Brown, Beverly J. .
TreeWalk Nazareth: A hands-on project to teach botany, community service and web design.
Traditional lab reports and research papers typically have an audience of one, leading some students to comment on the effort required for such a small readership. I wanted to find a way to step outside the usual forms of scientific writing, and challenge students to take greater pride in their writing. I also wanted them to critically evaluate multiple sources of information and communicate scientific information accurately to non-scientists. Since Nazareth College prides itself on the diverse trees on its campus, it seemed natural to develop walks around campus that highlighted our trees. Students learned to use dichotomous keys to identify trees on campus. The class determined the twelve most interesting species, and each student selected a tree for their web page. To ensure consistent format between pages, students were provided with a web page template. Standardizing the format allowed students to become proficient in web page creation in one 90-minute computer lab session. Finished web pages were critiqued by the class and assembled onto a web site. Students were proud of their web pages and had developed valuable and marketable skills. Since completion of the first TreeWalk, we have created a written brochure, completed an additional TreeWalk for our North Campus, and a visual tour of our small ethnobotanical garden. We have become more savvy at designing templates, improved instructional handouts and included peer editing to minimize the need for instructor editing. Beyond the classroom, the TreeWalk is used by our Development Office as an example of the high-quality work our students can accomplish and the innovative teaching strategies that faculty employ. These tours have the potential to bring community members to campus who might not otherwise visit, increasing awareness of the college and its contributions to the community.
A link to TreeWalk Nazareth including plants in the ethnobotanical garden
1 - Nazareth College of Rochester, Biology Department, 4245 east Avenue, Rochester, New York, 14618, USA
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Superior A (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 10:45 AM