Graduate Course Announcement

ZOO 6927 (sect. 2B56) and BOT 6935 (sect. 2B57), Fall 2014

(Note: This may also be cross-listed in another department [TBD] and as an undergraduate course)

“Broader Impacts of Science on Society”

Tuesdays--Building 105, 3rd floor Conference Room; or via Adobe Connect

Periods 6 & 7 (12:50 to 2:45 pm), 2 credits

First class 26 August; last class 9 December 

Learning goal statement

Participants will learn about the history, theory, relevance, and best practices of broader impacts and related activities through a participatory blended learning environment.

Intended participants:

  • Graduate students from any STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline, including (but not limited to) anthropology, astronomy, botany, entomology, geology, science education, wildlife, and zoology.
  • Advanced undergraduates.
  • Instructors and invited speakers; remote participants (via Adobe Connect)


Bruce J. MacFadden
Distinguished Professor and Curator
Florida Museum of Natural History
273-1937, bmacfadd@flmnh.ufl.edu

David L. Reed,
Professor and Curator
Florida Museum of Natural History
273-1971, dlreed@ufl.edu

Course Synopsis

There is an increasing emphasis on the relevance of what a scientist does and how we impact society in general.  This is manifested in many ways, for example, NSF now requires “Broader Impact” statements in grant proposals and explicit plans for how these kinds of activities will be accomplished. This course will explore ways in which scientists can increase our impact, particularly to society at large. During this seminar-format course, students will engage in active participation, discussion and dialog via blended learning.  The beginning of the course will feature presentations by the instructors and invited (and remote) speakers and preparations for the class project(s).  Students’ interests and individual projects will primarily drive the remainder of the course.

Course prerequisites

Graduate student status (other with instructors’ permission)

Class size: limited to 30 registered students

Readings and assignments

There is no text for this course. Weekly assignments include readings, mostly from the primary literature, web research, on-line dialog, and class discussion/presentations.


The final course grade will be based on:

(1) In-class (and/or remote, real-time) participation, including submitting written questions and leading discussions of assigned readings (40 %);

(2) asynchronous, on line participation via social media (30 %); and

(3) development and presentation of either a proposed Broader Impacts plan related to your STEM research, or a group project to be developed during the semester (30 %).