Monthly Archives:: June 2012

Curvy mountain belts

Posted by & filed under Geology.

Mountain belts on Earth are most commonly formed by collision of one or more tectonic plates. The process of collision, uplift, and subsequent erosion of long mountain belts often produces profound global effects, including changes in regional and global climates, as well as the formation of important economic resources, including oil and gas reservoirs and ore deposits. Understanding the formation of mountain belts is thus a very important element of earth science research.

Evidence of oceanic ‘green rust’ offers hope for the future

Posted by & filed under Geology.

"Green rust" played a key role in making the Earth habitable and may now have an equally important role to play in cleaning it up for the future. Green rust is a highly reactive iron mineral which experts hope could be used to clean up metal pollution and even radioactive waste.

Grant Summer Activities

Posted by & filed under eSTEM.

A little taste of what we’ll be doing over summer!

CURRICULUM REDESIGN – Faculty are studying and redesigning curriculum in three major areas, chemistry, majors-biology and non-majors biology with an eye towards shortening the pathways to success for students, increasing interest in STEM fields, and closing the achievement gap for minority students traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. (Ashcroft, Harman, Hsin, Igoe, Jackson, Jarrell, Rodriguez)

CERTIFICATE DEVELOPMENT – Studies have shown that minority students traditionally under-represented in STEM fields benefit from having “milestones” along their academic career path. Faculty are exploring and working to develop CTE Certificates of Achievement in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), nano- technology and certified Naturalist / Field Assistants. (Ashcroft, DiFiori, Presiado)

STUDIO / FLIPPED CLASSROOM – Faculty are developing and building on earlier work on contextualized learning in a “flipped” classroom setting, which emphasizes project-based learning. (Val Foster, Castro, Harman)

COLLABORATORY AND STEM CENTER – Supplemental instruction has been well-established as a successful strategy for increasing the success of STEM student and closing the achievement gap. Work will be done this summer to design and implement a new workspace (Collaboratory) to support a greatly expanded Supplemental Instruction Program for fall in the new Science Village. In addition, faculty and students will be working together to design a new STEM center for Science Village. (Catanese, Val Foster, Harman, Igoe, Rodriguez, Sweimeh).

STUDENT-CENTERED SCHEDULE DEVELOPMENT – Faculty will be working across disciplines to establish a new, more student-friendly schedule for STEM majors. Our goal is to develop a “block” schedule that will have a minimum of conflicts among classes across disciplines (for example Organic Chemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology) which will, with only minor modifications, roll from semester to semester. This will make it much easier for students to develop and follow their educational plans. (Huber, Jarrell)

PRE-HEALTH SCIENCES LEARNING COMMUNITY – Building on the work sponsored by the SASI project, faculty will continue to teach in Learning Communities focused around courses required for entering Health Science Programs such as Nursing and Radiation Technology. Faculty will be preparing an integrated, coordinated curriculum for three classes offered in the Fall of 2012. (Jarrell, Rodriguez and Wright)

HABITS OF MIND – Faculty will explore developing a student success portal similar to the iFalcon program at Cerritos College. (Wright, Presiado)

NOAA: Data from new satellite implemented in record time; Meteorologists are now using information for weather forecasts

Posted by & filed under Geology.

Data flowing from a new generation of instruments onboard the Suomi NPP satellite, a joint NASA/NOAA mission, are being used in NOAA's global numerical weather forecast system a record seven months after launch, nearly three times faster than previous missions. After a rigorous and accelerated evaluation period, meteorologists began using the new data in operational weather models on May 22, 2012. These models are the foundation for all public and private weather forecasts in the United States.

Mercury mineral evolution tied to Supercontinent assembly over last 3 billion years

Posted by & filed under Geology.

Mineral evolution posits that Earth's near-surface mineral diversity gradually increased through an array of chemical and biological processes. A dozen different species in interstellar dust particles that formed the solar system have evolved to more than 4500 species today. New work demonstrates that the creation of most minerals containing mercury is fundamentally linked to several episodes of supercontinent assembly over the last 3 billion years.

Rio+20 Summit: Earth observation for us and our planet

Posted by & filed under Geology.

The Rio+20 summit on promoting jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable use of our planet's resources closed today after three days of talks. During the summit, the role of Earth observation in sustainable development was highlighted.

Remote Siberian lake holds clues to Arctic — and Antarctic — climate change

Posted by & filed under Geology.

Intense warm climate intervals -- warmer than scientists thought possible -- have occurred in the Arctic over the past 2.8 million years. That result comes from the first analyses of the longest sediment cores ever retrieved on land. They were obtained from beneath remote, ice-covered Lake El'gygytgyn in the northeastern Russian Arctic.

Arctic climate more vulnerable than thought, maybe linked to Antarctic ice-sheet behavior

Posted by & filed under Geology.

First analyses of the longest sediment core ever collected on land in the Arctic provide dramatic, "astonishing" documentation that intense warm intervals, warmer than scientists thought possible, occurred there over the past 2.8 million years. Further, these extreme inter-glacial warm periods correspond closely with times when parts of Antarctica were ice-free and also warm, suggesting strong inter-hemispheric climate connectivity. The Polar Regions are much more vulnerable to change than once believed, they add.

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