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Welcome to DIGERS

The DIGERS (Data Sets and Inquiry in Geoscience Environmental Restoration Studies) project has designed and implemented adaptable high school and undergraduate curricular exemplars about environmental restoration in the Puget Sound area of Washington State with an emphasis on river geomorphology and its systemic relationship to (1) biodiversity and (2) the legacy of human interaction with the environment. The project was carried out as collaborative research, under the leadership of Principal Investigators Daniel R. Zalles at SRI International and David A. Montgomery at the University of Washington (UW). The undergraduate curriculum, a full quarter course, was designed and taught by the DIGERS UW team, led by Brian Collins, with input from the two PIs and from DIGERS team members Tom Colonese, Cynthia Updegrave, and Amir Sheikh. The high school unit in Year 3 was developed by PI Zalles, with the help of UW consultant Cynthia Updegrave and taught by a science teacher at a tribal high school near Seattle Washington as part of his Environmental Science course. There was also input from a language arts teacher at the school who was responsible for an interdisciplinary course concerning their tribal heritage. All the students at the school participated in that interdisciplinary course of study. Prior to the implementation of the high school unit in Year 3, the DIGERS UW team developed a set of handouts for field trips at the same tribal high school. They co-led these trips and accompanying preparatory classes with the help of the other teachers at the school and other collaborators (a different nearby university, plus natural resource departments and clubs).

The goals of the project were to:

Project curriculum development has culminated in the design of templates and professional development guidelines. These templates and guidelines will make it possible for other educators to adapt the curricula from this project to other rivers in the United States and to do so in ways that integrates local Indian knowledge and perspectives.