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  1. During International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 385, sediments from Guaymas Basin were sampled with the goal of understanding the role of sill emplacement and fluid flow, as well as its associated temperature and fluid circulation regimes, on subsurface carbon mobilization and preservation of organic-rich sediments. We report on the concentration and isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in pore fluids from Sites U1545 and U1546, which were drilled in the northern basin; Sites U1547 and U1548, which sampled an active hydrothermal vent site; Sites U1549 and U1552, which targeted cold seeps; and Site U1550, which was drilled in the axial trough. There is large variability in the DIC concentrations. The highest values were recorded at Sites U1549, U1550 (up to ~75 mM), and U1552 (~169 mM). The isotopic composition of the DIC (δ13CDIC) ranges −23.50‰ to 22.64‰ referenced to Vienna Peedee belemnite. At all locations outside Ringvent Site U1547, depletions in δ13CDIC values typically coincide with the sulfate–methane transition zone (SMTZ). Enrichment in δ13CDIC above seawater values, indicative of ongoing microbial methanogenesis, was recorded below the SMTZ at all locations except Ringvent.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 3, 2023
  2. Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), an educational technique that uses art to foster visual literacy through facilitated group discussion, has been shown to promote the development of skills that transfer to other domains. In this paper, we report findings from our use of VTS in an experimental graduate course in environmental engineering that aims to foster students’ capacities for reflection. Using data from writing samples with methods of thematic analysis, we explore students’ perceptions of their own learning from the VTS portion of this semester-long course called Developing Reflective Engineers through Artful Methods. One significant theme identified was “Knowledge/Skills”, in which students identified specific knowledge gained or skills developed through their VTS experience, including skills of group discussion, listening/paraphrasing, observation, imagination/creativity, and critical thinking. Another key theme identified was “Appreciating Others’ Perspectives”, in which students expressed appreciation of the differences in perspective that VTS discussions tend naturally to draw out. This finding highlights the potential of VTS as a tool for promoting and supporting diversity in engineering. Based on these data and a brief, associated survey, we learned that students found VTS to be highly effective at helping them become more reflective and was one of the most effective methods wemore »have attempted for the development of reflective thinking in graduate engineering.« less
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  4. Engineering education is increasingly looking to the liberal arts to broaden and diversify preparation of students for professional careers. The present study involves an elective graduate environmental engineering course that incorporated the arts and humanities. The goal of the course was to develop engineers and technical professionals who would become both more appreciative of and better equipped to address technical, ethical, social, and cultural challenges in engineering through the development of critical and reflective thinking skills and reflective practice in their professional work. A reflective writing assignment was submitted by students following each of fourteen course topics in response to the following question: Reflect on how you might want to apply what you learned to your development as a professional and/or to your daily life. Student responses were classified by human coders using qualitative text analytic methods and their classifications were attempted to be learned by a simple machine classifier. The goal of this analysis was to identify and quantify students’ reflections on prospective behaviors that emerged through participation in the course. The analysis indicated that the primary focus of students’ responses was self-improvement, with additional themes involving reflection, teamwork, and improving the world. The results provide a glimpse intomore »how broadening and diversifying the curriculum might shape students’ thinking in directions that are more considerate of their contributions to their profession and society. In the discussion, we consider the findings from the human and machine assessments and suggest how incorporating AI machine methods into engineering provides new possibilities for engineering pedagogy.« less