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Table of Contents

As Big As All Outdoors

Turn Left in Bismarck, and Go Until…

Granting Research

Rocking Our World

Relax! We Have New Labs for That

Fieldwork Across the Curriculum:
Update on ISEI

The World of Science

Laurentian Reviews

Letter from James Costopoulos '83

Lifelong Learning
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Alumni Accomplishments

Table of Contents

Fieldwork Across the Curriculum:
Update on ISEI

Faculty in biology, chemistry, geology, environmental studies, mathematics, psychology and education launched the Integrated Science Education Initiative (ISEI), a comprehensive project aimed at providing increased opportunities for interdisciplinary field-based science education, in 1998. ISEI began formally in Fall 2000, allowing faculty and students to develop a series of geographically referenced field science sites for ongoing study and data collection, and install permanent monitoring equipment at selected points. Data collected will eventually form a long-term, multidisciplinary Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database that will represent the collection and study of a wide variety of conditions, ecosystems and habitats over time.

ISEI fieldwork is conducted largely on the Kip Tract, a 76-acre swath of mixed forest, wetlands and riparian environments adjacent to campus. The curriculum includes a watershed project under the direction of Associate Professor of Biology Brad Baldwin, in which students ask, “How is precipitation chemistry altered as (precipitation) passes through the forest canopy?”; a paleoecology project (Chapin Professor of Geology Mark Erickson; “Can you tell the past ecology of the Kip Tract from the fossil record?”); and a biodiversity project (Fippinger Assistant Professor of Biology Erika Barthelmess; “What kinds of organisms inhabit the Kip Tract, and what factors influence their distribution?”). Pedagogically, its goals are to give students exposure to real-world science, and to create a natural history database in the Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) in Launders Library.
“The value of these projects is that they are integrated across the curriculum,” said Barthelmess in a presentation on campus in November 2002. Projects ranged from the use of GIS technology, to home range size in the North American porcupine, to bird nesting patterns.

Nor is all of this limited to people in the sciences. Science Librarian Eric Williams-Bergen ’91 points out that anthropology, economics, environmental studies, history, the First-Year Program, global studies, religious studies and sociology have all used GIS through the SAL.
And then there’s the Wachtmeister Field Station. Because the proposed location, just across the Little River Bridge from the campus proper, is a designated wetland, considerable site preparation and permitting is mandated—and even this has become a learning opportunity, as students, with the aid of a wetlands research grant funded through a local business, performed a site study for the Army Corps of Engineers. Target completion date for the field station is this coming August, in time for the 2003-04 academic year.