Day: February 24, 2015

SS Students and Faculty Published in Land Use Policy Journal

S02648377Students Jennifer Lind-Reihl, Shelly Jeltema, Margaret Morrison, and Gabriela Shirkey and  SS faculty Audrey Mayer, Mark Rouleau, and Richelle Winkler published a paper, “Family legacies and community networks shape private forest management in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan (USA)” in Land Use Policy.

Abstract

Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) owners make thousands of uncoordinated land use decisions that collectively and critically impact forest ecology. Prior research generally assumes private land use decisions adhere to the rational choice paradigm, driven primarily by cost–benefit calculations, such as financial considerations. Thus, when aiming to coordinate land use change in landscapes dominated by private property, policy makers often use economic or educational incentives to encourage enrollment in voluntary programs. Despite these incentives, enrollment in voluntary programs is notoriously low. The current study offers a possible explanation for this problem. It highlights the role of social influence in shaping NIPF land use decision-making. Our research draws on qualitative data gathered from interviews with 37 landowners in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, to discover how social influence affects land management practices, such as decisions to join voluntary programs. We find evidence that family traditions, community relationships, and locally defined social norms play key roles in shaping the land use decision options available to individual landowners. Local norms against clear cutting and trust (or lack thereof) in local experts and organizations were found to be particularly important. We also found evidence of cognitive dissonance associated with conflict between Scandinavian versus American traditions of public access to private lands.


Schelly Publishes on 3D Printing for Education

3DPrinterFrom Tech Today:

Chelsea Schelly (SocSci), Gerald Anzalone (MSE), Bas Wijnen (MSE), Joshua M. Pearce (MSE/ECE) published a paper on “Open-source 3-D printing technologies for education: Bringing additive manufacturing to the classroom” in the  Journal of Visual Language and Computing.

ABSTRACT:

Objective

3-D printing technologies have the potential to improve both Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and Career and Technical Education (CTE), as well as integrating these two educational emphases and providing opportunities for cross-curriculum engagement. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential of open-source (OS) technologies in an educational setting, given the combination of economic constraints affecting all educational environments and the ability of OS design to profoundly decrease the cost of technological tools and technological innovation.

Methods

This paper reports on a 3-day workshop augmented with online instructional and visual tools designed for middle school and high school level educators from a wide array of disciplines (including traditional science, math, and engineering as well as computer, shop, and art). Teachers (n=22) submitted applications to participate in the workshop, the workshop was observed for both evaluation and research, teachers participated in focus groups (n=2) during the workshop in order to discuss their interest in OS 3-D printing technology and its potential role in their classrooms, and teachers completed a voluntary post-workshop survey and responded to follow-up after printers were in the classroom for one year.

Results

During the workshop teachers built 3-D printers using OS technologies that they were then able to take back to their schools and into their classrooms.

Conclusion

Through workshops augmented with online instructional and visual tools designed to provide facilitated yet self-directed engagement with a new, relatively unknown, and relatively complex technology, paired teacher teams were able to successfully build and use RepRap 3-D printers based on OS design in just three days.

Practice

Here, we discuss both what the teachers learned and what we learned from the teachers regarding the potential for educators to construct OS 3-D printing technologies as a tool of empowering and transformative education.

Implications

Open-source 3-D printing technologies have the potential to improve education through a sense of empowerment resulting from active participation, as well as through cross-curriculum engagement.