Advisor

McNeal, Karen

Committee Member

Schmitz, Darrel

Committee Member

Lang, David

Date of Degree

8-1-2011

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Geosciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Geosciences

Abstract

Sound research and effective teaching are both essential to the progress of science. This thesis encompasses two studies to address the two needs: a multi-scale soil study designed to validate a novel soil biological characterization method; and a pilot pedagogical study designed to test the efficacy of authentic science inquiry into gas chromatography. The soil study relies on a comparison of six soils taken from the Bahamas and Michigan. The novel method, using soil-derived VOCs analyzed via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), proved effective for resolving soils, as hypothesized, and may prove useful for analyzing soil biology rapidly and non-destructively in future studies. The pilot pedagogical study compares traditional recipe-style instruction with authentic science inquiry in an undergraduate chemistry laboratory class. Pre- and post-assessments of students’ conceptual understanding, retention of terms, and attitude revealed the hypothesized superior efficacy of authentic science inquiry over traditional recipe-style instruction.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/15459

Comments

attitude||authentic science inquiry||biological characterization method||soil||microorganisms||GC-MS||FAME||BIOLOG||SMVOC||retention||pedagogy

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