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Volume 45 Issue 1, December 2016

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  • K–12 EDUCATION up

    • Andrea Basche, Vincent Genareo, Adah Leshem, Amy Kissell and Judith Pauley
      Engaging Middle School Students through Locally Focused Environmental Science Project-Based Learning
      Core Ideas
      • A project-based learning approach involves public expression of meaningful topics.
      • A middle school science class with a scientist–teacher partnership used this method.
      • Students expressed more positive science attitudes and confidence than peers.
      • Analysis of public letters on an energy project found complex argument construction.
      • This approach may increase science engagement in science policy issues.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.05.0012
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    • Klaus J. Puettmann, Lael Parrott and Christian Messier
      Teaching Complex Adaptive Systems Science in Natural Resource Management: Examples from Forestry
      Core Ideas
      • Complexity science brings some very useful novel concepts to natural resource management that are important to sustainability.
      • Yet, these concepts are rarely taught to graduate students in terms of how they practically can be used in natural resource management settings.
      • We present a series of field exercises that have shown promise in introducing complexity science to graduate students in forest management programs and may be adapted by instructors to suit a variety of teaching contexts.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.04.0009
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    • Jianting Zhu and Yanyan Cheng
      A New Visual Method to Determine Infiltration Rate from Infiltration Capacity Models
      Core Ideas
      • Relation between water supply and actual infiltration rates is essential for plant growth and water budget studies.
      • A new visual method is developed to quantitatively estimate actual infiltration for students and professionals interested in water resources management education.
      • The new visual method helps students understand complex relations between water supply and actual infiltration.
      • The method fits the need of students in hydrology and other water resources classes in understanding the concepts of capacity and actual infiltration.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.07.0020
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    • David E. Radcliffe, Thorsten Knappenberger and Aaron L.M. Daigh
      Using Khan Academy Videos in Flipped Classroom Mode to Bolster Calculus Skills in Soil Physics Courses
      Core Ideas
      • Many U.S. students complete a first or second course in calculus, but demonstrate a limited ability to use or understand the calculus in a typical soil physics course or textbook.
      • To improve calculus skills, we developed and implemented a program to use Khan Academy calculus videos in flipped classroom mode.
      • Using before and after tests, we found that the videos improved student comprehension of calculus fundamentals.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.04.0008
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    • Kelly L. Balcarczyk, Dave Smaldone, Steve Selin, Jenifer Douglas, Kudzayi Maumbe and Chad Pierskalla
      Barriers and Supports to Pursuing a Natural Resource Degree
      Core Ideas
      • Undergraduate interviews emphasized specific barriers to young adults and underrepresented groups pursuing natural resources.
      • The difference between barriers and supports perceived by undergraduates emphasizes the need to design recruitment and retention techniques for specific target populations.
      • By carefully designing support systems for young adults and underrepresented groups, natural resource degree programs can help them overcome barriers and enter the natural resource workforce.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.11.0028
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    • Alec R. Kowalewski, Tim W. Stock, Brian W. McDonald, Clint M. Mattox and Brian L. Daviscourt
      Developing and Delivering a Needs-Based Integrated Pest Management Program for Public School Grounds Employees
      Core Ideas
      • We developed an engaging and needs-based IPM training curriculum for public school IPM and Coordinators and grounds employees in the Portland Metropolitan area.
      • Although other training options are available, none specific to the needs of the Oregon school grounds employees were available prior to this pilot project.
      • We used a focus group and survey to identify high-priority training topics.
      • We conducted site visits to confirm the severity of these issues and determine if other IPM-related topics need to be incorporated into the future training events.
      • Panel discussions and hands-on field demonstrations were used to foster active and hands-on education.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0017
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    • Matthew McBroom, David Kulhavy, Jeremy Stovall and Ryan Grisham
      Use of a Portable Sawmill for Forestry Instruction
      Core Ideas
      • Incorporating a sawmill exercise allowed students to develop log scaling and grading solutions.
      • Working in teams led to collaborative problem solving.
      • The sawmill exercise mimics larger-scale practices in industrial facilities.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.0001
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    • R. Y. Stiglitz, E. A. Mikhailova, C. J. Post, M. A. Schlautman and J. L. Sharp
      Teaching Soil Color Determination Using an Inexpensive Color Sensor
      Core Ideas
      • Soil color is indicative of many soil characteristics.
      • This article describes teaching students color identification using traditional Munsell color chart and sensor based technology.
      • Students preferred using a soil color sensor over a color chart.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.03.0005
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    • Victoria Mundy Bhavsar, Cristina M. Dypiangco and Rob Moreau
      “Fifty Questions”: Encouraging Students to Ask Questions and Evaluate Information
      Core Ideas
      • Students need support in learning to productively question received information.
      • Students make clear progress in the ability to find and evaluate information.
      • Students do not clearly progress in the ability to formulate sophisticated questions.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0029
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    • C. Haynes, J. Thompson, B. Licklider, S. Hendrich, K. Thompson and J. Wiersema
      Mindset about Intelligence and Connections to Student Effort: Opportunities for Learning and Action
      Core Ideas
      • Students’ self-theories about intelligence can affect motivation to learn.
