UVMN is a workforce development initiative of WC-WAVE to provide professional development for instructors (faculty) and students from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) in the three consortium states—ID, NM, and NV. UVMN provides an opportunity to engage diverse students in undergraduate research and CI-enabled education. The goals of UVMN are to improve the undergraduate STEM experience at PUIs through professional development for faculty and the engagement of undergraduate students in research-based activities; and to increase the diversity of participants in STEM education and research.
Three components comprise UVMN:
- Summer Workshop. The 3-day workshop focused on using Google Earth to create GIS content, developing a watershed model and visualize various scenarios, using free geographical data sources and software, and novel approaches to creating 3D models.
- Module Development. Each faculty/student team collaborated on the development and implementation of an educational module based on the summer workshop content.
- On-Going Community. Teams participated in both virtual and face-to-face meetings with project mentors, fellow participants, and WC-WAVE research scientists.
By the conclusion of the summer workshop, each team had developed a module implementation plan. The scale of the modules ranged from a single class-based virtual lab tour (UNM Valencia) to the development of an entirely new STEM course (College of Southern Idaho). UVMN participants have also benefited from on-going collaboration across the three-state network. Teams from NM Highlands University and College of Southern Idaho collaborated on the development of data and visualization classroom activities.
Eleven faculty/student teams from colleges in Idaho, New Mexico, and Nevada attended the 2014-2015 Undergraduate Visualization and Modeling Network summer workshop. Teams from Sierra Nevada College, New Mexico Highlands University, and Mesalands College, New Mexico, focused on watershed mapping and modeling and have leveraged their UVMN work in longer-term research projects. Teams from Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, New Mexico, Nevada State College, and Western Nevada College built augmented reality sandboxes to be used in geoscience courses.