New participatory courses in Marine Sciences are now a central component of the Rutgers undergraduate Marine Science curriculum. The courses use new datasets enabled by ocean observatories, in particular, the interactive exploratory capabilities of underwater gliders. The overall program is designed to increase repeated contact with students similar to the graduate experience.
The main sequence is a 1.5 credit research course with changing topics that can be taken multiple times throughout the undergraduate career. Three levels of participation have been documented, starting with a “watch-one” phase, where students are learning to be part of a research team, a “do-one” phase, where students are active researchers, and a “teach-one” phase, where senior-level students act as mentors to the younger students. Initial feeder courses are used to involve students as early as their freshman year, with topics ranging from introductory overviews to initial skills building courses for research. A capstone course is Communicating Ocean Science, where students learn educational theory and have participatory experience in communication to informal audiences. Results include a 10-fold increase in undergraduate participation in the research lab.
Presented by Scott Glenn, Oscar Schofield, Josh Kohut, Janice McDonnell, Katie Gardner, and Tim Zimmerman at the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
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