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AMS Geosciences Diversity/National Dissemination Project
The National Weather Service (NWS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has, through funding from the National Science Foundation, exposed more undergraduates to the geosciences by bringing Online Weather Studies (OWS) to more institutions serving large numbers of minority students. The AMS Geosciences Diversity and National Dissemination Project has NSF support to introduce OWS to 100 minority-serving colleges and universities. This program is proving to be very successful, as 52 faculty members, representing 48 minority-serving institutions, have already joined the Diversity Project. OWS is an innovative, 12- to 15- week introductory college-level, online course on the fundamentals of atmospheric science. Current weather data are delivered via the Internet and coordinated with investigations keyed to the day’s weather. The principal innovation of OWS is that students analyze weather as it happens in near-real time – a highly motivational learning experience. The AMS Diversity Project encourages and facilitates participation in “Online Weather Studies.” Prior to an instructor’s initial offering of the course, he or she is invited to attend a workshop at the NWS Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Participants become part of a virtual community where they can share ideas and teaching strategies related to the course. Also, a mentoring program allows students to network with professional meteorologists and makes them aware of opportunities for internships, summer research, and career counseling. Participants are also invited to the educational symposium of the AMS Annual Meeting, where they attend a special diversity session and are encouraged to present a paper or poster. For additional information on this AMS diversity project, see: www.ametsoc.org/amsedu/online/info/diversity.html.


This Project is designed to provide professional development training to selected faculty representatives from ten (10) HBCU and minority institutions in teaching entry level mathematics and science courses using the conceptual framework of “Critical Thinking through Technology” (CTTT). The methodology developed by the Critical Thinking Group at Elizabeth City State University will be utilized in developing strategies for Teaching, Thinking and Promoting Intellectual Development through worldwide web (www) interactivity. All critical and scientific thinking occurs within and across disciplines and domains of knowledge and experience. It has been demonstrated that through experimentation, the critical thinking skills, that are necessary prerequisites to learn science, can be acquired. The Critical Thinking Group at ECSU has written and published a book titled “Critical Thinking through Technology in Science and Mathematics Education” in the spring of 2001. Many Institutions across the nation are using this book as a model in redesigning lesson plans, developing course materials and fostering content-driven, question-driven instructions through the use of Technology that empowers students to think their way to this knowledge and ability.

This project proposes four distinct activities:

  • A five day Leadership development workshop to be held on the campus of ECSU in (May 21, 2007 – June 1, 2007). The Work Shop Activities will be structured to:
  • Build knowledge of critical thinking and to design effective instructional strategies;
  • Develop two models of lesion plans in respective disciplines;
  • Be involve in intensive hands-on experimental learning of the foundations of critical thinking through the use of Technology;
  • Provide training in grant writing for establishing campus programs in CTTT;
  • Provide mentoring support to the participants in their respective subject areas.
  • Establishing a CTTT resource materials center at their respective institutions:
  • Creating a home page on CTTT at respective campuses
  • Providing training to the participants in the use of needed Technology for teaching, communication and dissemination of information.

More information about this project can be obtained from Dr. Ali Khan at aakhan@mail.ecsu.edu.


Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is partnering with the University of New Hampshire, Penn State University (PSU), and Dillard University (DU) in the UNH GEO-Teach project. This project is designed to capitalize on productive collaborations and strengths in research and educational programs between and among the partnering institutions. In particular, UNH and ECSU have been nurturing a close collaboration for three years that is focused on mutual interests in geospatial technologies (GST), the complementary nature of their undergraduate and graduate programs, and faculty research interests. The institutions cover a range of geographic regions and bring different institutional size, strengths and diversity to the project. The shared vision for those participating in this project is to develop a “national model,” based at universities of all sizes, to improve teaching and learning targeted at teachers within the geosciences.

It is a goal of the UNH GEO-Teach project to develop a program that reaches out to a group of teachers who are interested in enriching their backgrounds and becoming content specialist leaders in Earth system science in their districts and neighboring districts. A range of activities will be used to develop an effective program that engages these teachers in an exciting and relevant summer program that includes a research and curriculum development component. The goals and objectives for the UNH GEO-Teach designed to support teachers at various levels in their professional careers follows.

