From Earlham Cluster Department
1) Cover Page
- Enter prose or upload finished MS Word (tm) document here.
2) Project Abstract
- 150 word limit.
Earlham College requests $358,877 to develop multidisciplinary science curriculum modules and student/faculty research projects focusing on a common core problem: metals in the environment. This project will emphasize collaboration among our natural science departments, including biology, chemistry, computer science, geosciences, mathematics, and environmental science. Scientific research is becoming increasingly multidisciplinary, collaborative, and computational. Therefore, it is essential to train our students to develop multi-faceted approaches to problem solving that use both traditional laboratory techniques and computational methods. This project will introduce an important scientific problem (metals in the environment), ask students to collect and analyze data, and to make interpretations using different disciplinary perspectives. This idea of collaborative multidisciplinary learning will transform our undergraduate curriculum in the sciences and provide a model for programs among the sciences at other liberal arts colleges.
3) Project Narrative
- Maximum of 25 pages conforming to the following requirements:
- 8.5" by 11" paper
- Single spaced with all margins measuring at least 1"
- At least 12 point font in Times New Roman
- No more than 6 lines of type within a vertical space of 1"
- Proposals that do not comply with these requirements will not be accepted
- Question: 25 pages for the project narrative section or the whole application?
- Define module - thematic unit with specific learning objectives
1)Statement of the work to be undertaken and expected significance.
One important objective of scientific research applied to the environment is to determine the extent, the magnitude and the timing of adverse human impacts upon natural systems. In the past decades, major research efforts have addressed such problems and have led to both enhanced media attention as well as a groundswell of students who are interested in solving environmental problems. Science courses at the undergraduate level can capture student interest by explicity focusing on environmental problems.
One of the traditional difficulties in science education is teaching scientific content in a way that builds a strong understanding of the mechanisms of scientific inquiry. A large proportion of existing survey courses, often targeted at fulfilling institutional science requirements, introduce a large amount of content and require low levels of critical thought. Upper level courses more commonly focus on higher orders of problem-solving but are almost always discipline-specific and lack clear multidisciplinary links.
In this proposal, we reformulate the model of undergraduate science. In lower-division classes, we emphasize the mechanisms by which scientific knowledge is acquired in an environmental context, thus reinforcing student interest in environmental problems and teaching them the methods of authentic scientific inquiry. In upper-division courses, we will focus on the multidisciplinary aspect of modern science, by exposing students to the many different disciplinary lenses through which to view scientific problems.
2)Objectives/goals for the proposed work.
Major goals for this proposed work include:
- Bridging the gap for students between scientific research and science education by incorporating research modules into several lower and upper division courses
- Increasing student and faculty understanding of multidisciplinary use of field, laboratory, and computational methods to solve a particular problem
- Conducting an extensive study of the fate, transport and toxicity of metals in our local watershed
- Encouraging student interest in the sciences
- Expanding EarlhamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Environmental Sciences program by incorporating the study of environmental issues into the core courses of several disciplines
- Developing a workshop to teach faculty at other liberal arts colleges how to incorporate multidisciplinary research modules into their science courses
3)Project timeline keyed to the objectives/goals.
The implementation of this project begins with the development of the instrumentation and computer interfacing necessary to monitor field sites as well as the development of the first sets of curriculum modules to be integrated into both lower and upper division science courses. It continues with the development and implementation of the remainder of the proposed curricular modules and ends with plans to conduct a faculty development workshop to disseminate the process and content of developing integrated multidisciplinary research modules with a computational modeling component as well as the evaluation of the project.
