Integrated Design for Geoscience Education (IDGE) will increase scientific knowledge, teach the skills necessary for post-secondary education in the sciences, and promote careers in geoscience among minority, under-privileged, and first-generation college graduates currently underrepresented in geoscience fields. IDGE, based at West Virginia State University (WVSU) a historically black college or university (HBCU) during Year 1 and at Marshall University During Year 2, IDGE will work with students participating in the Upward Bound program (UB) at these two institutions. This two year grant will provide for the development and implementation of IDGE: Upward Bound.

During year 1, the primary investigators will develop and deliver a six-week course, Environmental Inquiry, which will be offered to selected UB students at WVSU during summer 2007. This course will modify and expand The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program educational materials to develop learning
activities in the geosciences that integrates environmental measurements in land cover, soils, hydrology, phenology, and meteorology; inquiry-based projects utilizing the student data collection; and technology tools. The successful investigations will be identified and developed into on-line learning modules which will be available for future dissemination to other UB students around the state.

During year 2, the program will be taking place at Marshall University. The introductory Environmental Inquiry course will be taught at both facilities utilizing the IDGE on-line learning modules by GLOBE-certified and IDGE-trained UB faculty while highly interested and motivated UB students from year one will be selected to participate in International Environmental Inquiry at Marshall University. This advanced course will build on students' knowledge from year one by introducing comparative research and inquiry and will require IDGE students to collaborate with GLOBE students from Costa Rica. The culmination of this project will be an educational expedition where selected UB students and facilitators will travel to Costa Rica, with the Holbrook's Education program, in order to complete ecological studies in the field. Holbrook is the premier youth education and conservation expedition organization. This expedition will allow them to gain first-hand knowledge of the international responsibility we have as scientists and citizens of our planet.

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The IDGE project was made possible through a grant by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Tina Cartwright

 

Mr. Todd Ensign