      • Instruction in two courses is described with impact on student learning behaviors.
      • Brief interventions on mindset and meaningful and mindful effort are effective.
      • Students identify study strategies and take responsibility for their own learning.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.0004
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    • Judith K. Turk
      The Development and Evaluation of Lecture Tutorials for Introductory Soil Science
      Core Ideas
      • Lecture tutorials significantly improved students’ performance on quizzes for certain topics.
      • Lecture tutorials were effective in courses for majors and non-majors.
      • Student ratings of lecture tutorials were higher in the course for environmental science majors.
      • Hands-on lecture tutorials were rated as most “fun” by environmental science students.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.0002
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    • Guang Jin, Tom Bierma and Liangcheng Yang
      Cap-and-Trade: Understanding and Teaching a Market-Based Approach to Natural Resource Allocation
      Core Ideas
      • A cap-and-trade, non-digital game is used in helping undergraduate applied science majors “discover” the principles of this market-based approach to natural resource allocation.
      • We have found the game to result in more student engagement and comprehension than prior attempts with standard lecture/reading format.
      • The game can be easily adapted to a wide variety of natural science fields.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0030
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    • Debra A. Fowler, Chelsea A. H. Bakenhus, Merwyn M. Kothmann, Maria L. Macik, Nate Poling and Sherri MacWillie
      Redesigning Natural Resources Curricula: A Redesign Process Model at Texas A&M University
      Core Ideas
      • An undergraduate natural resources education is improved at a major research university.
      • The article describes a systematic curriculum redesign process in a university program.
      • The program is improved by using data-driven program design and assessment.
      • The undergraduate curriculum is focused to ensure program and graduate quality based on industry/academic needs and trends.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.09.0019
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    • Anne Marie A. Casper, Meena M. Balgopal and María E. Fernández-Giménez
      Natural Resource Management Students’ Perceptions of Conceptual Change in a Capstone Course
      Core Ideas
      • Students’ conceptual change of systems thinking was facilitated by a capstone class.
      • Conceptual change was influenced by stakeholders, peers, and a large group project.
      • Students’ conceptions of biophysical and social systems became more integrated.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0024
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    • Elizabeth A. Flaherty, Carolyn A. Eckrich and Merav Ben-David
      Engaging Students in a Mock Town Hall Discussion: Case Study of the Big Thorne Timber Sale
      Core Ideas
      • Provides students with a problem-solving and decision-making experience.
      • Highlights U.S. policy involved in managing our natural resources.
      • Describes an actual natural resource management situation in southeastern Alaska.
      • Students represent stakeholders and debate the issue in a simulated public meeting.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0020
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    • Kristin K. Michels, Zachary D. Michels and Sara C. Hotchkiss
      Advantages of Live Microscope Video for Laboratory and Teaching Applications
      Core Ideas
      • Spatial reasoning and penetrative thinking are difficult concepts for students.
      • Videos used in microscopy pedagogy portray dimensionality.
      • Live video enhances student learning in microscopy in directed study and classrooms.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0018
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    • Cale A. Bigelow and John E. Kaminski III
      Social Media and Electronic Networking Use and Preferences among Undergraduate Turf Science Students
      Core Ideas
      • University students are increasingly using electronic means for their primary communication methods.
      • University faculty must be aware of these communication methods if they want to continue to promote “learner-centered” environments.
      • Although students spend a large amount of time on electronic social media they do not feel isolated.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0001
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    • Mao Thao, Frances Lawrenz, Mary Brakke, Jamie Sherman and Martin Matute
      Insights into Implementing Research Collaborations between Research-Intensive Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions
      Core Ideas
      • Science faculty at minority-serving institutions and research-intensive universities are willing to collaborate and believe that collaboration provides valuable opportunities for students.
      • Students enjoyed and believed they benefitted from the research collaborations; in particular, students gained research experiences and benefitted from the mentoring relationships they had with faculty from both types of institutions.
      • Research collaborations between minority-serving institutions and research-intensive universities show some promise in terms of increasing the diversity of the people pursuing advanced degrees in plant breeding, although career choices depend on many variables that cannot be addressed by a research experience alone.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2015.0025
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    • Kevin Hesson
      Charcoal Hearth Soils: Remnants of the Iron Industry in the Northeastern U. S.
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.02.0771
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    • Shulamit Shroder
      Soil Ecosystem Responses to Depleted Uranium Contamination
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.02.0772
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    • Emily Keeling
      Improvement of Post-Flowering Drought Tolerance and Brown Midrib Traits in Sorghum
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.02.0773
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    • Newsfeatures
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.06.0099
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    • New Media Received
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.12.0200
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    • Editorial Board Minutes, 2016
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.12.0300
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    • Thanks to Our Editorial Board Members
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.12.0400
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    • Recipients of NSE Editor’s Citation for Excellence, 2015
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.12.0500
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    • Thanks To Our Reviewers
      Natural Sciences Education 2016 45:nse2016.12.0600
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