EDSIN 2019 Poster Presentations

Making Scientific Content Accessible

Kaitlin Stack Whitney; Simon J Goring; Aerin Jacob, Emilio Bruna, and Timothee Poisot    

Effective communication is critical to scientific practice. So much so that that helping scientists improve their communication skills has been a significant focus of energy for organizations ranging from academic societies to graduate training programs. The need for effective communication could also be viewed as central to "Open Science‚" and making research products (e.g., data, code, scientific literature) more broadly readily available. Despite this, however, surprisingly little attention has been paid to ensuring that presentations are accessible to all. Improving accessibility requires some foresight, planning, and preparation on the part of the presenter: accessibility-centered thinking. Yet fear that accessibility requires expensive or complicated tools and workflows may prevent people from trying - so here we provide evidence-based, simple but concrete steps for creating and sharing science for all.
National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research    Pam Bishop    The National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER) provides quality evaluation services to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research and education sectors, with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. NISER was founded in 2016 under the leadership of Dr. Pamela Bishop and is part of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), housed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. NISER's staff has experience in systems-level evaluation, a deep understanding of interdisciplinary team science, a professional collaborative approach to program evaluation and research, and the ability to untangle the complexity of large-scale STEM programs. We offer a range of data-driven services to best serve our collaborators' needs.

The Implementation of Differentiated Instruction to Introduction to Statistics, Data Mining, and Analytics at Jarvis Christian College    

Widodo Samyono    

The primary goal of Jarvis Christian College (JCC) two years project with the title, "The Implementation of Differentiated Instruction to Introduction to Statistics, Data Mining, and Analytics at Jarvis Christian College," is to meet the needs of students with diverse abilities and interests, so that the faculty could improve the engagement with the students, enhance the students' skills (abilities) and interests in mathematics, and increase the number of the students who passed the course with 80% passing grades. Differences in Introduction to Statistics, Data Mining, and Analytics at Jarvis Christian College are cognitive, learning styles and preferences, and abilities and interests. The differentiated instruction is a method of instruction designed to meet the needs of all students by changing what students learn (content), how they accumulate information (process), how they demonstrate knowledge or skills (product), and with whom and where learning happens (learning environment). Furthermore, it's a way of thinking about teaching and learning to ensure that children receive appropriate classroom experiences according to the differentiated instruction expert Carol Tomlinson. We build our differentiated instruction for this course by converging different student centered active learning into a blended course as follows: 1) Setting up the course as a blended or hybrid course, i.e. 75% is face to face instruction and 25% is online instruction. So, the classroom attendance is required and a part of the grade. Additionally, the students have one on one help sessions with the instructors and the teaching assistants in the classrooms and with the instructors during the office hours as well as with the teaching assistants in the Student Success Services Building. 2) Before coming to the classroom, the students should work on the flipped online assignments, i.e. reading the textbook and watching the video lectures related to the coming topics that will discuss in the classroom. 3) In the classroom, using inquiry based learning the faculty discussed the topics covered for that day for the entire class, then the faculty with teaching assistant have the one on one help session with the students for any problems in the homework assignments and assessments. 4) After the class, the students continue completing the assignments on the online automatic grading homework software. The students work in the groups or individually. For the high achievers, they could move ahead to the next assignments and finish earlier than the other students. For the lower achievers, they could go to the help sessions with the faculty or teaching assistants. 5) At the end of the semester, the students have to submit projects on the applications of statistics, data mining, and analytics in their majors.

Environmental Dashboard: Interactive Technology for Resource-Use Feedback and Community Engagement

Olivia Vasquez, John Petersen, and Rowan Hannan    

"Environmental Dashboard" (ED) is an interactive communication technology that introduces feedback into our industrialized society, where we are so far removed from naturally occurring feedback loops. Our goal is to promote systems thinking and foster pro-environmental and pro-community action. Through the Dashboard's several core components, we provide real-time information on resource-use and highlight the thoughts and actions of community members. The ED content is available on the web and digital signage that show a virtual town model with animated characters and real-time flows of water, energy, and environmental conditions. The "Community Voices" component features images and text derived from community discussions, interviews, public documents, and schools to celebrate positive thought and action. The Environmental Dashboard has been implemented in the City of Oberlin, Ohio for over a decade and components are now installed in buildings and communities across the country. Extensive research suggests that the technology is effective at building awareness, shifting social norms, enhancing emotional connection to resource use, and promoting behavior change.

