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Course on cross-scale observations and experimentation

Education Achievements

Course on cross-scale observations and experimentation

During Fall 2012, we held the first IGERT course on cross-scale observations and experimentation (CSS 6720). The course covered biogeochemistry of soil organic matter and nutrients, fluxes in soils and waterways, carbon and nutrient cycles in vegetation, as well as large-scale observations through remote sensing. The course focused on hands-on experience with methods. The course included four modules: (1) lectures, (2) presentations by students on different biogeochemical methods (C-14 bomb carbon, stable isotopes, rare element cycles etc), (3) development of a proposal to assess biogeochemical cycles, and (4) execution of a field measurement program, sample analyses, and presentation of results in a poster symposium. Students were able to conduct a full research project from inception of an idea through to presentation of results. This experiential learning approach leveraged critical thinking, creative experimentation and effective teamwork for a successful research process.