Add David's notes to the timeline
- Development of instrumentation and interfacing for field monitoring equipment
- Development of General Chemistry module
- Development of Equilibrium and Analysis (Analytical Chemistry), Physical Geology, Cell Physiology and Ecological Biology course modules
- Deployment of field monitoring equipment
- Implementation of General Chemistry, Ecological Biology, and Physical Geology course modules
- Development of Parallel and Distributed Computing and Hydrogeology course modules
- Implementation of Equilibrium and Analysis, Hydrogeology, and Parallel and Distributed Computing course modules
- Formative Evaluation
- Development of course modules for Environmental Chemistry, Geochemistry, Geophysics, In Silico (computational modeling course geared toward first year students), and Cell Physiology
- Refinement of existing course modules
- Implementation of In Silico and Cell Physiology course modules
- Implementation of Environmental Chemistry, Geochemistry, and Geophysics course modules
- Dissemination (workshop presentation)
- Evaluation and writing of the final report
QUESTIONS: 1. WHERE DOES STATISTICS AND ENVIRONMENTAL MODELING GO? Mic 2. WHEN WILL THE POSTER SESSION AND THE COURSE/LECTURE/SEMINAR/COLLOQUIUM WHICH IS FACULTY/STUDENT LED BE IMPLEMENTED 3. WE ASSIGNED PROBABLE IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION DATES FOR THE BIO COURSES WITHOUT INPUT FROM BIOLOGY. DO THOSE ABOVE MAKE SENSE?
4)Relation of the objectives to:
- the present state of knowledge in the field
- Multi-disciplinary, computational, science pedagogy
- Text from 3 page version (Mike and others)
The development of multidisciplinary curriculum modules and research projects that incorporate computational methods to study an environmental problem of local significance is the fundamental goal of this proposal. There have been repeated calls for both multidisciplinary collaborative education and research as well as the incorporation of computational methods within the curriculum of other science disciplines. In 2005, PITAC called for funding agencies and educational institutions to Ã¢â‚¬Å“make coordinated fundamental changes to their research and education structures to promote and reward collaborative approaches essential to computational scienceÃ¢â‚¬Â. Both the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Facilitating Interdisciplinary ResearchÃ¢â‚¬Â and BIO2010 reports stress the need to have interrelated science curricula and research.
- work in progress by the project personnel under other support
There has been a long tradition of Earlham science faculty involvement in multidisciplinary and computational student/faculty research. Additionally many of our science faculty have worked with local environmental issues. In the last 20 years, faculty members in biology, geology and chemistry have been engaged in studies ranging from atmospheric measurements of mercury and aquatic ecosystem studies at the college's Dewar Lake Biological Research Station to determination of metal contamination in lake sediments. Across our science curriculum, a strong emphasis is placed on quantitative, analytical and research-based projects. Many of our research projects engage our student/faculty teams in multidisciplinary efforts; currently, our computer science faculty and students work with both biologists and chemists on computational projects. e.g. computational phylogenetic reconstruction and molecular dynamics simulations. For many years, our biology and chemistry departments have collaborated on a variety of research and curriculum projects, e.g. determination of atrazine concentration from agricultural runoff in local water sources and its effect on the physiological development of aquatic species.
What specifically can we reference here?
- Ron and Springwood Lake data
- Charlie and NCSI workshops
- Charlie and Folding@Home?
- work in progress at other institutions
Many institutions have recognized the need for innovative approaches to science education at the undergraduate level. Carleton College has established an Interdisciplinary Science and Math Initiative (CISMI) aimed at integrating the physical sciences and mathematics in undergraduate courses and research projects. Our proposed project shares a similar mission to the Carleton program; however, one significant difference in our program is the emphasis on computational science methods throughout the curriculum. In addition, our curriculum modules focus on inquiry in disciplinary-specific courses, especially at the introductory level. Trinity University is also focused on interdisciplinary faculty and student research as well as interdisciplinary curricular development with their recently funded Keck Center for Macromolecular Studies; however, TrinityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s program has a major focus on the integration of biology and chemistry, while our proposed program uses biology, chemistry, geosciences, mathematical, and computational science methods to explore environmental problems. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania has implemented an Interdisciplinary Watershed Research Laboratory for field-based environmental laboratories. This project is similar in scope to our proposed project, but primarily integrates biology and geography/earth science, while we are proposing to involve more disciplinary perspectives.
- PITAC, Bio 2010, Dan Atkins, and other science education stuff (Meg)
- EPA metal requirements and research directions (Ron)
5)Concise description of methods and procedures for implementation and experimentation.
