Hot Topics in Global Warming

Hot Topics in Global Warming
An Information Literacy and
Science Writing Project
Elizabeth A. Johnson and Gerald L. Gill
James Madison University
Why a course project?
• GGEOL115: Earth Systems & Climate
• Help students achieve two General
Education objectives:
– Find, evaluate, and use scientific resources.
– Communicate information [about climate
science] correctly and in an understandable,
interesting way.
Why a course project?
• Allow students to develop
their own interests in
climate change
• Textbooks can’t keep up
with new results
Project Goal
• Turn this…
Project Goal
• …Into a newsletter or blog article
(audience = general public or JMU students)
Project Timeline
• Project instructions and librarian visit to
class (Jan 31)
• Part 1: Find a scientific research article
using IPCC report (Feb 28)
• Part 2: Peers edit and comment on article
draft in class (April 8)
• Part 3: Final article due / present to group
in class (April 22)
• Post to a Wiki
Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC)
• 2007: Fourth
Assessment Report
• Working Group II:
adaptation, and
Part 1: Pick an interesting topic and
find a citation
Part 1: Locate and read the peerreviewed journal article
• Complete citation
• Describe data collection or model
construction methods
• Why choose this paper?
• Discourage procrastination
• Encourage thoughtful choices
Part 2: Edit draft in class
• Two other students read and make
suggestions based on grading rubric
• Divide class into full draft, incomplete
draft, outline only
• Peers don’t actually grade paper
• Discourage procrastination
• Improve writing
Part 3: Newsletter article
• Provide style examples from Geotimes
• Length guidelines
• Present findings informally in a group in
Post to a Wiki….
• Wetpaint
• PB wiki
Potential Hang-ups
• Pick “unreadable” paper in Part 1
– Review article
– Look up more than one citation?!?
• Difficulty using library resources
• “Quoting parts of scientific paper to avoid
• Peer review effective and helpful?
• Writing in a newsletter style difficult even with
examples provided
• Do not ask for help
• Different course = different primary
– i.e. Geology instead of IPCC
• Peer editing on Wiki before final article
– 100+ students online?
• Focus on writing- you choose a set of
articles for students