Science Communication Projects Aims to Start Discussion of Impact of Climate Change on Local Ecosystems
Students in integrated introductory biology and chemistry created podcasts on the impacts of climate change on local ecosystems and presented them to their peers on Wednesday March 27th and Thursday March 28th. The purpose of this project was two-fold; to interpret data related to how climate change impacts our local ecosystems and then to summarize that information in a way that can be communicated to the surrounding community. Student received support from not only their preceptors, graduate TA’s and professors but also from the Delaware Museum of Natural History, who attended the presentations and provided information and coaching on effective science communication to the general public. Students practiced researching and interpreting data on ecosystems, and also worked on the challenging task of interpreting and summarizing of jargon and data and compiling the information into a compelling and coherent story for the general public. Students worked on this in groups, with group members playing the role of host or expert. Students made connections between chemical changes to the environment such as temperature and carbon dioxide levels, and how these chemical changes have an impact on organisms in the ecosystem. Student sample podcasts will be available on the ISLL website and sent to the Delaware Museum of Natural History for use. This project leads directly into the aquatic ecology lab module, where students will develop and test hypotheses on how various chemical and biological factors in local aquatic ecosystems impact each other by collecting a variety of samples from local streams.