- Overview goes here
- Either by department or as a whole describe the summer research activities. Some of this is course module development and some "real" research. Developing local soil models, database (post grant).
- Each courses' plan goes below. We need to show linkages between each of these courses where possible, both intra and inter departmental.
NOTE: Corinne and I are both working on this right now, so it will change some, but I wanted to post what we had so far.
Throughout our projects, site-specific data will be collected and models will be used to assess the fate and transport of metal contaminants.
We propose to incorporate a new environmental chemistry component in our general chemistry class (CHEM 111, typical enrollment of 90). This unit will introduce students to fate and transport modeling by measuring the distribution coefficient, Kd, which is a common parameter used to estimate the concentration and movement of metal pollutants in ground water. Kd is a measure of the extent of interactions between a pollutant and the soil matrix. A distribution coefficient for copper has previously been measured in a standardized soil material1, and the procedure can be adapted to soils collected from our study sites. The module will be conducted over two laboratory periods. The first week will consist of a spectroscopy lab, where the students will be introduced to atomic and molecular absorption spectroscopy for the determination of the metal concentration in water, and to infrared spectroscopy for the characterization of the soil. In the second week, students will use atomic spectroscopy to determine Kd of a metal (copper in year 1, and additional metals in subsequent years) in both standard soils, as well as soils collected from both our field and test sites. The distribution coefficient for metal contaminants varies greatly with experimental conditions, both of the soil and the aqueous system (pH, ionic strength, concentrations of pollutants, etc.). This variability will be illustrated by looking at the effect of pH on Kd for the soils investigated. The results will be used to discuss such environmental issues as acid rain and metal mobilization. The soil Kd results will be integrated in a database for use in transport modeling, and could be further studied by groups of student as a part of the research projects in the Equilibrium and Analysis class (CHEM 331).
Equilibrium and Analysis (CHEM 331) is a sophomore level course with an approximate enrollment of 25 students per year. The Kd concept will be further explored by the entire class through the use of a new laboratory module. There, the students will use diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) and diffusive equilibrium in thin films (DET) to calculate the distribution coefficient for labile metal (Kdl) as well as the kinetic values. These values will be used in the DIFS.
DET is a technique where metals are accumulated on an ion exchange resin which is covered with a thin layer of an agarose polymer. The purpose of the ion exchange resin is to concentrate the trace metals present in the water, while the agarose polymer (which has fairly large pores) is used to prevent contamination of the resin with soil or other materials. The metals are then eluted from the resin using a nitric acid solution and analyzed using either graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GFAAS) or inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) depending on the metal.
DGT is a similar technique but the ion exchange resin is covered with a thin layer of polyacrylamide. This polymer has smaller pores than agarose and serves as a size discriminator. Thus only Ã¢â‚¬Å“freeÃ¢â‚¬Â metals and metals in small molecular weight complexes are able to penetrate this polymer and reach the ion exchange resin. As a result, the DGT bound metals are known as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“labileÃ¢â‚¬Â metals and represent more closely the bioavailable metals.
These two methods will be utilized to test three different systems: a laboratory system with known soil samples, our field site soil/water, and soil/water from our remote site (Springwood Lake). These soil/water systems can be tested both for endogenous metals as well as spiked laboratory samples.
This experiment will be done over three lab periods. During the first lab period, the students will set up the soil/water system with the DGT and DET devices and allow to incubate for two different time periods. The first set will be removed at the end of the lab period (three hour incubation), the second set will be removed during the second lab period (72 hour incubation). Also during this first lab period, students will be introduced to the trace metal analysis equipment (GFAAS and ICP-AES) and will prepare and analyze standards. During the second lab period, students will elute the devices and analyze them using the appropriate method. During the third lab period, the students will utilize the DIFS modeling program to look at the data. The different soil samples will be compared.
The results of these tests will be used to build a DIFS model that will fit the data. This can then be .......
These Kdl values will also be compared to the simple Kd values obtained in the Principles of Chemistry course. This will demonstrate the power both of these sophisticated methods as well as the computational modeling......
