150 Undergraduate Student Experiences as Part of the NSF-IUSE Geoscience Engagement and Outreach Program: Student Research Using GIS-Based Spatial Analysis of Rain Rates

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Corene J. Matyas, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL; and K. Stofer, J. Judge, H. Lannon, and B. Lanman
Manuscript (421.7 kB)

Handout (900.3 kB)

Few students enter undergraduate programs understanding what the geosciences are or that geosciences are part of a science or STEM curriculum. Yet the abundance of high-paying, high-demand jobs in the geosciences and the need for diversity means these students may miss an opportunity to put their interests in science to work. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation and has three main goals: 1) recruit, retain, and transfer primarily underrepresented students in a two-year Associates degree program at Santa Fe College to Bachelor's degree programs in geosciences, 2) establish collaborations among Santa Fe College students, University of Florida faculty mentors, and Orlando Science Center informal science educators, and 3) increase interest in careers in geosciences by engaging in education and outreach. At Santa Fe College, a cohort of 9 students complete a Physical Geography course as a broad introduction to content in the Geosciences and two seminars that focus on team building, development of research and communication skills, exposure to careers in the geosciences, and transfer applications to 4-year undergraduate programs. These courses are led by Lannon. For the portion of the program involving faculty-mentored research, students select a project that centers around atmospheric science (Matyas), remote sensing and soil hydrology (Judge), or geoscience education (Stofer). This presentation includes an overview of a project developed by Matyas that helps students develop skills in spatial analysis that are common to geographers and apply them to atmospheric science research while learning about tropical cyclones and their rainfall patterns. From the cohort, six students that performed well in the courses and research with their mentors complete an internship at the Orlando Science Center (OSC) led by Lanman. While at OSC, they develop hands-on exhibits for center visitors and create professional development and lesson kits for teachers that meet Sunshine State educational standards in the geosciences.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner