AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 13. Astronomy Education
Display, Monday, June 3, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[13.09] Internet-based Astronomy Education in the Rural Southwest

N. Duric (University of New Mexico), W. Ryan, E. Ryan (NM Highlands University), R. Friedberg, S. Semken, W. Bryan (Dine College), A. Shultz (Fort Lewis College), D. Wood (NM Highlands University), C. Pennypacker (UC Berkeley), G. Gisler (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

A consortium consisting of Dine College, the University of New Mexico (UNM), New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU), the University of California-Berkeley(UCB), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and Fort Lewis College, has been created in a collaborative effort to broaden the educational and research opportunities available to astronomy students in the rural Southwest. In particular, the shared hardware, curriculum, and personnel resources of the consortium members are made available through the effective utilization of the internet. At the introductory level, this effort has included online laboratories developed at UNM. The evaluation of the effectiveness of their remote delivery has been tested at Dine College and NMHU and is now being incorporated into their onsite coursework.

Additionally, all universities in the consortium place great emphasis on incorporating hands-on laboratory and research experiences into their undergraduate curricula. Therefore, a network of remotely accessible, robotic telescopes is being developed as part of this effort. This will allow students at even the smallest institutions, in the consortium, access to research-grade facilities. Also, remote mentoring via the internet allows students to access the combined expertise of the consortium, which significantly broadens the range of research topics available to students.

Future work includes the development of a fully self-contained distance learning introductory astronomy course, additional onsite curriculum development at each institution, and expanding the student participation in remotely mentored research.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: duric@unm.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.