The environmental chemistry and toxicology course is a new course that will be introduced in the spring of 2007. This course will be an upper level chemistry course with a prerequisite of equilibrium and analysis. The expected enrollment will be 10-15 students.
There will be two modules developed for this course. This first module involves the use of ORCHESTRA to construct a model for metal transport in both our field and remote sampling sites. A model similar to that of Lumsdon (2004) will be constructed that utilizes both humic acid binding and as well as mineral processes. In order to build this model, students will need to determine several important parameters including pH and the concentrations of humic and fulvic acids, hydrous ferric oxide, and reactive Al.
A second module will involve the use of both microbiological specimens and model organisms to construct a biotic ligand model. As with the Equilibrium and Analysis course, there will be three test systems for these tests. The use of microbiological samples to test for metal bioavailability has recently become more common. In our experiment, we will utilize the bacteria Vibrio Fisheri, which is a bioluminescent bacteria. In the simplest form of this assay, bacteria are placed in a soil/water mixture to incubate for a short period of time (30 minutes). The amount of light (indicative of cellular respiration in these bacteria) is measure before and after incubation. The decrease in light emissions represents the toxicity. Toxicity curves can be constructed and LC50 values obtained. This is a good test for acute toxicity due to high concentrations of toxic metals. Several modifications of this test will allow for the measurement of chronic metal exposure using lower metal concentrations (more relevant to typical environmental concentrations) and to direct solid soil exposure.
A second bioassay will involve the use of a model organism, Daphnia Magna. Daphnia Magna, also called water fleas, are crustaceans that have been used in many studies of environmental toxicity. These are easy to handle and grow as well as being inexpensive. Using these organisms, students will first construct toxicity curves for known metals as well as metal mixtures. These studies will then be repeated using water/soil mixtures from the three systems described above. These will be used to build a biotic ligand model for our systems and Daphnia and could predict the toxicity at various levels. In addition to the toxicity data above, it will be necessary to measure temperature, pH, dissolved organic carbon, alkalinity, as well as major cations (Ca, Mg, Na and K), major anions (SO42- and Cl-), , and sulfide concentrations.
Biotic ligand modeling will be done using.............
The results of these bioassays will be compared to the results from the DGT studies done by the Equilibrium and Analysis students. Students will be able to see if the DGT accurately predicts the bioavailability (and thus toxicity) of metals in the soil/water mixtures.
In EcoBio one lab of sampling back-campus study plot. Summer sampling?
Metal analysis could also be done during the summer in Chemistry.
Sounds like John catches them, David slices them (with the Popeel pocket fisherman), and Mike will tell us what it is.
Cell Phys - David's dog ate his write-up... fish red blood cells, shocking with succesively higher concentrations of metals. Interfaces with other courses to add additional variables (pH, cations (calcium, etc), anions (sulphates, etc), redox state, etc), multi-variable statistical analysis
Sample the aquatic biota (macropthytes and animals) of Springwood Park Lake in order to 1) describe and quantify the food chains; 2) evaluate the extent of bioaccumulation of metals by those organisms; and 3) assess the rates of biomagnification occuring in higher trophic levels.
Methods: We plan a full inventory of the biota of Springwood Park Lake: Plants will be sampled manually; invertebrates by plankton tows, nets, and dredges; and vertebrates by seine or fyke nets. We will use mark-recapture studies (using injection of passive integrated transponders [PIT tags]) to estimate population sizes and standing crop biomass of macrovertebrates (fish and turtles). Gut content analysis (by dissection for invertebrates, and non-destructive stomach flushing of vertebrates) will be used to determine food chains. Tissue samples (non-destructive whenever possible) will be analyzed in the laboratory for metal concentrations and these values will be related to the trophic ecology of individual species. We would also do sampling of tissues of these same organisms in other county lakes as reference values for these general region.
