First Year Natural Science Students at UAS Get Hands-on Field Experience
First year students enrolled in introductory biology will have the opportunity to learn about the research questions that motivate their professors and will use modern equipment and methods to answer those questions.
Date of Press Release: September 12, 2019
First year natural science students are getting hands-on learning experiences in the field while they learn academic skills and get to know their professors in an informal setting. A new course "Experiential learning: ecology of Southeast Alaska" being offered for the second fall in a row at UAS provides first year students enrolled in introductory biology with the opportunity to learn about the research questions that motivate their professors and how to use modern equipment and methods to collect data to answer those questions.
Each weekend students have the opportunity to discuss science and to collect data with faculty who are actively pursuing research questions in marine biology and environmental sciences. Activities include operating a salmon weir, measuring flatfish body condition, quantifying physical and biological characteristics of the ocean, characterizing stream flow, conducting surveys with GPS, and using time lapse photography to observe changes in glaciers. In addition, students learn academic and study skills that will help them succeed as science students and in science careers. This combination of active learning and skill building increases student success and engagement in career development.
Molly Ekstrom, a second year student from Yakutat who took this class in fall 2018 said, “This course was a great way to meet some of the faculty at UAS. It can be really intimidating to meet new professors and get used to class structure at college versus in high school, especially for those of us who grew up in rural or small communities where we know everyone. This course let us meet our instructors in a relaxed environment that was really enjoyable. It also exposed us to some of the research that is happening here at UAS. As a first year student, I think this was really important to me. I knew I wanted to be involved in college research but I didn't know how to get there, because of this class I was able to get an internship my first semester of college which has developed into an independent research project, which has opened a lot of doors for me. In addition, this class allowed me to meet some of my peers and form friendships with them that I might not have otherwise had. We provided a lot of academic support for each other throughout the first year.”
Learn more Biology and Marine Biology degree programs, along with other areas of study at UAS or call (907) 796-6100 to speak with an advisor.
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University of Alaska Southeast