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Disseminating Molecular Biology For Environmental Engineers With Nsf Ccli Support

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Curricula

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

11.489.1 - 11.489.11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--59

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/59

Download Count

91

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Paper Authors

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Daniel Oerther University of Cincinnati

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Associate Professor of Environmental Biotechnology, University of Cincinnati. Dr. Oerther teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in biology and molecular biology as applied to natural and engineered environments. His research focuses upon microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants, drinking water treatment plants, bioremediation field sites, and natural surface watershed.

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Cathy Maltbie University of Cincinnati

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Research Associate, Evaluation Services Center, University of Cincinnati. Dr. Maltbie. Dr. Maltbie provides professional evaluation services to clients including administrative and academic units within the University of Cincinnati.

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Baikun Li Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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Assistant Professor, Penn State University, Harrisburg. Dr. Li teaches undergraduate and adult education courses in sanitation and environmental engineering. Her research focuses upon biological nutrient removal and sewage treatment.

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Jin Li University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Dr. Li teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in water and wastewater treatment. Her research focuses upon microorganisms in natural in engineered aquatic environments.

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Amy Pruden Colorado State University

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Assistant Professor, Colorado State University. Dr. Pruden teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in molecular biology and bioprocess engineering. Her research focuses upon applications of molecular microbial ecology to environmental engineering including water quality and bioremediation.

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Peter Stroot University of South Florida

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Assistant Professor, University of South Florida. Dr. Stroot teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in microbiology and water quality. His research focuses upon the development of innovative solutions to challenging environmental problems including anaerobic treatment systems and biological nutrient removal.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Disseminating Molecular Biology for Environmental Engineers with NSF CCLI Support Abstract

For the past five years, more than fifty undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Cincinnati have participated in a term-length course, CEE69 Molecular Biology for Environmental Systems. Using a self-paced approach, teams of students complete laboratory exercises to answer open ended questions about the composition of the microbiological community in an environmental sample. With the financial support of a Adaptation and Implementation (A&I) track grant from the NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement program the course from Cincinnati is being taught at four partner institutions. This paper highlights the unique challenges of adapting the existing course to other institutions as well as the formation of a meta-assessment program comparing institution-specific student assessment as well as an assessment of the capabilities of the instructors to successfully adapt the materials.

Introduction

Genomic technology is redefining many applied fields including environmental biotechnology. The emerging interdisciplinary area of environmental biotechnology integrates quantitative, analytical tools from the molecular sciences with innovative bioreactor design and operation. Environmental biotechnology has been identified as a corner stone for the future of the field of environmental engineering. In a recent report, “Research Frontiers in Environmental Engineering”, published jointly by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and by the Association of Environmental Engineering Professors (AEEP, September 15, 1998), “Analytical Tools in Molecular Sciences” was identified as one of four critical research needs in the field of Environmental Engineering and Science.1 In follow-up work, the development of molecular tools to track environmental microorganisms was identified as a research priority by the National Science Foudation2 and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.3

Need

In response to the need for environmental biotechnology research and education, academic departments across the country have made a sustained effort to recruit and retain faculty with expertise in environmental biotechnology. In particular, notices seeking faculty candidates often specifically request applications from individuals with expertise in molecular biology (e.g., available job posting of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors web site at www.aeesp.org). Although genomic technology is revolutionizing many of the research programs in environmental engineering, these technologies have not been transferred successfully to the undergraduate and graduate curricula at many institutions.4

Approach

The overall objective of this project is adaptation and implementation of a successful NSF CCLI EMD “Proof-of-Concept” project initiated at UC in 2000 introducing environmental engineering

Oerther, D., & Maltbie, C., & Li, B., & Li, J., & Pruden, A., & Stroot, P. (2006, June), Disseminating Molecular Biology For Environmental Engineers With Nsf Ccli Support Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--59

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