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Technology Plan 2004-2007

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Earth Sciences

Description
All lecture classrooms (306, 315 and 316) and full-time faculty offices (300A-1,3 & 4) are equipped with computers and Internet connections. Processor speeds are mostly around 300mhz and will thus need upgrading at some time during the 2004-2007 interval. All classroom computers will eventually need DVD players. Room 310 (chemistry / geology / oceanography lab) has neither computer nor data projector, but needs both. Room 300A-2 (Earth Science prep room and workspace for TA’s and adjunct instructors) has a computer (without Internet) and scanner on loan from ICS for the spring 2004 semester. Earth Science shares with Chemistry the computer lab in room 313, on which Arc View GIS software and various department-developed CAI applications for other Earth Science courses are installed. Our labs and field classes utilize a vast array of environmental mapping and measuring devices including: GPS receivers, stream current meters, salinity refractometers, thermal infrared meters, hand-held weather monitors, soil probes, dissolved oxygen measuring devices, water samplers, 2meter-band mobile radios and a lap top computer on which collected field data is manipulated and analyzed. We are aggressively committed to enhancing integration of the latest technology possible with our curriculum.

Curriculum Impact
Improved and increased computer-based technologies, equipment, and software will help to improve student comprehension and success in all ES offerings. Continued acquisition and utilization of field measurement and mapping technology will upgrade our field courses and laboratory curriculum.

Approximate Number of Students Served
ES enrollment is approximately 3500 students per year and should grow at the same rate as the general college.

Support Impact
As ES expands its slate of computer-based instructional applications a corresponding increase in ICS support personnel is needed. Particularly critical is the need for support in GIS instruction and anticipated real-time 3D applications that will challenge the current computer lab’s hardware to render acceptable frame rates.

Year 1 (2004-2005)

Objective
There is an urgent need to preserve and archive the slide collections of retired faculty by scanning them into digital format. Several thousand 35mm slides are stored in the ES workroom, donated by Wayne Harmon, Ray Resler, and Lee Engelhorn. The images are of every known phenomenon in our discipline, from all over the world and are priceless but they are degrading with time. In the spring of 2004 ICS loaned ES a computer and flatbed scanner. A student intern was put to the task of scanning the collection, but because she had far too little time to contribute and the scanner was extremely slow, only about 3% of the collection was scanned and archived. Obviously, a more efficient system is required. Earth Science requires a state-of-the-art graphic workstation to be installed in the prep/work area (room 300A-2) and networked with the existing instructors’ computers. This computer would serve multiple functions: (1) scan and archive to a central hard drive the existing slide collection and all future ES graphic resources; (2) forestall the upgrade of existing instructors’ computers by running all specialized, expensive and/or processor-taxing software and hardware (e.g. Adobe Photo Shop, Vegas, Flash, Director, 3dsMax, Bryce, scanners and burners etc.) on one shared machine; (3) provide a computer for TA and especially adjunct use who would benefit greatly from access to the department’s collective graphic resources.

Action to Meet Objective
Purchase: (1) Pentium IV, 3Ghz computer with at least a 120MB hard drive, 1GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9800SE video card, firewire and DVD burner ($1,500); (2) Nikon Coolpix 5000 35mm Slide Scanner with auto feed accessory ($1,500); (3) Adobe Photo Shop ($300). No additional support personnel are anticipated.

Year 2 (2005-2006)

Objective
Update department GIS software and enhance students’ finished projects by (finally!) providing a large format printer/plotter.

Action to Meet Objective
Purchase: (1) ArcGIS Lab Pak Kit ($3500), which includes licensing for 25 stations; (2) one large format printer, e.g. HP DesignJet 500PS Large Format Inkjet Printer. Only GIS technology will need attention of support personnel.

Year 3 (2006-2007)

Objectives
Upgrade computers, software and display equipment to maintain technological effectiveness. Acquire new faculty computers capable of efficiently running Vista and hardware-intensive Earth Science applications such as ArcGIS and 3D Studio Max. Install upgraded video projector in room 315 and a second data projector in the Science Learning Center (room 201).

 Equip our laboratories with apparatus befitting the beautiful and functionally superior new Earth Science lab facility. Our existing lab equipment and specimens are not only dated and shoddy, but they will look even worse in the new lab. Furthermore, we would like to acquire equipment to take full advantage of the enhanced functionality of the new lab.

 

Continue upgrading field mapping and measurement competencies so as to match the technologies used in freshman/sophomore ES classes at SDSU (devices to measure soil and vegetation canopy temperatures, water and energy flows within plants and carbon budgets). Not only would these additional technologies facilitate articulation but could be used in Mission Trails biomes to monitor stressed plant communities and general environmental integrity. Importantly, the park studies will be a joint effort with our Biology Department and SDSU: a fine example of community service and collegial collaboration.

 

Action to Meet Objective
Purchase:
(1) New faculty computers: 2 new “high-end” faculty computer systems and 3 new “basic” faculty computers:
(2) EIKI 210 data projector
(3) EIKI 71 data projector  
(4) one Polarizing Microscope  
(5) 48 Imhoff Settling Cones  
(6) 16 Imhoff Cone Racks  
(7) 10 Sieve Sets
(8) one Planetarium  
(9) 16 Pan Balances  
(10) 14 Sling Pschychrometers  
(11) one Rock Saw  
(12) 40 Thermometers  

(13) 32 Garmin eTtrex Vista GPS units
(14) 32 lap top computers (i.e. Latitude D620
(15) one Qualimeterics albedo meter  
(16) one Theta Portable Soil Moisture Meter  
(17) one leaf-area meter

 


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