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Edmonds Community College

Undergraduate research at Edmonds Community College is founded on the notion that there is a common approach that will work across disciplines in exposing students to the rigors and rewards of engaging in research. That approach is: Design - Research - Present. Our team is in the process of doing a coordinated rollout of selected courses over the next two years to pilot this model. Those courses, which will have research outcomes added to their official outcomes, include:

  • Anthropology 215: Bio-Anthropology

  • Biology 105: Natural History

  • Biology 213: Plant Biology

  • English 161: Fiction Writing

  • Journalism 125: Introduction to Journalism

  • Physics 100: Introduction to Physics

  • Physics 221-223: Physics Sequence

  • Political Science 202: American Government

Acoustics Levitation

EdCC Physics Instructor Tom Fleming says that undergraduate research plays an important role in helping his students discover what the scientific process is all about. In this video, Fleming's students discuss how they are delving into acoustics levitation. According to Fleming, the activity presents an authentic research experience for students because they don't know the answers when they start.

The LEAF School

Service Learning + Undergraduate Research = Synergy!

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Our Story

Dr Thomas W. Murphy launched the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field    (LEAF) School at Edmonds Community College in April 2006.  The LEAF School is a service-­learning program that fosters sustainability through the use of traditional ecological knowledge to help solve modern problems.

View a LEAF project PDF: Wildlife Passage in Snohomish County

Service-­learning is a teaching methodology that engages students in service to the greater community as part of the learning process. A sustainable community, to which we aspire, lives within its means, harvesting and impacting resources at rates that ensure continued access to the same resources for future generations.    

Traditional ecological knowledge is the collection of stories, skills, values, and teaching about our relationships with plants and animals. It is accumulated by a community of people who have lived in the same place for an extended period of time and is found in its richest forms in indigenous cultures.



Team: Greg Van Belle (English/Humanities), Joan Penney (Dean Humanities and Social Sciences), Rob Harrill (English/Journalism), Tom Fleming (Physics), Gem Baldwin (Anthropology), Hans Landel (Biology), Robin Datta (Political Science/Honors)

Vision and Change Implementation


Integrate Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum

  • Introduce the scientific process to students early, and integrate it into all undergraduate biology courses

  • Relate abstract concepts in biology to real ­world examples on a regular basis, and make biology content relevant by presenting problems in a real ­life context 

  • Stimulate the curiosity students have for learning about the natural world

  • Demonstrate both the passion scientists have for their discipline and their delight in sharing their understanding of the world with students


Focus on Student ­Centered Learning

  • Engage students as active participants, not passive recipients, in all undergraduate biology courses

  • Use multiple modes of instruction in addition to the traditional lecture

  • Introduce research experiences as an integral component of biology education for all students, regardless of their major

  • Integrate multiple forms of assessment to track student learning


Promote a Campus wide Commitment to Change

  • Mobilize all stakeholders, from students to administrators, to commit to improving the quality of undergraduate biology education

  • Support the development of a true community of scholars dedicated to advancing the life sciences and the science of teaching

  • Advocate for increased status, recognition, and rewards for innovation in teaching, student success, and other educational outcome


Engage the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change

  • Promote more concept­ oriented undergraduate biology courses, and help all students learn how to integrate facts into larger conceptual contexts 

  • Provide all biology faculty with access to the teaching and learning research referenced throughout this report, and encourage its application when developing courses 

  • Create active ­learning environments for all students, even those in first ­year biology courses

High Impact Practices Implementation

Learning Communities

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

Undergraduate Research

Diversity/Global Learning

Service Learning

Community-Based Learning

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