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Using an Ongoing Study of Terrestrial Plant Response to Ultraviolet Radiation in Project ALERTThe ALERT (Augmented Learning Environment for Renewable Teaching) Project is a cooperative California-based program with two main partners: California State University (CSU) geoscience and education departments and two NASA Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena and the Ames Research Center (ARC) in Mountain View. This paper presents an example of how a NASA research effort can be used in the undergraduate classroom. A study, now in the fourth year, subjects test plants to exposures of varying solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation (280 - 340 nm); a full solar UV exposure, a solar UV exposure less about 14% of ambient UV flux, and a UV-blocked regime. This experiment is simple in that only modest amounts of expense are required yet it is elegant since only one variable, UV-flux is involved. The experiment lends itself to teaching several of the Earth Sciences because it uses information from botany, taxonomy, and ecology. Aspects of physics are inherent in the study since portions of the electromagnetic spectrum are studied. Further, since only one of many variables are manipulated, UV flux, the study demonstrates how the scientific method is used in formulating and testing hypotheses. Based on the ALERT experience this summer, this study will be implemented at a CSU campus with the expectation that it will serve as a pedagogical tool and where it will involve students in actual research.
Document ID
Document Type
Condon, Estelle (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Skiles, J. W. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Seitz, Jeffery C. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Dantoni, Hector L. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
November 18, 1998
Subject Category
Social and Information Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.