Desert-Fire Learning Consortium

Keeping deserts healthy can only happen with an understanding of how these ecosystems function.  With that objective in mind, the DESERT-FIRE Learning Consortium was established to bring together a community of learners (researchers, educators and students) to develop studies, collect and interpret data and identify strategies for better communicating that understanding to broader audiences.

A research/education database will be developed to:

  1. facilitate a systems-level analysis of the ecological interactions at play;
  2. engage students in authentic research experiences from the classroom; and
  3. provide teaching resources to educators.

With a goal of integrated research-education program we proposed to develop the Desert Ecology Learning Consortium (DesLC). The DesLC will bring together the following community of learners: 6-8 faculty 8-10 graduate students, 50-60 undergraduate research students, 10 high school teachers, and 10 high school students. Several hundred additional undergraduate students will participate in research-based learning activities that include field trips to research sites and analysis and interpretation of authentic research data collected from field sites.  Importantly, high school teachers will be provided with teaching resources to enhance the learning experience of their classes (field guides, books, access to project data and a photo and video library).

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