dB-SERC lunch 11-20-2017
Discussion leader: Dr. Walter Carson, biological sciences
Topic: Engaging student scientists to enhance understanding of forest degradation and promote inquiry-based scientific skills
When: Monday November 20, 2017 from 12 - 1 pm
Where: 321 Allen Hall

During the lunch, Dr. Walter Carson (biological sciences) will discuss the design of a project for which he received a dB-SERC course transformation award. The project involves promoting inquiry-based scientific skills and engaging student scientists to think about forest degradation. Dr. Carson plans to engage students enrolled in an Ecology Laboratory class in hypothesis testing so as to enhance their understanding of habitat degradation in an urban forest. Students will work in teams to generate their own hypotheses as to why urban forests throughout the eastern United States are degrading. They will then develop a research plan to test their hypotheses and present a talk presenting their research plans to the class. All students will also participate in a field trip to an urban forest (Eden Hall Campus of Chatham University) where they will collect real data to test their hypotheses. Students will then use these data to write a complete scientific paper in the format typically required by scientific journals. Over time, student scientists will be able to evaluate multiple hypotheses that hone in on the causes forest change. The forest will ultimately serve as a showcase of urban forest restoration for both educational and research purposes. The purpose of the lunch is to give feedback on the design of the project and encourage an interchange of ideas.

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