Course Module-GEOS211 Physical Geology (this is approximately one page of single-spaced text in MS Word)
Physical Geology at Earlham is an introductory-level course that is taken by both science and non-science majors. Students in this course who are non-science majors generally lack confidence in their ability to Ã¢â‚¬Å“doÃ¢â‚¬Â science and have had little to no exposure to an inquiry-based science classroom. In this course module, students will apply fundamental geologic methods of analysis to an environmental project. By the end of this module, students will be able to:
Use web-based GIS to display and organize data relevant to the characterization of the project site.
Use field and laboratory observations to describe the geology of the project site.
Organize and analyze geochemical data to display the concentration distribution of heavy metals in lake bottom sediments at the project site.
Establish a chronology of heavy metal loading to the project basin via interpretation of heavy metal stratigraphy.
Create a scientific report synthesizing the results of the project and suggesting areas for further study.
Upon completion of the project, selected students will present results to other introductory-level students participating in courses with applied modules. All students will then be required to write a report describing the different approaches and results each of these courses takes in studying this environmental problem. (may be revised based on how we decide to structure our multidisciplinary efforts)
This module will use the final four laboratory sessions in Physical Geology. Students will have a basic background in geology and will be able to apply that knowledge to the local area. Each laboratory section has a maximum of twenty-two students, with one professor and one upper-level undergraduate teaching assistant.
Week One: Readings and worksheets will focus on the general problem of metals in the environment with emphasis on lake sediments as pollutant archives. Readings will be keyed to discussions of the hydrologic cycle with an emphasis placed on the connection between groundwater flow and subsurface geology. Students will begin to learn how to use web-based GIS to create displays of the study area.
Week Two: Field trip to the project site. Students will examine the geology and hydrology of the project site (Springwood Lake) and participate in a demonstration of sampling a sediment core from the lake.
Week Three: In teams, students will observe and describe a suite of sediment cores to determine terms of sediment composition, texture, color, sorting, fabric and sedimentological characteristics.
Week Four: Students will be given geochemical data keyed to the cores described in Week Three (geochemical data will have been collected by upper-level geochemistry students or will have been collected as part of a summer research project). Students will be required to plot and analyze this data and make interpretations about the concentrations of heavy metals in Springwood Lake over time as a result of their analysis. Students will then write a full scientific report of this project and share the results with other introductory-level science students working on different aspects of this project.
Upper-Level Course Module: GEOS 362 Hydrogeology
Hydrogeology at Earlham is taught with an emphasis on practical application of theoretical concepts. Two course modules will be developed for hydrogeology; one each for each of the project sites. These course modules will enrich student comprehension of the significance of ground water/surface water interaction in the vicinity of the project sites and will develop student capabilities for collecting, analyzing, displaying and interpreting ground water data. At the conclusion of these modules students will be able to:
Prepare geologic and hydrostratigraphic unit cross-sections from well-boring data.
Collect, tabulate and display ground water elevation data.
Prepare snapshot maps of potentiometric surfaces.
Develop data model and entry/display interface for the local data will be accumulating.
In parallel and distributed programming do protein folding in the presence of metals (David and Mike).
Links to Green Science and HIP, experience with developing data models and deploying interactive, graphical, interfaces.
Math 120, Elementary Statistics, is a general education course taught each semester in which students are introduced to the key notions of statistics: descriptive statistics and inference testing. We would make use of the data sets in teaching students how to do typical tasks of descriptive statistics: measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, and construction and interpretation of graphical displays of statistical information (univariate and bivariate data). Data sets from Springwood Lake and our back-campus field site would help students grasp the differences in origin and potential uses between observational and experimental data. Probably the greatest advantage of using this data is that it would be real to the students. They would know the sites (and potentially the historical context of those sites) where the data was collected, and the students involved in the collection and experimental designs.
Math 300, Statistics, is a calculus-based introductory course which we teach every other fall semester. We would make similar use of read data sets as for Math 120.
EnPr 242, Environmental Models, is taught each fall and is required for all students who are earning a major or a minor in either environmental science or environmental studies. This course is taught by a mathematics professor and includes coverage of applications involving biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, and mathematics. One of the topics is the chemistry of hazardous materials, and "metals in the environment" data from our local area would be quite. (Mike, I will continue to think about it, but I'm having a hard time seeing the connection with this course -- we don't do any statistics in it. We work on interpolation and analysis of spatial data sets for a little while, as well as considering how pollution spreads in the groundwater (not streams) and in the air. That might be a place to use some of the data. We do some population viability work, but I don't see how the metals data will apply to that.)