Training and Engaging URM Undergraduate Students in Genomics Research Through a Place-based Microbiome Research Project    

Joslynn Lee    

The participation of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AIAN) people and other underrepresented minority (URM) populations in STEM fields remains shockingly low. In the computational field, it is even lower. AIAN face various barriers that impede them from pursuing or continuing careers in genomics. Alongside, there is a demand for Integrating bioinformatics and data science into the life sciences curriculum. I am presenting a one-week workshop training format that allows students to gain hands-on laboratory and computational experience to understand the diversity of local environmental microbiomes in Colorado and New Mexico. This workshop targets early-career undergraduate students from Southwest regional PUIs, two-year and tribal colleges. Aligning cultural sensitivities that may arise with sampling and working with biological samples with Indigenous / AIAN cultures. Core competencies incorporated in the workshop are computational concepts (algorithms and file formats), statistics, accessing genomic data and running bioinformatics tools to analyze data. I will discuss some of the successes and pitfalls that I have encountered and the adaption for a one-semester course.

West Big Data Innovation Hub    

Sarah Stone    

The West Big Data Innovation Hub builds and strengthen strategic partnerships across academia, industry, nonprofits, and government--harnessing the data revolution to address scientific and societal challenges. Whether working towards the future of data-informed policies to ensure safe drinking water or tackling challenges in disaster recovery, our diverse and growing team of stakeholders envisions a community empowered to contribute to a thriving regional, national, and global innovation ecosystem. The Hubs provide a creative and inclusive "home", an affiliation that sparks meaningful connections and enables valuable work to positively impact science and society. We focus on data science activities and initiatives that inspire cross-sector collaboration and exemplify the need for multi-disciplinary approaches. The Hub creates an open community with an array of engagement opportunities where all are welcome, encouraging participation from underrepresented groups, organizations, and geographic regions. The project broadens participation across traditional boundaries between disciplines, sectors, institutions, and demographic groups, focusing on critical challenges, open source tools, and collaborative insights.

Students of Color Identify Ways Environmental Faculty Can Advance Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Undergraduate Programs 

Melissa Hernández, Bala Chaudhary, Malcom Engel, Charles Espedido, Amelia Howerton, Jazlyn Marcos, Brittany Rivera, and Tania Schusler

Racial and ethnic diversity in environmental disciplines lags far behind the 38% people of color (POC) population in the U.S., despite research documenting high levels of environmental concern among POC. Addressing this inequity is essential to advance environmental justice. Identity diversity also lends itself to cognitive diversity, which promotes creativity and innovation in solving environmental problems. Environmental degree programs serve as a pipeline to environmental careers. Thus, we investigated the experiences of students of color in undergraduate environmental degree programs using grounded theory methodology. We interviewed 24 undergraduates at two private universities in Chicago who self-identify as racial or ethnic minorities and have declared an environmental major. Interviews examined motivations for entering environmental fields, perceived barriers and supports to academic success, and suggestions to improve racial and ethnic inclusion within environmental degree programs. We inductively analyzed data across interviews via an iterative process of coding, categorizing, and memo-writing to identify emergent themes. The results deepen understanding of how environmental programs in higher education can become more inclusive, thereby strengthening the pipeline to environmental careers for POC and increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the field towards more innovative and just environmental solutions. The students we interviewed spoke of prior educational experiences, influential individuals, and prior experiences in their communities as factors influencing them to study the environment. Many described a concern for social well-being in tandem with ecological well-being as a key motivator to pursue an environmental major. Yet, some students felt that the curriculum in their program did not sufficiently integrate ecological and social perspectives. They perceived that social implications of science learning were understudied and that environmental solutions presented in classes often reflected a "white environmentalism" incompatible for many POC. This, as well as a lack of awareness or unwillingness of instructors and white peers to discuss the experiences of different social groups and the role of identity within social-ecological systems, left some students feeling excluded. As a POC in a majority white setting, some students also felt isolated due to a disconnect between their own backgrounds and those of peers and instructors. Others experienced discrimination, such as micro-aggressions or tokenism, that furthered this sense of isolation. On the other hand, some students described how support networks enhanced their program satisfaction. Faculty and staff played key roles in guiding students of color to enter and succeed in the environmental major. Some faculty validated racial and ethnic inequities in the context of course content, enabling students of color to feel comfortable sharing their own perspectives. Students‚ membership in organizations‚ some within the environmental degree program and others external to it‚ allowed them to connect and form bonds with other POC as well as white peers. These organizations also provided opportunities for students of color to engage more deeply with the environmental subjects of greatest interest to them. The students interviewed recommended four key ways to cultivate racial and ethnic diversity within environmental degree programs: (1) Intentionally recruit students of color. (2) Hire diverse faculty and staff, and provide diversity training for all faculty and staff. (3) Include the perspectives, literature, socio-ecological problems, and approaches of POC into the curriculum. (4) Create resources specifically for, and accessible to, students of color for finding support and engaging with environmental topics of interest.

