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The Summer Ecosystem Experience for Undergraduates (SEE-U)

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May 2000. The The Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates (SEE-U) is an innovative collaboration between Columbia University? Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. The digitally networked five-week field ecology program consists of a network of introductory ecology courses running simultaneously during the summer in different biomes around the world. CCNMTL is developing a variety of digital resources that will allow students in a particular biome to contextualize their local research within a broader understanding of global ecology.

In conjunction with CERC and Center for International Earth Sciences Information Network (CIESIN), the Center is working to develop eBiome. eBiome is an innovative, integrated tool for storing and retrieving all types of field ecology data ranging from climatic and abiotic information to ethological and behavioral data. This tool has been developed exclusively for the SEE-U program and will serve as one of the centerpieces of the class. All data collected during the class will be entered into eBiome for use by students at the field site as well as by students who are in the other SEE-U field sites. eBiome will help students gain a unique understanding of how similar processes occur around the globe, because they will compare data from many biomes. In so doing, eBiome will help students to more thoroughly grasp and comprehend important ecological concepts.

The Center is also constructing websites featuring web-based communications infrastructure that will allow students from different biomes to share ideas and exchange information that pertains to their field research. The websites will also serve as a curriculum portal for the SEE-U program? platform for assignments; lecture and multimedia archive; and other online resources.