Student involvement in field-teaching preparations
Skrevet av: Noora Partamies
The project aims at partnering with a course-level student to provide the student experience in scientific data analysis while preparing material for a course. The UNIS bachelor course AGF-210, Middle polar atmosphere, focusses on phenomena in the stratosphere and mesosphere. These include hydroxyl airglow, which is measured by a spectrometer at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO). Airglow is one of the key themes on the course. We discuss both the theoretical background of the phenomenon (physics & chemistry), and familiarise with the spectrometer as an instrument. We further analyse and interpret recent measurements as a part of the field activity. As KHO has collected a decades-long time series of these measurements, which provide valuable temperature information from the otherwise poorly monitored mesopause region, it is necessary to discuss the importance of the annual calibration of the spectrometer. While the calibration has always been explained, it has remained somewhat detached from the students’ own data analysis exercises.
Involving a student who has performed the analysis of the calibration data as a short science project is what we anticipate to help in bridging the gap in the expert-student communication, and between the science and education worlds. The calibration data analysis work itself is a compact, few-weeks job, which has not been done since 2013. A student assistent will contribute to the space physics group’s scientific work with these results. In addition to the data analysis, the student will participate in the planning of the airglow part of the fieldwork in November 2022, as well as present the project results to the course group. This will provide a student-level insight into the scientific data analysis and how it contributes to the research of long-term trends in the atmosphere. The course students are anticipated to ask questions and interact more with the student presenter as compared to a senior expert. Furthermore, this is a way to emphasise research-based education at UNIS, at the same time giving a young student a meaningful experience in research.
As the proposed project relates to the AGF-210 field activities it is relevant to the iEarth Focus area 4 on field learning. The project student will explore an authentic research, as well as sharing the experiences with fellow students, in accordance to the Focus area 2, a learning environment for students.
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