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DATE: Feb. 20, 2004

Geosciences Institute links campus with high school teachers in area

DEARBORN---More than 20 local high school teachers and students will get the chance to work on research projects with faculty at the University of Michigan-Dearborn this summer as part of the Department of Natural Science's inaugural Geosciences Institute for Education and Research to be held July 12-30 at the campus's Environmental Interpretive Center.

"The program is a consortium of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and local geologists who are working together to extend and diversify a community of individuals participating in geoscience research," according to Kent Murray, associate professor of geology and environmental science at UM-Dearborn and coordinator of the institute. "We want to improve teacher knowledge of geology and stimulate student interest in the sciences while providing opportunities to participate in ongoing research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development."

Teachers and students participating in the Institute will help with one of four research projects:

  • The investigation of air-fall deposition from the Central Wayne incinerator and its impact on public health.
  • Heavy-metal analysis of soil from active and inactive brownfield sites in southwest Detroit.
  • Land-use impact on groundwater and surface water quality.
  • Reinterpretation of the glacial history of southeastern Michigan.

In addition, participants will learn about the geology and hydrology of the Rouge River watershed, environmental problems pertinent to southeast Michigan and how the geosciences can be used to solve community-based environmental concerns.

The program also will include field trips and lectures by geologists. Teachers will have opportunities to develop modules that can be used in middle- and high-school classrooms. Students will learn about career opportunities in the geosciences at the local, national and international level.

For more information about the program, or to apply for a spot in the summer institute, visit http://www.umd.umich.edu/casl/natsci/geoinstitute/ or contact Murray at (313) 436-9129.

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