Friday, October 7, 2011

Field Ecology in the Digital Age

In early 2010, Dr. Ian Billick, RMBL Executive Director, was awarded an NSF grant for a project entitled "Bringing a Field Station into the Classroom." Working with Dr. Amy Ellwein, newly hired from the University of New Mexico, the intention was to make online tools and some of the long-term data sets collected at RMBL available to college students through interactive curriculum hosted on a new website. Many of you know this as the "CCLI project" for the NSF program that funded it. A Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) program, CCLI (Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement) has since changed to TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science) and the project is now known to many of us as "Digital RMBL".

One year and a few months into a three-year project, the team is very close to initial completion of most project deliverables, and are moving into the testing and improvement stage. Thanks to many in the RMBL community - you know who you are - we have moved beyond expectations in several aspects of the project's scope. For example, two of our project collaborators liked the structure of the natural history pages so much, they've assigned the project to their students. We now have ten times more natural history pages than we promised NSF, with more in the works. If you would like to lend a hand, Amy has more ideas than time to pursue them, just send her an email: amy AT rmbl DOT org. And keep your eyes peeled for the web debut of Digital RMBL in November at!


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