Department Goals and Objectives

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Department Goals and Objectives

Department Goals and Objectives

Consistent with its mission, the goals and objectives of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department involves the achievement of goals in nine major areas of student growth, learning and community outreach.

1. Scientific Knowledge Base To communicate to every student the essential understanding of Earth, Earth processes and environments necessary to informed citizens in the 21st century

  • To improve student understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge; where it comes from, how it is constructed and evaluated, its strengths and weaknesses
  • To provide a carefully constructed, comprehensive program of courses, scheduled in a timely manner, that supports immersion in the essential knowledge base required for BA/BS level mastery in all of our major tracks so that every major achieves significant knowledge of the Geosciences
  • To work closely with students during advisement to ensure that they use the University's General Studies Program in ways that maximize the achievement of their goals
  • To insure that students have a knowledge base in related sciences, mathematics, statistics and computer software applications appropriate for future careers in the Geosciences

2. Personal Aptitudes and Perspectives

  • To foster personal initiative, responsibility and independence
  • To help students develop self esteem based in real achievement
  • To foster mutual respect between students of diverse backgrounds, values and experiences
  • To promote the development of professional perspectives by increasing opportunities for students to interact with professionals from academia, government organizations and the business world
  • To increase student appreciation of the power of mathematics/statistics in posing problems, creating rigorous hypotheses, testing and evaluating hypotheses and developing meaningful solutions to problems

3. Critical Thinking and Decision Making To improve student abilities to pose the kind of meaningful questions or problems that underlie scientific research

  • To improve student abilities to synthesize, analyze and evaluate information from a variety of sources
  • To improve student abilities to develop multiple hypotheses and to justify one choice of hypotheses using multiple lines of evidence
  • To student abilities to make logical inferences, both inductive and deductive, from information gathered from reading and/or laboratory and field investigations
  • To improve student abilities to approach situations with multiple points of view and to change their point of view when it is warranted
  • To improve decision making abilities by focusing on careful observation and data gathering and information analysis to decide on a course of action

4. Quantitative Reasoning and Problem-solving

  • To enable students to ask meaningful questions and pose significant problems stated in a quantitative manner
  • To improve their ability to recognize multiple ways to approach questions and solve such problems
  • To ensure that students can use statistical, algebraic, trigonometric and exponential equations to state problems, state and test hypotheses, predict test/survey results and evaluate the quality of hypotheses

5. Modern Technology and Instrumental Analysis

  • To ensure that students have useful knowledge GPS and GIS technology in locating and portraying many types of information
  • To continue to improve the analytical capability of our laboratories so students will have access to modern instrumentation and its uses
  • To ensure that the graduates of our program are competent in and comfortable with the uses of instrumentation in collecting data and solving scientific problems

6. Individual Initiative in Laboratory and Field-based Research

  • To achieve the ability to review, analyze and synthesize current knowledge
  • To be able to design and implement research projects To be able to analyze data and make statistical inferences To be able to map data collected in the field and/or imported from existing data bases
  • To continue to increase internship, cooperative education, laboratory research and field experience opportunities for our students
  • To encourage professional presentation and/or publications by students in local, state, national and international forums

7. Oral, Written and Professional Communication

  • To effectively present information learned from critical reading and laboratory and/or field based research
  • To be able to write clear laboratory and field reports
  • To be to present orally the results of laboratory and field research
  • To have experience with creating and presenting professional posters

8. Community Based Research and Recruitment

  • To further develop urban based research program with a significant local community component
  • To develop articulation agreements with local high schools
  • To develop meaningful articulation agreements with NJ community colleges
  • To develop graduate program articulation agreements with other Universities

9. Interdisciplinary Initiatives

  • To initiate and develop an interdisciplinary core program in Environmental Science in close cooperation with other natural science departments in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • To develop, in consultation with programs in the College of Professional Studies geography certificate and minor program in Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • To work closely with the College of Education to train excellent teachers of science
  • To explore the development of a Masters in Science Education Program in conjunction with other departments in the natural sciences and the Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education

10. Faculty Development

  • To engage in ongoing assessment of the faculty, students and curriculum so that we continue to build on our strengths and address our concerns in a meaningful way in an ever-changing world
  • To encourage professional presentations by faculty in local, state, national and international forums
  • To encourage professional publications by faculty
  • To continue to write successful Grant proposals to fund student and faculty research, urban research, recruitment, program development and implementation, and improved technical and laboratory facilities
  • To continue to promote diversity in our faculty's backgrounds, skills and perspectives