Opportunity to Pilot Virtual Field Learning Resources

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the urgent need for ecology and environmental science instructors and faculty to offer virtual field learning, 50+ field stations and marine laboratories are working together with RAPID funding from NSF to create cross-site virtual field experiences that help instructors teach field observation and research skills to university students.

UFERN is partnering on this effort. 

We are seeking six to ten faculty/instructors who are teaching virtually this summer to help pilot two cross-site virtual field learning resources:

1.    Cross-site ecosystem exploration videos that help students develop observational skills. Students watch 3-min videos comparing multiple marine, terrestrial and freshwater habitats and take field notes comparing species relationships, adaptations, habitat structure, formative processes and human-environment interactions.  

2.    A live-streaming event with researchers at 3 field sites talking with students about multi-disciplinary approaches to field research.

 The time obligation is:

  •  talk with us (15 min)
  • view six 3-min ecosystem videos and provide feedback (1 hour)
  • assign students to use virtual resources during your summer course:  
    • self-directed exercise to discover similarities and differences among habitats (1-hour student assignment)
    • field research-in-practice live streaming event with researchers at 3 field sites (1.5-hour student assignment) 
  • give feedback on the educational value of assignments (30 min)  

Your involvement will contribute to the development of meaningful virtual field learning resources available to you and field educators across the country as well as help develop a broader vision of learning opportunities at field stations and marine labs for the future. We thank your for your consideration of our request! If you are interested to help pilot these virtual field learning resources, please contact: Claudia Luke, Director Center for Environmental Inquiry, Sonoma State University. Deadline to express interest is June 10th, 2020.

ESA’s Weekly Water Cooler Chat

Join us today for ESA’s Weekly Water Cooler Chat
Last week, we talked about virtual field trips — this week, we’re on to assessing online learning. How will it differ from what you’ve done before? In what ways are your assessments the same? How do your assessments reflect meaningful and inclusive pedagogical practices? Join this week’s Water Cooler Chat host, Kaitlin Stack Whitney, Rochester Institute of Technology, ESA Education Scholar, and Peer Mentor of ESA’s current Data Access (Inclusive Pedagogy) Spring Faculty Mentoring Network for engaging conversation with your favorite beverage as your plan for finals.
Friday, April 10, 4:00 PM ET

Virtually Field Tripping – What Works?

We had a record-breaking 221 people tune in to our webinar on virtual field trips on April 9th! If you were unable to attend but are still interested, check out the recording of the webinar here to listen to Drs. Ben Kennedy and Jonathan Davidson speak about virtual field trips.

UFERN 2019 Annual Meeting

Meeting participants

Our second annual network meeting was a success! There were many new faces in attendance, great networking and professional exchange, and the formation of new project ideas to move the field forward. A majority of participants responded in a survey that UFERN colleagues pushed their thinking. Project groups ended the final workday with more clarity and motivated to stay involved. As a result, we now have some exciting projects in the works!

What words did participants use to define what UFERN is about?

Graphic of words used to describe UFERN

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UFERN webinar series

To build community learning and involvement, UFERN will host a series of monthly interactive webinars between May 2018 and April 2019. We will invite speakers and panels of speakers who can help us address topics relevant to our network goals. The webinars will also serve as a forum for working groups to share results of their work and integrate across topics with the network. Please join our mailing list to get more information about the webinar series.

Follow the links to view webinar recordings and references.

Dr. Susan Singer, Provost and VP Academic Affairs at Rollins College

Undergraduate field experiences: Challenges and opportunities”

April 26th @ 8:00 am PST