Team Meet & Greet – CEVS 1103 Environmental Science

Welcome to Introduction to CEVS 1103 Environmental Science!

Please use the Storytelling & Communications Template introduced in Session 3 to tell us about yourself, why you’re interested in this project, and get to know your fellow team members.

My background and current job as a college librarian requires outreach with research services to both students and faculty. I teach one-time information literacy sessions when faculty request library instruction for their classes. I also promote library resources to faculty as “affordable learning” options to textbook purchases. I’ve been tasked with moving forward with more library OER initiatives that relate to faculty, in particular. So I have a professional stake in OER. It happens that I’m very interested in environmental topics, including natural history, permaculture, ecology, botany, and conservation biology. I want to be part of a coordinated effort to educate lower-level undergraduates and Dual Enrollment students about important environmental issues and concepts.

For five years, I taught a credit course in information literacy and library research at Southeastern Louisiana University; that freshman-level course utilized only OER materials developed by us librarians. Students in that course GREATLY appreciated the cost savings. I was a part of the Affordable Learning Committee at Southeastern, composed an extensive OER/OA research guide for our faculty, and participated in a few committee presentations to faculty on OER/OA topics. As Biology liaison, I selected monographs for our biology collections and located OER materials to include in the Biology research guide. I’ve attended OER conferences (i.e., the recent 2022 Open Education Conference), demonstrated LOUIS’s OER/OA platforms and tools to Southeastern faculty, and read some literature and foundational books on the Open movement. My role here is to facilitate, organize, and support faculty as they develop and make decisions about content. I can assist with editing and publishing workflows (5 years instructional experience with Moodle). I have a decent working knowledge of copyright, accessibility, and instructional design, and familiarity with how/where to search/retrieve OERs and other sources.

My initial sense of our cohort’s uniqueness is the diversity of backgrounds/expertise (biology, botany, industry, workforce development, chemistry, hydrology, etc) as well as of perspectives/agendas. Diversity seems to be one of our special assets.

A core Rebus value is DEI – diversity, equity, and inclusion – a value shared by the OER movement. As a librarian, I respect my profession’s code of ethics, which demands fair representation of diverse, contrasting, even opposing views. Since this is an introductory “survey” course for novice college students with limited college experience, my current vision (humble, negotiable, and “imo”, of course, since I’m not a content expert) is a course offering general treatment of multiple important topics. I don’t think controversy within the field should be ignored or avoided. I have a “both-and” approach on content: both pure, neutral, fact-based academic science – as well as practical and nuanced applications for students with either workforce development needs or conservation sympathies/career goals. I’m eager to listen to cohort members. I share these impressions, but ultimately I defer to the content experts!

I’ve perused TOCs for Env. Science introductory-level textbooks on OpenStax, and some of the topics covered include: biogeochemical cycles; water quality, infrastructure, and conservation; energy infrastructure, workforce, production, and alternatives; basics of ecology, ecosystems, biodiversity, and conservation; air/water pollution, climate change, sustainability, environmental solutions, American environmental history, etc.

Hi. My name is Adronisha Frazier. I am an assistant professor of biology at Northshore Technical Community College. I teach environmental biology, introduction to biology, general biology, and medical microbiology lecture and laboratory courses. I have interacted with students that failed to have access to their textbooks because it was too expensive for them. So, I began working on implementing OERs in my courses in 2018. All my classes have used OER textbooks since last year. This is exciting because my students have access to the resources that they need to be successful on the very first day of class.

I have attended workshops and conferences on OERs. I have collaborated with faculty and other members of academia to create instructional OER modules and ancillary materials through the Rice University OpenStax’s Creator Fest in 2018, grant funding with the LOUIS Library in 2019, Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education Synthesis (QUBES) Cohort for community college faculty in 2020 and 2021, facilitator for a group completing their instructional module through QUBES in 2021, and in my role at Northshore. I am currently writing my dissertation proposal on the implementation and perception of OERs. Serving in the different roles will allow me to contribute my subject matter expertise and bring skills that further support the purpose of open education. I am looking forward to working with this cohort to create resources for our dual-enrolment students, students enrolled in introductory-level environmental science courses, and any educator, counselor, or individual with an interest in environmental science.

As our cohort leader Andrea stated, we have a unique group. We each have different perspectives, affiliations with different systems (LCTCS, SU System, UL System, and LAICU), and varying years of experience in teaching and research. I look forward to blending our experiences to yield a useful OER for public use.