Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ES - Environmental Science
  • W - Writing

Typically offered:

Upon occasion

This is a course in conducting scientific research and practicing scientific communication through writing and oral presentation. Each student will spend the term working on one research project that is part of broader ongoing research by COA faculty or community-based work in the MDI region. Topics for student projects will be tied to existing projects and in collaboration with researchers, educators, and community members. The projects may follow a wide range of formats and should connect to student interests. Some examples of possible projects include: investigating seasonal variation in surface water and groundwater quality and quantity, identifying the resource needs of high school educators teaching data literacy based on geoscience datasets, interpreting the paleoecology of a location based on a sediment core, exploration of geochemical reactions, analyzing levels of contamination in the environment, or the review and synthesis of the state of EPA standards for the acceptable limits for chemicals found in drinking water. After choosing a project, students will ask questions of existing data, review existing literature, design the next phase of a project, collect observations, and make interpretations based on those observations. Each week, students will practice writing and peer review of project components: proposal preparation, literature review, methodology description, presentation of results or products, data visualization, interpretation and synthesis connected to prior work, and potential future work. Class time will be used for lectures, meetings with visiting collaborators or field trips, student presentations, and writing instruction and revision. Students will be evaluated based on their weekly written work, their ability to meet milestones throughout the project work, and their final dissemination (report and oral presentation) of their project.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: At least one prior ES course, and permission of instructor. Class limit: 16. Lab fee: None. Meets the following degree requirements: ES, W


At least one prior ES course, and permission of instructor.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.