Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
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Alum Success

Exposure to different experiences at Lake Superior State University helped me to learn and decide what I wanted to do with my life. There were many opportunities to help my learning experience, including day and weekend trips to various geological sites. It wasn’t all travel though; there was lots of hands-on experience that helped demonstrate what we learned in lectures.

Nicole Anderson
Geologist
NAEVA Geophysics, Inc

College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

School of Physical Sciences

Mission/Vision

The School of Physical Sciences is comprised of the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Geology and Physics

The School prepares physical and environmental scientists to address regional, state, national and global problems.  This is accomplished as we:

  • provide students with a sound foundation in the fundamentals of their selected scientific discipline
  • provide students with up-to-date research knowledge in their scientific discipline
  • provide students with opportunities to demonstrate growth and achievement in their selected scientific discipline

The Departments of the School of Physical Science are fully aligned and supportive of the goals of the College of Natural, Mathematical and Health Sciences.  The observable, measurable objectives, and the assessments by which we will measure our accomplishment of these goals include:

  1. GOAL: Develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and communication.
    OBJECTIVE: offer well-planned and pedagogically sound learning exercises in courses and in research projects.
    ASSESSMENT: annually examine and evaluate course syllabi, course assessment materials, and student research experiences.  

    Data Sets Needed: course syllabi (dean and chair), course assessment documents (dean and chair), compiled Student Research/Projects Experience evaluations (chair and assessment coordinator)

  2. GOAL: Prepare students for careers using their respective degrees and/or certificates.
    OBJECTIVE: offer coursework and training appropriate for employment related to departmental majors or minors.
    ASSESSMENT: require discipline-specific tests of content knowledge (e.g. standardized, nationally-normed tests where appropriate) and student reported employment at baccalaureate level.

    Data Sets Needed: Course assessment (dean and chair), Student Exit Survey (chair and assessment coordinator)

  3. GOAL: Prepare students for graduate schools and professional schools.
    OBJECTIVE: offer coursework and active learning experiences appropriate to the prerequisites of specified  post-baccalaureate programs.
    ASSESSMENT: tabulate student reported application and acceptance rates to post-baccalaureate programs.

    Data Sets Needed: Student Exit Survey (chair and assessment coordinator)

  4. GOAL: Provide hands-on experiences with modern instruments and equipment
    OBJECTIVE:  provide coursework and research opportunities that include opportunities to use equipment.
    ASSESSMENT: regularly inventory equipment and instrument usage records; plan for replacement, upgrades and new acquisitions.

    Data Sets Needed: Compiled Instrument Usage logs and Annual Instrumentation Report/Plan (chair and lab coordinator)

  5. GOAL: Provide highly skilled professors who are also respected scholars.
    OBJECTIVE: recruiting Ph.D.- prepared faculty, reward good teaching, encourage faculty to conduct funded  research and publish results, and encourage participation in professional organizations.
    ASSESSMENT: regularly review faculty engagement in scholarship, teaching and service

    Data Sets Needed: annual faculty HLC report form (dean and chair)

  6. GOAL: Provide unique learning opportunities.
    OBJECTIVE: utilize the unique environmental features of our region, state, continent and world; the facilities of the Crawford Hall of Science, including the Long Planetarium, the Geographic Information Systems lab and the Environmental Analysis Laboratory;  and the LSSU Aquatic Resource Laboratory.
    ASSESSMENT:  annually evaluate the usage and future needs of our specialized learning environments.
    Data Sets Needed: Add self-reporting question to the annual faculty HLC report regarding use of unique learning opportunities (chair and assessment coordinator)

The Unique Properties of Sand: Its Use as Criminal Trace Evidence

Whittney Laderoute

Sand was collected and analyzed from five beaches in the upper peninsula of Michigan: The Shallows, Brimley State Park, Point Iroquois, Big Pine and Pendillís Creek. Tests were undertaken in order to determine the reliability of sand as trace evidence in criminal investigations. Size and visual comparisons were made using a compound light microscope and chemical composition was determined by using SEM-EDS analysis. Results showed several size trends and SEM-EDS trends but gave no concrete evidence to suggest that the sand used in this experiment can be used as reliable trace evidence. Further research is necessary to confirm or deny this.

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