Presentation Abstract

The Ocean Research College Academy, an interdisciplinary early college program at Everett Community College, created an ecosystem study in 2004 that imbeds core instructional outcomes with ongoing baseline estuary research. Through the blending of the original State of the Sound Report (2004) and Species of Concern (2005), multiple hydrographic and biological parameters are measured on monthly State of Possession Sound (SOPS) student research cruises. Students collect and analyze marine mammal and marine bird abundance and distribution, CTD data, nutrient concentrations, pH and fecal coliform levels, sediment samples for heavy metal analysis (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn), and phytoplankton and zooplankton net tows. From this unique and effective undergraduate research initiative, two National Science Foundation grants were awarded and partnerships emerged with other local and national community colleges and universities. While SOPS provides the framework for the first year, students are encouraged and supported to look deeper at the data set or expand on the SOPS research during their second year as students transition to more independent undergraduate research. This student driven work has led to a partnership with the Washington Department of Ecology Marine Waters Division and the establishment of a real-time CTD sensor with online data transmission every 15 minutes as well as multiple poster presentations at local and national conferences. The programmatic results yield impressive graduation rates (more than 80% earn an associate’s degree in two years) and 66% of graduates indicate a desire to pursue a STEM major at university. The greatest outcome is that students have experienced the nature of science while connected to where they live, developing a greater awareness and appreciation of the Salish Sea.

Session Title

Session S-05I: Education, Communication, and Citizen Science

Conference Track

Citizens/Education

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Location

Room 604

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 10:30 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

State of Possession Sound Interdisciplinary Student Research

Room 604

The Ocean Research College Academy, an interdisciplinary early college program at Everett Community College, created an ecosystem study in 2004 that imbeds core instructional outcomes with ongoing baseline estuary research. Through the blending of the original State of the Sound Report (2004) and Species of Concern (2005), multiple hydrographic and biological parameters are measured on monthly State of Possession Sound (SOPS) student research cruises. Students collect and analyze marine mammal and marine bird abundance and distribution, CTD data, nutrient concentrations, pH and fecal coliform levels, sediment samples for heavy metal analysis (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn), and phytoplankton and zooplankton net tows. From this unique and effective undergraduate research initiative, two National Science Foundation grants were awarded and partnerships emerged with other local and national community colleges and universities. While SOPS provides the framework for the first year, students are encouraged and supported to look deeper at the data set or expand on the SOPS research during their second year as students transition to more independent undergraduate research. This student driven work has led to a partnership with the Washington Department of Ecology Marine Waters Division and the establishment of a real-time CTD sensor with online data transmission every 15 minutes as well as multiple poster presentations at local and national conferences. The programmatic results yield impressive graduation rates (more than 80% earn an associate’s degree in two years) and 66% of graduates indicate a desire to pursue a STEM major at university. The greatest outcome is that students have experienced the nature of science while connected to where they live, developing a greater awareness and appreciation of the Salish Sea.