increase in Content Knowledge

Self-reported results: Strongly disagree (1), disagree (2), agree (3), strongly agree (4) 17 geoscience concepts and 10 geoscience terms Examples: Soil horizons, soil texture, soil porosity, soil structure, clay minerals, Munsell color Pre-survey average: 2.4 Post-survey average: 3.5 11 skills related to performing a research project Examples: Analyze soil texture, measure soil pH, read a topo map Pre-survey average: 2.7 Post-survey average: 3.7 TIERRA Scientific Research Skills Skill Ability to give an oral

presentation Interpret a graph or chart Draw conclusions from data Write a Pre-survey (Strongly agree) 20% Post-survey (Strongly agree) 50% 0% 70%

0% 70% 0% 70% TIERRA: Awareness of & Interest in Geoscience Careers Based on student reflections Activity Increase Increas d ed Awarene Interest ss NSERL, Purdue University 54% 31%

NRCS Field Office and Field Sites 46% 31% UIUC, NRCS Headquarters 16% 54% Campus Visit from State Soil 8% 38% Scientist Performing the research project 8% 38% Training sessions 8% 38% Writing abstracts, preparing 0% 0% TIERRA: Interest in STEM-fields

Changes in average rating of students likelihood of majoring in STEM fields (1 = highly unlikely; 2 = unlikely; 3 = likely; 4 = highly likely) Discipline Geology/Earth Science Environmental Science Mathematics Physics Computer Science Biology Chemistry Pre-Survey Average 2.9

Post Survey Average 3.7 2.4 2.9 1.1 1.5 1.5 2.2 1.5 1.3 1.7 1.6 2.2 2.0 Results

13 students 2 already declared Earth Science majors One Hispanic/Latino, One African American Remaining 11 students 6 declared Earth Science Majors 2 Hispanic/Latino students 2 Caucasian students 2 Asian students One declared Computer Science Major Conclusion Synergy between First Year Experience courses and TIERRA Project Increased diversity in target audience Increased exposure to Earth Science Department Overall increase in Content knowledge Ability to perform scientific research Awareness and interest in Geoscience careers

Increased interest in STEM majors Recruitment of majors Sense of community and connection to the department Future Work Administer Undergraduate Research Self Assessment Analysis Survey (URSSA) following SACNAS Conference Hunter, Weston, Laursen, and Thiry, CUR Quarterly Report, 2009 Complete analysis of assessment results Current Semester First Year Experience Courses Muddy Waters 43 students enrolled 67% Hispanic/Latino Chicago Rocks! 48 students enrolled Spring 2012 Semester Offering one section of each course (24 students per

section) Summer 2012 Target of 16 students for TIERRA project Acknowledgments National Science Foundation, Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences Award Number 0914497 PI: Laura L. Sanders Co-PIs: Jean M Hemzacek, Kenneth M. Voglesonger United States Department of Agriculture USDA-NIFA HEP Award # 2010-02071 PI: Laura L. Sanders Co-PIs: Jean M Hemzacek, Kenneth M. Voglesonger National Resources Conservation Service Mark Bramstedt, Illinois State Soil Scientist National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory North Park Village Nature Center Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

Janise Hurtig, PRAIRIE Group, University of Illinois at Chicago

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