The UNH GEO-Teach Project will:

  • Develop and implement a professional development program for in-service teachers that integrate teacher content knowledge development with authentic research experiences.
  • Provides the opportunity for teams of university faculty/graduate students and middle/high school teachers to develop inquiry-based curriculum models that promote an integrated approach to Earth Science.
  • Provide infrastructure support to assist university faculty with integration of teachers and their students with existing research groups.
  • Develop and sustain a model for a teacher preparation program in Earth system science that incorporates integrated, inquiry-based coursework and research experiences.
  • Disseminate the professional development model and inquiry-based curriculum modules developed during the project.

More information about this project can be obtained from Dr. William Porter at waporter@mail.ecsu.edu.


This project focuses upon the development of a program on the geology of Mars by introducing students and teachers to Earth processes and how these processes relate to NASA’s objective of manned missions to Mars. Workshops have been development to trained teachers and encourage prospective students into becoming the next generation of Earth and space scientists. Data from MER surface rovers as well as Mars orbiters are used in the development of these workshops. The project also consists of applicable components of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) towards these goals.

Workshops cover three main topics. First, an overview of how studying Earth processes allows us to interpret the geology and topography of Mars. Future explorers will need to able to correctly identify physiographic features and essential natural resources, so this understanding is vital. Also, it is important for them realize that some physical constants we use on Earth for understanding landscape evolution and developing engineering plans will be different on Mars, most notably gravitational acceleration (3.69 m/s2 on Mars vs. 9.78 m/s2 for Earth). For an example, the shear force which affects the stability of a mass at an angle will be less than one-third as strong on Mars as on Earth.

The second topic is GIS. Just as GIS has revolutionized how we collect, manage and analyze data here on Earth, the same principles are utilized for collecting, managing and analyzing data on Mars. Remote sensing, the third topic, is relevant as it applies to both of the preceding topics. Right now the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor are providing scientific data from mars orbit while the Mars Exploration Rovers are providing scientific data from the surface. Many of the same principles used in Terrestrial RS investigations are used by the Martian probes. For more information on this project contact Dr. Thomas Rossbach at tjrossbach@mail.ecsu.edu.


The University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) in collaboration with regional two-year colleges ( New Hampshire Technical Community College and the College of the Albemarle) have developed Watershed Watch (WW) as an exciting, inquiry-based experience that will make science more accessible, authentic, and socially-relevant to 1 st and 2 nd- year undergraduates. WW is designed to recruit entry-level undeclared four-year degree students, as well as encourage enrollment of two-year degree students from local community and technical colleges into STEM majors at UNH and ECSU. In particular, we have designed WW to engage students in hands-on use of geospatial technologies (GST) in an integrated, multidisciplinary study of two very different watersheds: the Merrimack in NH and the Pasquotank in NC. The WW has incorporated: 1) the lessons learned from previous inquiry-based projects (Forest Watch, Project SMART, and Project Lake Watch) at UNH; 2) the expertise in working with entry-level undergraduates at the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing and Research (CERSER – http://cerser.ecsu.edu/) at ECSU; 3) the research expertise in GST at both UNH and ECSU; 4) an exceptional faculty selected on the basis of their commitment to innovative teaching methods, integration of scientific disciplines, and an embracement of diversity; and 5) the expertise in curriculum development and assessment of the UNH Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education http://www/leitzelcenter.unh.edu). This partnership between UNH and ECSU, based on a unique combination of expertise, mentoring skills, and faculty research, will form the basis for development of an effective model to increase STEM majors for national dissemination in Years 4 and 5.


MSEIP Project Gateway
The purpose of this program is to improve retention and graduate rates of all STEM students through enhancing science courses using a variety of learning strategies. One strategy involves the use of critical thinking and problem-based learning to study the Albemarle Watershed in northeastern North Carolina/southeast Virginia. For more information on this project contact Dr. Anne Garland at awhgarland@yahoo.com.

ECSU Burroughs Wellcome Program
Dr. William Porter, Principal Investigator
Campus Box 975, ECSU 27909     Room 409 J.R. Jenkins Science Center
(252) 335-3378    fax (252) 335-3465