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Sampling in the Field: A Case Study of Connecting Theory to Practice

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Problem- Project- and Case-based Learning in Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

26.1353.1 - 26.1353.13

DOI

10.18260/p.24690

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24690

Download Count

61

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Paper Authors

biography

Maeghan Marie Brundrett Texas Tech University

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Current PhD student at Texas Tech University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Main research focus is on the fate and occurrence of chlorate in the environment and its use as an alternative solution for remediation of the salt marshes impacted by the BP Horizon oil spill.

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Dylan Christenson Texas Tech University

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B.A. Liberal Studies and M.A. Education from Vanguard University of Southern California. M.S. Civil Engineering Texas Tech University. Currently pursuing a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with focus on the biological treatment of waste water for re-use applications. I am passionate about both engineering and education. I am specifically interested in student motivation, formative assessment, service learning, and the influence of the affective domain.

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Paula Ann Monaco Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5572-1468

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Pursuing Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering with a research focus in anti-fouling and scaling technology and pharmaceutical and personal care product transport through the subsurface contaminating groundwater supplies.

Actively involved with STEM outreach programs ranging from K-12 summer camp classes to one day hands-on-activities increasing interest of environmental engineering.

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Kevin A. Nguyen Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2445-7529

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Kevin Nguyen is currently a graduate student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Texas Tech University and is working towards a B.S. and M.Eng in Environmental Engineering. He has participated as an undergraduate researcher in the NSF REU Summer Experience in Engineering Education Research program at Franklin W. Olin College.

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Audra N. Morse Texas Tech University

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Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Whitacre College of Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas Tech University. She leads the Engineering Opportunities Center which provides retention, placement and academic support services to WCOE students. Her professional experience is focused on water and wastewater treatment, specifically water reclamation systems, membrane filtration and the fate of personal products in treatment systems.

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Abstract

Sampling in the Field: A Case Study of Connecting Theory to PracticeThe connection between practice and theory is essential in promoting student engagement,perception, and understanding, yet in lab exercises students are often given an artificial samplelacking in any real world connections. Although experimental procedures performed in the labmay provide cognitive benefits for students, the theory behind the methods might be lost whenno connection is made to real world scenarios. One way to overcome these limitations is throughapplications and experiences for students at the undergraduate level through field work. Thispaper presents an effort to introduce junior and senior civil engineering students to the real worldbased problems through the use of developed field studies, redefining the current pedagogy oflab studies. Students from three different lab sections of an introduction to environmentalengineering lab course visited different locations along a lake system in Lubbock, Texas that actsas a final cleaning step for discharged wastewater where they were tasked to sample the lakewater and taken in field test results for certain water quality parameters. The locations along thelake were chosen in order for students to see a contrast in water quality parameters along theflow of the system. Samples were taken at the site of discharge, one section in the middle of thesystem, and one section towards the end of the lake system. Students were given backgroundinformation and asked to develop a study question to be used across all three lab sections.Students over the semester analyzed their field sample for different water quality parameters anddetermined whether the lake system’s water quality parameters were affected as you traveleddown the watershed. Data collected from their sample was then gathered into a larger data setrepresenting data from all three lab sections and the three lake sites. Students were then given thetask of analyzing and reporting the data throughout the semester. To examine the relationshipbetween field work and student attitudes and perception on field studies, students in anenvironmental engineering laboratory course were assigned a reflection paper before and afterperforming the lake field work exercise. Further reflection was given by the instructor of the labcourse on student’s performance, attitudes, and the instructor’s perception of the field study.Initial results from instructor’s observations showed a higher depth of engagement by studentsand a larger connection between content knowledge and real world practices by the students.

Brundrett, M. M., & Christenson, D., & Monaco, P. A., & Nguyen, K. A., & Morse, A. N. (2015, June), Sampling in the Field: A Case Study of Connecting Theory to Practice Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24690

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