Presenter/Author Information

Ardi Kveven, Everett Community CollegeFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Salish Sea Studies: An integrating context for teaching, research, and community engagement

Description

The founder of the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) at Everett Community College in Washington State established a longitudinal study that engages students in the collection of data on biogeochemical metrics in the Snohomish River Estuary. To build on this ongoing, ten-year project that embeds students as the primary researchers, a grant from the National Science Foundation provided funding for a custom built research vessel, which has been in operation for over a year. This vessel has revolutionized the scope of the student research projects during their first and second year, catalyzing ORCA students to ask deeper and more complex questions, providing greater access to study sites and more shipboard research hours. Pioneering work on eel grass monitoring is a key example of the impact a dedicated vessel has on student driven questions. This work is a direct result of the research vessel Phocoena, which is capable of beach landings, allowing a recent parcel of beach front property to become accessible to student researchers. Students are asking relevant questions about eel grass including heavy metal uptake, genetic diversity, population size and shoot density. This type of research experience is of an awareness and understanding of where they livepivotal to the stu development. Students are surveyed quarterly on their experiences. Nearly 50% of the respondents reported (unprompted) the value of hands-on and authentic science in the free response section. The more experiences students have investigating connections to where they live, the greater their understanding of the Salish Sea.

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The impact of a research vessel on student understanding of the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

The founder of the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) at Everett Community College in Washington State established a longitudinal study that engages students in the collection of data on biogeochemical metrics in the Snohomish River Estuary. To build on this ongoing, ten-year project that embeds students as the primary researchers, a grant from the National Science Foundation provided funding for a custom built research vessel, which has been in operation for over a year. This vessel has revolutionized the scope of the student research projects during their first and second year, catalyzing ORCA students to ask deeper and more complex questions, providing greater access to study sites and more shipboard research hours. Pioneering work on eel grass monitoring is a key example of the impact a dedicated vessel has on student driven questions. This work is a direct result of the research vessel Phocoena, which is capable of beach landings, allowing a recent parcel of beach front property to become accessible to student researchers. Students are asking relevant questions about eel grass including heavy metal uptake, genetic diversity, population size and shoot density. This type of research experience is of an awareness and understanding of where they livepivotal to the stu development. Students are surveyed quarterly on their experiences. Nearly 50% of the respondents reported (unprompted) the value of hands-on and authentic science in the free response section. The more experiences students have investigating connections to where they live, the greater their understanding of the Salish Sea.