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2009 Workshop

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Faculty Development Workshop

Using Continental-scale Data to Teach Undergraduate Ecology

Workshop Dates:

Sunday, August 2, 2009: 8:00 AM-4:30 PM


94th ESA Annual Meeting Albuquerque, NM


ESA offered an all-day Sunday workshop at the 2009 ESA Annual Meeting to help prepare the ecology education community for the use of National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) data in undergraduate classrooms. This workshop was a continuation of the effort begun with last year’s NSF-funded faculty development workshop in Washington DC. Similar to the 2008 workshop, faculty explored classroom uses of existing continental-scale data and focused on currently available datasets.

Session Abstract:

WK 5 – Using Continental Scale Data to Teach Undergraduate Ecology
In the future, data from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will be an important resource for faculty to use to teach ecology at spatial and temporal scales that are not possible through traditional field experiences. In the present, datasets from existing continental-scale networks are similar to the kinds of data expected to be available from NEON. Participants in this workshop will explore classroom uses of existing continental-scale data, focusing on data currently available through the EcoTrends network. EcoTrends includes over 10,000 datasets from Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites, USDA, and other state and federal agencies. The workshop will focus on guided discussion of how participants can use the data in classroom exercises to address four key ecological challenges (biodiversity, biogeochemistry, climate change, and ecohydrology). Preceding the August Workshop, there will be an introductory webinar on Wednesday, July 8 (2-4 PM EST) to familiarize participants with continental-scale ecology and the datasets that will be used during the workshop. Participants will complete a data exploration “homework” assignment between the July webinar and the August workshop. Registration for this workshop will close when it reaches capacity OR on July 1 so that all participants are registered in time to attend the July 8 webinar. This workshop includes lunch on Sunday, August 2.

Planning Team Members:

Jennifer Riem, Ecological Society of America
Bruce W. Grant, Widener University
Christine Laney, New Mexico State University
Brian Wee, NEON, Inc.
Wendy Gram, NEON, Inc.

Faculty Facilitators:

Ecohydrology & Biogeochemistry
Alex Acholonu, Alcorn State University
Maifan Silitonga, Alcorn State University
Mary McKenna, Howard University
Climate Change
Safwat Shakir, Prairie View A&M University



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