2013 Update and 2014 Plans

In 2013, COSEE Pacific Partnerships continued our efforts to provide community college (2YC) faculty and students with opportunities to increase their understanding of ocean sciences through programs that connect them with scientists. Through our activities we play a role in the larger initiative to build an ocean sciences community that includes community college participation and to support efforts to increase diversity in the STEM fields.

Community College Faculty Institutes

Since 2009, COSEE PP has offered a series of week-long residential professional development institutes at marine laboratories that bring together 2YC faculty and research scientists who are investigating ocean and coastal ecosystems. These institutes, taught by scientists active in research, provide 2YC faculty with knowledge about current topics in ocean sciences, provide materials and field and laboratory activities, and strengthen the network of 2YC community college faculty improving the learning of ocean science.

Earlier this year, we, with our evaluator Genevieve Manset, undertook a summative evaluation of the effects of the first eight 2YC faculty institutes offered. The results indicate that the format of the institutes is an effective professional development model that resulted in quality improvements in ocean science teaching. The institutes increased participants’ confidence in teaching about and their knowledge of current ocean science research. In addition, the results show that the use of individual and group action plans, developed during the course of the institutes, provided a useful resource for the faculty. A publication is planned to highlight the significant findings from this report.

Our final institute, held July 29 – August 2, 2013 at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB), was a joint effort between COSEE PP and COSEE TEK. During the Using Marine Technology and Ocean Data Resources in Community College Courses Institute, faculty learned about sound in the ocean, measuring and observing the ocean, online ocean data, and how to build and collect data with hydrophones and basic observational buoys. Additional emphasis was placed on helping faculty develop ways to use these technologies to engage their students in research within the 2YC setting. Eleven faculty from colleges in Oregon, Washington, California, Florida, Maryland, New York, and Wisconsin participated in the institute as well as five scientists from OIMB, Oregon State University, and Western Washington University. Ivar Babb, John Hamilton, and Kevin Joy joined us from COSEE TEK and our COSEE NOW colleagues Janice McDonnell and Sage Lichtenwalner presented about the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

Partnering to Increase our Effectiveness

Forging partnerships with other projects can be an effective way to increase opportunities, effect change, and build capacity within the 2YC ocean science community. In 2013, COSEE PP continued working with a number of projects to increase opportunities for 2YC faculty and students, including Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-Year Colleges (SAGE 2YC) and the InTeGrate (Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a Sustainable Future) Project. COSEE PP also assisted with the programmatic elements of Cutting Edge’s Teaching Oceanography workshop, held in June 2013 and designed for faculty who teach introductory oceanography. Jan Hodder was invited to participate as a co-convener and planner and used this opportunity to present the information that had been developed at the SAGE 2YC and ASLO workshops on ocean science careers.

COSEE Pacific Partnerships in 2014

2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, HI

Based on the success of the 2013 ASLO Meeting workshop focusing on ocean science careers and the disciplinary oral and poster session on how to teach oceanography to freshman and sophomores, COSEE PP and Allison Beauregard, Northwest Florida State College, have received funding from the National Science Foundation to support 2YC faculty attendance at the 2014 Ocean sciences meeting. On Monday, February 24th, we are co-chairing Session 132: Undergraduate ocean science education in the 21st century: an exploration of successful practices which will include oral and poster presentations. In addition, we are co-sponsoring a workshop on Sunday, February 23rd that will focus on on oceanography teaching resources and practices.

Summer Research Opportunities for Community College Students

In summer 2014 we will offer our final opportunity for 2YC students to spend a summer at a marine laboratory conducting research with a scientist mentor. To date the Promoting Investigations in the Marine Environment (PRIME) program has supported 58 students, working with 40 scientists, at five of our partner institutions in Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. Twenty-two community colleges have sent students to participate in PRIME and the program has proven to be an effective way to provide students with research opportunities. You can read about many of the student’s research experiences on the PRIME Blog. We are currently working with Genevieve Manset on a summative evaluation of the program to ascertain the impacts of the program, including whether the internships affected the trajectory of students’ academic and career paths in marine science. We are also planning a publication to highlight the significant findings from the report.