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This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology
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Our efforts in creating and sustaining environmental awareness, interest in undergraduate research, and community impact have already been successful. In summary, feedback from Environmental Psychology assessments indicate that this course yielded: (1) an understanding that different disciplines can come together to work on a problem; (2) greater realization of the current environmental issues that face our planet (locally and globally); and (3) the belief that working with community members can enhance a learning experience. Still, improvements have been slated for the newer rendition of this course, as it will be revamped to complement the Watershed Ecology Course. Environmental Psychology will be renamed Watershed Citizenship (now you go back to the course descriptions – this needs to be merged with the aforementioned course descriptions), and will more directly focus on watershed issues; specifically those related to the Valley Creek Watershed, thus creating a more deliberate connection between the courses (RUN-ON?). More reflective activities supported by teaching technologies, including the integration of instant student response technology (also known as "clickers") and student-maintained weblogs, will be incorporated (Braun, 2004). Likewise, more frequent visits to the watershed/creek site will be planned throughout the course of the semester so as to embed the students' understanding of the environmental issues at hand within the literal environment, as the out-of-classroom experience adds to the transference of knowledge to real-world applications (REF?). We plan to coordinate several of these visits with local residents in order to avoid students perceiving the watershed as detached from those who live around it, as well as to empathize with local residents and see their points of view as those who are immediately affected by watershed issues. Students will also be more heavily involved in Valley Creek Restoration Project (VCRP) community meetings so as to sustain more contact with local residents through educational forums and community-sponsored events. We intend to hold the course during the same time that VCRP meetings take place so that our students may more readily get involved with the community’s own initiatives (IS THIS SECOND HALF OF THIS SENTENCE DEPENDENT ON THE FIRST?) and begin to live the life of an environmental steward. In addition to the end-of-term summative assessments surveying students’ community-based research experiences and attitudes, throughout the term, formative assessments will take place targeted at the assessment of students’developing skills of reflection (IS REFLECTION A DEVELOPMENTAL SKILL?) and gauging students’ understanding of the interdisciplinarity of environmental problems. Once again, activities will be focused on how students and communities can come together to have a positive impact working collaboratively to foster change
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