6) Technical problems that may be encountered and how they will be addressed.
Two aspects, multi-disciplinary, computational, pedagogy and then all the science. Almost all of the individual pieces have been deployed elsewhere, we are adapting and refining them...
7) Roles of all key project personnel.
Each of us needs to provide our own prose here.
Michael Deibel - As part of this project, Dr. M. Deibel will help develop course modules for environmental chemistry and equilibrium and analysis. In addition, he will conduct independent research with students to analyze water, soil and biological samples for various metals.
8) Organization chart of key project personnel.
9) Description of facilities, equipment and resources available for the project.
The science complex at Earlham consists of three interconnected buildings, Dennis Hall (Computer Science, Geology, Physics, and Mathematics), Noyes Hall (Science Library, large computer lab) and Stanley Hall (Biology and Chemistry) with a net square footage of 76,000. .
The laboratory portion of the chemistry modules will utilize two laboratories (one for general chemistry/equilibrium and analysis and a separate lab for environmental chemistry). These labs have a total square footage of 2950 (1719 for gen chem, 1230 for p chem) and a combined total of 11 hoods and each lab has benchspace for approximately 20 students.
Analysis of metals will be conducted on two separate instruments: an inductively coupled atomic emission spectrometer (ICP-AES) and a combination flame/graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer (GFAAS). The ICP-AES (Perkin Elmer Optima 4100DV) is a dual view, multielement analyzer capable of analyzing up to 50 elements in under a minute. We have also recently installed an ultrasonic nebulizer (CETAC U-5000-AT), which will increase our sensitivity by a factor of 10. The GFAAS (Perkin Elmer AAnalyst 800) is a state of the art transverse heated graphite tube system with Zeeman background correction. This instrument will be utilized in GFAAS mode to analyze metals when the detection limits of ICP-AES are insufficient for the levels present in our samples. It will be utilized in flame mode when analyzing major elements such as calcium or magnesium. Both instruments are fully automated (allowing the analysis to continue even after the 3 hour lab has ended) and utilize the same software platform (which will simplify student training).
Prior to analysis by the methods listed above, solid samples must be converted into a homogenous aqueous form. Our current microwave digestion system (CEM MDS-2000) has both temperature and pressure control and will be useful in method development for digestion protocols. It is, however, limited in sample throughput to 12 vessels.
10) Equipment requests should:
- Describe comparable equipment already at the institution and explain why it cannot be used.
- Explain if the new equipment will be available to support other efforts and how time will be allocated on it.
- Describe plans for facility operations and maintenance.
Large freeze dryer Ã¢â‚¬â€œ There is currently one small freeze-dryer that would be available for this project. Given the large number of soil, plant, and biological samples that will be processed for this project, there is a need for a high capacity freeze dryer. The model we have requested will include bulk drying trays and a large capacity.
Acid digestion system - There is currently one microwave digestion system. Digestion of solid samples will likely be one of the bottlenecks in the analysis of samples by our atomic spectroscopy equipment. The instrument that we propose to purchase will be a CEM MARSxpress system with a high throughput capacity (40 sample tray).
Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAnalyst 800) and Spectroscopy supplies. Recently we have purchased an AAnalyst 800 combination graphite furnace and flame atomic absorption spectromter. We will need to purchase additional lamps and other supplies to utilize this instrument for the wide array of metals that we propose to analyze.
Semi-automated Total Organic Content Analyzer - for the more sophistocated fate and transport models as well as the biotic ligand model, it is imperative to know the dissolved organic content. We do not currently have this capability.
