In a previous issue of our eNews, we featured the winner of NCSCE photo contest based on the theme of students engaged in active learning. As mentioned in that story, we received a lot of excellent submissions, leading to a very competitive voting process. Now, we’re sharing the top runners up with the community.
Today, we’re featuring two pictures submitted by Dr. Catherine Duckett of Monmouth University. The class involved is an interdisciplinary, team taught (literature and science) freshman seminar titled ‘Humans and the Environment’ that evolved out of a SENCER grant to Catherine Duckett for development of a course on Climate Change along with Heide Estes’ scholarship on environment and literature. Humans and the Environment has a large climate change focus but it also treats other human impacts while asking students to engage in a semester long personal project, the ‘environmental commitment project,’ to do something that they themselves consider important to improve the environment.
The goal of the fieldwork was to have students make a change in an environment near campus by planting native trees to improve habitats for wildlife. This was related to the students’ environmental commitment project in conjunction with discussion of how wildlife habitat is being impacted by both increasing numbers of humans and via climate change. Lessons focused on how suburban homeowners could make a difference by planting native plants to improve habitats for native insects and consequently bird reproduction.
The project involved two days of field work: one scoping out the site, an area adjacent to Whale Pond Brook which had been degraded by dredging, and planning tree locations, and the second actually planting the trees. Community involvement included the University, which donated trees for the project. The Long Branch Environmental Commission and the Long Branch Parks department authorized the plantings and sent a representative (not shown) to the planting. The planting site is adjacent to a garden maintained by another local community group, the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association, whose Director also attended the planting. University President Grey Dimenna joined the class for the tree planting day. Students were given instruction on tree planting as part of this project. Both photos were taken by Anthony DePrimo, Monmouth University photographer.
Thank you again to all of you who took the time to send in photos that communicate the student experience in SENCER courses!