The Research Experience for Undergraduates on Sustainable Land and Water Resources    

Diana Dalbotten, Antony Berthelote, and Nievita Bueno Watts    

The aim of the REU on Sustainable Land and Water Resources is to introduce undergraduate students to the key elements of research on land and water resources that are essential to improving management practices, with a focus on Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and diverse interdisciplinary research teams. Students work on teams on projects that integrate Earth-surface dynamics, geology, hydrology and other disciplines.  Research teams are hosted on two Native American reservations and at the Univ. MN and projects are developed in collaboration with the tribes' resource management divisions.  The REU incorporates an interdisciplinary team-oriented approach that emphasizes quantitative and predictive methods, CBPR, indigenous research methods, and traditional ecological knowledge. 
    The REU Site is developing a new paradigm for undergraduate research incorporating place-based and community-based participatory research.  The PIs are building knowledge on increasing participation in REUs by the non-traditional student and students from groups underrepresented in STEM.  The PIs have developed a proven, structured, scaffolded method of teaching science research and writing, which takes students who may have never written a technical research paper and provides them the skills and support needed to routinely deliver an astonishing level of vigorous intellectual output and increase their intellectual self-confidence in the process.

Pathways to Careers in Natural Resources    

Susan Bonfield and Dalia Dorta    

Environment for the Americas (EFTA) has conducted model minority youth internship programs to recruit youth of color and to provide them the opportunity to work side by side with professionals from governmental and non-governmental organizations, including Los Angeles Audubon, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and US Forest Service. Our experience working with underserved youth is informed by four years of NSF-funded research on how to improve the participation by diverse people in informal science education programs. Today, we work with over 50 youth each year and provide mentorship and support not only during their internships, but also after, supporting them as they seek jobs and/or graduate school admissions. EFTA shares its expertise and participates in efforts nationally and internationally by serving on the Board of the Diversity Joint Venture and on the Society for Conservation Biology's Anti-Sexual Harassment/Violence Taskforce.

Geospatial Data Science at the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute: Status, Plans and Opportunities

Dennis G. Dye

The Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) is an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based national community college that serves the higher education needs of Native American Tribes and Alaska Native communities throughout the country. Several of SIPI's academic programs, including Geospatial Information Technology (GIT), Pre-Engineering and Mathematics, expose students to various aspects of Data Science, however coordination of their respective curricula has been limited.  This presentation describes emerging opportunities at SIPI to establish an interdisciplinary program in Data Science that provides a framework for coordination and synergy, and in turn,  enhances SIPI students' success in 4-year baccalaureate programs, and improves their competitiveness for quality STEM-related jobs.  Particular attention is given to possibilities to incorporate into the GIT Program a new area of emphasis on "Distributed Sensor Systems and Wireless Sensor Networks for Monitoring of Water Resources, Ecosystems and Climate", and its role in the potential Data Science program.

