To support STEM Takes Flight goals, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is sponsoring a three-credit Sea Level Rise Service Learning course in partnership with Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), and the GeoTEd project (http://geoted.org). Faculty-led student teams will engage with NASA scientists to tackle the issue of sea level rise impacts to coastal communities and ecosystems. Using GIS tools and datasets ranging from bathymetry, to LIDAR and Landsat, to United Nations climate change predictions, students will model various sea level rise scenarios and gauge their impacts to NASA WFF infrastructure and habitat. Students will corroborate these results with scientific literature and create a report of potential impacts, complete with maps and figures, to be presented to NASA facility and environmental staff.
Prior to visiting NASA WFF, students will engage in an online course available statewide. They will use existing LIDAR data to create digital elevation models and elevation layers of the area. During the fieldwork, students will use mapping grade GPS units provided by the colleges and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) benchmarks to ground truth the elevation models. Using several climate change models, the students will predict the change in mean sea level and then map the consumed land areas, and model storm surges. Students will also review Landsat and other historical data to confirm or disprove any existing sea level change and impacts. Faculty from ODU’s Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI) will advise the project team and provide webinars on the science of sea level rise prior to the field experience. MARI faculty will also advise the team on data usage before, during, and after the fieldwork, and inform their students about the opportunity to use the data and other products.
TheGIS 295 Topics in Service Learning in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course will be a three-credit course with four days of on-site fieldwork offered in spring 2016. Faculty from TNCC and the GeoTEd team will jointly develop the online course and team teach the on-site fieldwork. Student travel and lodging costs will be covered by the VSGC. The course will be offered by Virginia Western Community College and will be available through the VCCS Shared Services program allowing students from all 23 community colleges to enroll. Fifteen student enrollees will be supported by the project.
The online course will be held February 8 to May 9 with the four days of field work at NASA Wallops conducted in March or April 2016.
Applications and letters of support are due by 5 p.m. eastern on December 1, 2015. Letters of support from references can be sent to Chris Carter, email@example.com. Applicants will be notified by December 5 if selected.
Chris Carter, Deputy Director, Virginia Space Grant Consortium; firstname.lastname@example.org; 757/766-5210