Field monitoring eqpmnt (Temperature, pH (digital), conductivity, redox (reduction oxidation potential), pressure transducer, nitrate selective probe, computer, packaging, and communications)
Field Sampling Kits (Lake sediment cores to 2 m, Shelby soil cores, Monitoring wells (one time install), Drawing equipment)
Biology sampling gear (Nets (ten 50Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ fyke nets @ $300 each; Nichols Net and Twine), Containers: Rubbermaid fiberclass stackable tubs (10 @ $30), Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags (250 @$7) and reader (InfoPet))
11) Plans for this project beyond the proposed time period, including financial support.
We request that WMKF, with institutional support from the College, fund this pilot project. The College has committed $167,049 in resources as start-up funding. We are embarking on a capital campaign that includes a goal of building a $3 million endowment for science faculty/student research. We believe that a WMKF investment will serve as a catalyst for major gifts from alumni, friends, corporations and other foundations.
12) Describe how the success of the project will be evaluated in terms of the goals proposed. Include information regarding outside review committees, if appropriate.
- Evaluation Team: We have identified several possible sources of both internal and external evaluation. Internal evaluations may be conducted by one or more members of the project or other faculty and staff within the science division who are not directly involved in developing or using these curricular modules. External evaluators may be drawn from program assessors who have worked previously with Earlham College or from organizations which provide consultancy services such as the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). CUR can provide program evaluation sensitive to issues at predominantly undergraduate institutions including evaluators with experience in evaluating interdisciplinary and interdepartmental programs.
- Timing: Evaluation of the Keck program will occur both during (formative) and at the end (summative) of the grant period. The formative process evaluations conducted at various points throughout the grant period will assist the faculty and academic departments involved in this interdisciplinary project to refine the project goals and objectives and to make any ongoing modifications or revisions. They will identify what is working during the initial implementation and point to areas needing further development. The summative evaluation will take place at the end of the grant period and will provide a measure of how well the program goals were met as well as provide directions for future growth.
- Goals: The project leaders will meet with the evaluators to clarify, operationalize, and select and development instruments which evaluate the stated and implicit goals of the project (above). The project evaluators might also help to conceptualize key issues or problems that would keep our program from meeting our stated objectives and specify particular criteria for success as well as identify particular data needed to determine how well the components of the program are meeting their objectives.
Delineating project goals will assist us in developing both qualitative and quantitative measures for determining how well our goals are being met during both the formative and summative evaluation phase. Possible qualitative evaluations include:
- Semi-structured interviews: The evaluator might conduct semi-structured interviews of key personnel and a representative sample of students to allow the evaluator some first hand experience with the evaluated activities and a chance for in-depth exploration of particular issues.
Quantitative evaluations might include:
Final reports summarizing both the quantitative and qualitative data will be produced. They will asses which and to what degree goals have been met for affected students, faculty, and the institution as a whole as well as provide recommendations for further implantation and dissemination.
4) Project Budget Form
- Do we have a spreadsheet template to work from?
- Upload spreadsheet to <here>.
5) Budget Narrative
1. Provide a brief justification of each budget line item.
Personnel Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Salary & Fringe Benefits (Total 3 year budget $ 227,613 : $201,777 grant funded, $25,836 institutional funding) 48 Faculty weeks per year(total 144 faculty weeks) @ $600 per week + .0765 FICA and Medicare for summer research and curricula work (e.g. 6 faculty x 8 weeks per year) 96 student weeks per year (total 288 student weeks) @ $400 per week +.0765 FICA and Medicare for collaboration with faculty in research and curricula work (e.g. 12 students x 8 weeks per year) Grant support @ $3,000 + .0765 FICA and Medicare + 10% TIAA/CREF as staff for, reporting, purchasing supplies, budget monitoring, etc. Equipment (Total 3 year budget $100,000 - $80,800 grant funded, $19,200 institutional funding) Large freezer dryer @ $22,500 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ drying of biological and soil samples in preparation for digestion and analysis.
