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Development of a Crayfish Behavior Case Study for a New First-semester General Engineering Course Using a High-frequency Environmental Monitoring System

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division Technical Session 2: Innovative Approaches for Teaching Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36955

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36955

Download Count

37

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Paper Authors

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Sara Freix Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Sara Freix is a recent Graduate from Virginia Tech with a Master's in Educational Psychology. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biological Systems Engineering. She worked for the Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System Lab during her undergraduate career and was so excited to explore the intersection of her interests in education theory and environmental engineering through co-authoring this paper.

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Yousef Jalali Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Yousef Jalali is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.Eng. in Energy Systems Engineering. His research interests include interaction between critical thinking, imagination, and ethical reasoning, interpersonal and interinstitutional collaboration, diversity, equity, and inclusion, systems thinking, and chemical engineering learning systems. Yousef taught chemical engineering courses for a few years in his home country, Iran, and first-year engineering courses for several semesters at Virginia Tech. He has provided service and leadership in different capacities at Lehigh University and Virginia Tech.

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Daniel S. Brogan Virginia Western Community College

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Daniel S. Brogan has been an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Virginia Western Community College since 2017, where he primarily teaches first-year general engineering courses. From 2011 to 2017 he was a doctoral student in engineering education at Virginia Tech, where his research involved the development and classroom implementation of the Online Watershed Learning System (OWLS), a guided, open-ended cyberlearning environment that is driven by HTML5, JavaScript and CSS and serves as a user interface to the Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) Lab. In 2011 he founded Bhutanese-Nepali Christian Media Ministries, which utilizes online media to address needs in Christian ministries for people in these language groups. Prior to June 2010, he was a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, where he earned his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering.

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Akshat Kothyari Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Akshat Kothyari is a Ph.D. student in Industrial and Systems Education at Virginia Tech. He received his B.Eng. in Manufacturing Engineering and M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering. His research interests includes theory and application of mathematical programming techniques in solving production and logistics based problems.

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Vinod K. Lohani Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Vinod K. Lohani is a Professor of Engineering Education and also serves as the Director of education and global initiatives at an interdisciplinary research institute called the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at Virginia Tech. He is the founding director of an interdisciplinary lab called Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) at VT. He received a Ph.D. in civil engineering from VT. His research interests are in the areas of computer-supported research and learning systems, hydrology, engineering education, and international collaboration. He has served as a PI or co-PI on 16 projects, funded by the National Science Foundation, with a $6.4 million research funding participation from external sources. He has been directing/co-directing an NSF/Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site on interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering at VT since 2007. This site has 95 alumni to date. He also leads an NSF/Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site on interdisciplinary water research and have 10 alumni. He also leads an NSF-funded cybersecurity education project and serves as a co-PI on two International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) projects funded by the NSF. He has published over 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

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Abstract

In this paper, we present the development of an environmental case study for use in a first-year general engineering course. This development utilizes a real-time, high frequency environmental monitoring system located at an outlet of a watershed branch at a large land-grant university in the United States. This environmental monitoring system collects continuous water quality and quantity data and video footage and has been used as a platform for engineering education research and specific classroom interventions at different institutions in multiple countries within the last ten years, including projects applied in engineering classrooms in which students were asked to evaluate different watershed events occurring at the system’s site. Motivated by our previous experiences with cases and projects applied in engineering classes that allowed students to evaluate different site events, we focus on an event recorded in the system’s database during which there was a significant increase in crayfish activity on the same day as an unidentified chemical event. In this paper, we present the development and planned implementation of a case study utilizing the environmental monitoring system to increase environmental awareness and to provide an authentic learning experience for problem solving for a new first-semester general engineering course in an engineering transfer program at a community college in the eastern United States. We first consider the benefits of using case studies for learning. We then provide an overview of the watershed monitoring system used to collect the data and some of the previous educational settings its data has been used in. Subsequently, we summarize the particular event used in this crayfish case study and the development of some of the data analysis products that will be provided to students. Finally, we discuss the planned implementation of this case study into the first-year general engineering course and future steps to continue this research.

Freix, S., & Jalali, Y., & Brogan, D. S., & Kothyari, A., & Lohani, V. K. (2021, July), Development of a Crayfish Behavior Case Study for a New First-semester General Engineering Course Using a High-frequency Environmental Monitoring System Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36955

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