Ocean Sciences

  Ocean Sciences is a hands-on inquiry based introduction to marine systems, focused primarily on marine biology and ecology. The course is designed to introduce talented, multicultural, graduated high school seniors to science as a way of knowing and understanding the world around us, specifically the world's oceans and their contributions to the world's food and oxygen supply, their role in regulating climate and their unfortunate overexploitation for our technological world. The course is funded by the National Science Foundation Geosciences Division with supplemental assistance from Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire. The course uses evolution as the central theme for understanding both the diversity of what we see as well as the unity common to many seemingly different forms of life. The course is designed to encourage multicultural students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas. In doing so it is designed to show how these studies impact our own lives and the many problems which face us in the 21st Century. To accomplish this Ocean Sciences has three overarching goals: 1) The content of the course is important in helping students to move from high school to college, understanding that science involves more than just memorization of facts. To do this we incorporate inquiry based active learning in lectures, field observations, and in natural, field and lab experiments designed by you (our student-peer investigators). The course includes an introduction to the marine environment, with emphasis on experimental method for understanding marine systems. 2) Another goal looks at critical thinking and learning introducing these as crucial tools for success in the sciences and in college. Participants are introduced to: · the theory of critical thinking, · learning and teaching styles, · learning tools and review techniques, · understanding disciplinary discourse, · critical reading of primary literature, · how to use textbooks, · and, learning according to discipline. 3) The third goal is to help participants to embrace new technology through daily use of the technological tools for learning science. In part this goal includes activities that encourage active experimentation and problem solving in how to get the technology to work, part of the active process of doing science. Students engage in using scientific protocols for gathering data using scientific equipment including: · oxygen, pH, salinity & temp meters, · a CTD, · laser levels, · electronic balances, · equipment for sampling We will also use the software of science in our investigations and develop skill in: · text editing and revision using Word, · database use in collections, · spreadsheets in data manipulation, · time management via software, · wireless access using iPAQs, · statistical analyses using SPSS, · plotting programs for contour profiles, · webpages using HTML. Ocean Science Class Research Studies Dennis J. Taylor taylordj at hiram.edu last updated 11 August 2007