Acid digestion system @$25,000 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ dissolution of biological and soil samples prior to analysis by GFAAS or ICP-AES
Atomic Absorption Spectrometer Ã¢â‚¬â€œ college funded ($19,200) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ analysis of low levels of toxic metals such as lead and arsenic
DGPS @$2250 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will be used to precisely locate sampling sites in our remote sampling location (Springwood Lake)
Field monitoring equipment Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 4 sets @ $3,000 will include electronic and computer components necessary for the construction of field monitoring stations that will be used to continuously monitor temperature, pH (digital), conductivity, redox potential, pressure, and nitrate levels at our on-campus field site
Field sampling equipment @ $15,000 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will be used to construct our on-campus and remote field sites including construction of a monitoring well and equipment for obtaining sediment and soil cores.
Biology sampling gear @ 3800 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will include equipment such as nets and electronic identification tags that will be used to capture and/or monitor biological samples such as fish and turtles.
Operations (Total 3 year budget $198,313 - $76,300 grant funded, $122,013 institutional funding
Consumable supplies @ $25,333 per year - will include lab supplies necessary for sample processing and atomic analysis for both academic year and summer, which will impact X students per year (e.g. clean acids, consumables for atomic spectroscopy (graphite tubes, Ar gas), pipet tips)
Travel/symposiums @$11,100 per year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will fund faculty and student travel to regional and national meetings to present the results of this research as well as the costs of poster.
Facilities Overhead Ã¢â‚¬â€œ All institutional funded
Evaluation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ @$3000 per year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ construction and analysis of surveys........
Library Acquisitions @ $2000 per year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will fund purchase of relevant texts as well as interlibrary loans.
2. State the number of students (undergrad/grad/postdoc), research associates or technicians to be supported and number of years of support.
The project will support summer research for approximately 12 students each summer for 3 years.
3. Explain why W. M. Keck Foundation support is essential for this project.
Funding for undergraduate research at small, liberal arts colleges is limited. The WMKF is known and respected throughout the scientific community as a foundation that supports innovative science programs at high-quality undergraduate institutions. WMKF funding would allow Earlham to launch its multidisciplinary science project. Keck support would also raise the visibility of the sciences within the College and with external audiences regionally and nationally.
Earlham College will provide $167,000 specifically toward this project. There is no other pending funding. However, with the leverage and prestige that a Keck grant will provide, we believe that we will be well-positioned to solicit major gifts (both for current use and for an endowed student/faculty research fund) for continuation and expansion of multidisciplinary science projects, as well as submission of proposals for future funding to NSF and other private foundations.
5. If construction or remodeling is involved, provide a copy of the permits required or an explanation of how and when the permits will be acquired.
There are no construction or remodeling components of this proposal.
6) Recognition Statement
- Describe the manner in which the institution will recognize and acknowledge a W. M. Keck Foundation grant for this project.
Earlham College science faculty and public information staff will work closely with the W.M. Keck Foundation to publicize grant funding. Upon approval of text, Earlham's public information staff will distribute news releases to local, regional and national media, and to educational publications such as the Chronicle on Higher Education to announce receipt of a Keck grant.
In addition, a feature article for the Spring 2007 Earlhamite, Earlham's alumni magazine, will be prepared and submitted to the Foundation for approval. The Keck award will be highlighted on the Earlham College web page with links to news coverage and the Earlhamite article. Keck will also be acknowledged on our Natural Sciences web page, and on each participating discipline web page.
Faculty and student written and oral presentations on the multidisciplinary curriculum development and/or research projects will acknowledge Keck support. These presentations could include journal articles, and papers and poster sessions at regional and national conferences, as well as in publications in organizations such as the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR).
7) Project Documents
- 1. Biographical sketches (limit 2 pages for each investigator)
- Required for key personnel at the applicant institution and collaborators at other institutions.
- 2. Collaborative Arrangements: Provide letters from the collaborators and the director of their institution(s) endorsing this request and the role of each collaborator. Please include contact information including e-mail addresses.
- We already have some of this in the phase I submittal.
- NITLE letter - Nancy Millichap (or the director); support for logistics, advertising, and hosting of a dissemination workshop.
- City of Richmond/Parks Department
- Letters should be sent to us for inclusion and addressed to:
Mat Varma, Ph.D. Program Director W. M. Keck Foundation 550 S. Hope Street, Suite 2500 Los Angeles, CA 90071
- 3. Bibliography of the literature cited in the project.