PIRE Seminar (Fall 2010)

Mondays, 9th and 10th period (4:05 to 6:00 pm), CRR 222 (Videoconferencing), 2 credits

Intended participants

Graduate students from any STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline, including (but not limited to) anthropology, astronomy, botany, entomology, geology, science education, wildlife, and zoology. Instructors and invited speakers.


Bruce J. MacFadden
Curator and Professor 
Florida Museum of Natural History
273-1937, bmacfadd@flmnh.ufl.edu.

Douglas S. Jones
Director and Professor,
Florida Museum of Natural History

Course Synopsis

This PIRE (NSF--Partnerships for International Research and Education) seminar will engage students and other participants in the key elements of developing and implementing large, long-term research and education projects, focused on:

PCP=Panama Canal Project=Proyecto del Canal de Panama The STEM content of this seminar will focus on the active UF PCP PIRE entitled: "Ancient biodiversity and global change in the New World Tropics: A once-in-a-century opportunity along the Panama Canal," recently funded by the NSF.

Course Learning Goals

  1. Learn about the essential components of developing a large, complex research and education project.
  2. Learn about the importance of goals, performance, and accountability
  3. Learn about STEM content related to the PCP PIRE
  4. Support and facilitate the class goal of cyberenabled communications
  5. Learn about Broader Impacts and related educational activities
  6. Pursue and present a presentation on a topic of their own choice related to PCP goals.
  7. Be involved in a "capstone" class learning project that advances the PCP PIRE project.

Student's Grade Will be Based On

  1. Class leadership (20%);
  2. Class participation (20%);
  3. Submittal of written assignments (20%);
  4. Individual presentation (20%); and
  5. Group project (20%).

Depending upon the size of the class, one or more group projects that advance the PCP PIRE goals will be done by the students. These might include developing:

  1. An internal grants program,
  2. A bi-lingual project web site; and
  3. Some other project, yet to be determined, of the students' choosing.

There is no text and no tests will be given during this course

Readings will be from primary literature and web-based resources.

General game plan about e-communication

These PIRE seminars will be videoconferenced with students at UF and Panama. There are special needs and requirements that the students will be expected to commit to as part of the course goals. Note: These are subject to change and modification

  1. Readings will be distributed via a group email list one week before they will be discussed in class.
  2. The leader of the readings will receive and collate written questions from students by Sunday before class and distribute via email to class by noon on the day of class.
  3. Discussions will initially not be done by powerpoint, but by e-handouts. This may change.
  4. Optimally, students should bring, or share a laptop during the class that can connect to a wireless network.