Expanding access to data intensive education in earth and environmental sciences    

Jenny Palomino, Leah Wasser, and Lauren Herwehe    

The Earth Lab Earth Analytics Education Initiative at the University of Colorado -- Boulder is building an innovative program that provides core in-market demand technical skills at the intersection of Earth and data science to undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The program includes formal courses, workshops, career development events with industry partners, paid undergraduate internships, an open online learning portal with global reach, and a professional certificate in Earth data analytics, one of the first of its kind in the country. We are committed to expanding the reach of Earth data science education for students across varying academic, professional, socio-economic and geographic dimensions to ensure broad accessibility to novel curriculum. All courses support a blended mix of students with varied academic and professional experiences, resulting in interdisciplinary and multi-level classrooms that enrich students’ learning through collaborative and peer feedback activities that introduce new ideas and ways of thinking. To accommodate diverse student needs and increase program access, courses are offered through both online and traditional options, allowing students to participate in-person, online in real-time, or asynchronously by reviewing materials at their own pace. This flexibility supports the inclusion of students with full-time employment or other commitments that challenge enrollment in traditional courses as well as remote students living in other parts of the country or globe, who may not have access to similar curriculum locally. Our curriculum is informed by industry surveys to ensure that students are learning sought after skills at the intersection of earth and data science. All lessons use open source tools to teach students how to work with real-world data to address questions and challenges for earth and environmental systems. We comprehensively evaluate our courses using formative, summative, and longitudinal approaches (including student surveys, grades, and website metrics) to ensure that learning goals are being met and that all students are satisfied with the blended learning environment. To support Universal education, all course materials are carefully designed to support asynchronous online and independent learning. Materials are search engine optimized to ensure greater visibility and then published online on the  earthdatascience.org website, which has a rapidly growing user base of more than 41,000 unique global monthly users. Our blended, open education model opens access for students world-wide, who may otherwise not have access to this curriculum, to develop key skills for careers in earth and environmental data science at their own pace.

QUBES: A community of practitioners working together to improve quantitative biology education    

C. Diaz Eaton, M.D. LaMar, and N. Chodlowski    

QUBES is a community of practitioners, institutions, researchers, networks, and professional societies all devoted to supporting instructors around the country for an increasingly quantitative biology field. We provide faculty mentoring networks for virtual professional support, connect faculty to high quality curriculum, and host a virtual infrastructure for open educational resource sharing and software use. All our welcome to join for free at qubeshub.org!

An Integrated Quantitative-Qualitative Study to Assess the Reliability and Monitor the Performance of Hydrogen Fueling Stations

Kalai Ramea

Alternative fueled vehicle adoption is one of the critical solutions to mitigate carbon emissions in the transportation sector. Even though electric vehicles (EV) have been leading the market adoption among zero-emission vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV) have also been increasingly adopted in the past few years. FCVs have several advantages over EVs, such as shorter refueling time and higher driving range, but unlike electric vehicles which could be charged at home or work, they require sufficient and reliable network of hydrogen refueling stations. This research project carries out an integrated quantitative-qualitative study to assess the reliability and performance of hydrogen fueling station network in California. For the quantitative analysis, we collected the hourly capacity data of all the hydrogen fueling stations for three months. This time-series data was used to develop a novel term called "Normalized Relative Usage Index" (NRUI) that encapsulates the usage of each station over time in the network. We spatially regressed this value over the number of fuel cell vehicles present in the neighborhood to identify the stations that are in the "healthy usage range" and those that are under-utilized or over-stressed. We also designed a survey to obtain the experiences of FCV drivers on the station performance. About 100 participants took the survey, and their answers predominantly validate the quantitative analysis. Moreover, the respondents articulated their reasons for the stations that are outside of the healthy usage range as well as their expectations for a station to be considered reliable. This comprehensive study is first of its kind to explore spatially explicit supply and demand of the hydrogen fueling infrastructure network. Even though the research paper focuses its analysis on the hydrogen refueling stations in California for a specific period, this data-driven methodology is region and timescale-independent and could be extended for larger timescales to monitor the station performance as perceived by the users. We are also releasing the hourly station capacity dataset that was collected as a part of this study to the research community.

Mentoring Pacific Island Students into Conservation Careers

Sharon Ziegler-Chong