The National Science Foundation is awarding Ohio Wesleyan University a one-year, $86,735 grant to oversee the creation of online teaching tools that advance field ecology and data science.
Laurel J. Anderson, Ph.D., OWU’s Morris Family Professor of Natural Sciences, is the principal investigator on the federal grant. She also is president of the Board of Directors for the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), a consortium of colleges and universities that will work together to create the new teaching tools. Dr. Anderson will partner with Dr. Tim McCay from Colgate University to administer the project.
“The pandemic has created an urgent need to reimagine our teaching of field ecology, which is usually done with in-person field trips,” said Dr. Anderson, who helped to found EREN in 2010.
“However, field ecologists also use computer technology extensively to explore natural patterns at large scales,” she continued. “These projects allow us to meet our need to socially distance and have students collecting data wherever they happen to be. Then, we use online tools and datasets to see how their data fits into large-scale patterns.”