In partnership with Chapman University, ILI is assisting in the evaluation of a project-based learning course focused purely on ECOSTRESS. Every week, each student is required to identify an ECOSTRESS-related event that recently occurred, download ECOSTRESS data, create a map visualizing the event and write a media-friendly summary. These are delivered on a weekly basis to the ECOSTRESS Applications Lead for incorporation onto the ECOSTRESS website and to media channels as appropriate (e.g., JPL media, NASA Earth Observatory/Image of the Day). As students become particularly interested in a specific event, they pivot to research mode, conducting an in-depth analysis of the event.

After piloting the first year of the course, it will be extended to 11 additional universities in collaboration with partners committed to adding this class in year 2. This second year of projects culminates in an ECOSTRESS student meetup for select students from each institution at the ECOSTRESS Science and Applications Team meeting, where they will present their work.

ILI is carrying out detailed pre- and post-course surveys and interviews throughout the project duration to inform revision of the materials, and to determine how engaging in such coursework aids in the development of science interest and identity. These results are contributing to understanding how we can engage remote sensing for authentic project-based learning to improve the recruitment and retention of new scientists in the field. We expect that the project will significantly advance ECOSTRESS science, applications, and research, as well as provide a framework to expand educational lessons learned into subsequent missions.


Project Team: Monae Verbeke Ph.D.