Often students disassociate courses which are in their core university requirements- such as writing- from the courses they take for their major. Yet, increasing demands within resource management professions require graduates competent in writing and in using Internet technologies for research and publishing. Thus, there is the need for cross-disciplinary collaboration between the university units responsible for teaching writing and the units providing education for resource professionals. With this need in mind, a unique partnership was formed at Michigan State University between the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (FW) and American Thought and Language (ATL)- the unit charged with teaching a variety of content-based writing courses for new students. We worked together to enhance the design of FW 100- An Introduction to FW and two sections of ATL 150; course content and readings focused on conservation history, and assignments developed writing skills. Additional learning activities enhanced Internet skills, provided outside-of-class experiential opportunities, and helped students develop critical thinking abilities. In-class assessments showed that most students noted how the assignments and approaches used engaged them in learning course content and the value of writing. Future plans are to continue this collaboration, with more students cross-enrolled in the two complementary courses. The anticipated benefits of this collaboration reach beyond those obtained by students. We have found creative ways in which to integrate writing and communications with FW education, while contributing to scholarly applications of writing across the curriculum (WAC) within natural resources fields.
Dann, Shari L. and Charnley, Jeff
"Writing and fisheries and wildlife management: Cross-disciplinary collaborations,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 7, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol7/iss1/8