Faculty Cooperative Projects

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Dr. Miguel F. Acevedo opens new paths in UNT-UAEM collaboration by teaching a videoconference course for both universities, December 12, 2005 / view pictures - As an innovative mode of academic collaboration, the University of North Texas (UNT) and the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Mexico in Toluca (UAEM) initiated a graduate course exchange in Geography and Environmental Sciences. Using distributed learning technology UNTs Department of Geography offered the Environmental Modeling graduate course to participants at UAEM. The course was offered by combining videoconferences transmitted from UNT and local instruction and evaluation assisted by UAEM faculty.

The videoconference component took place on Mondays during the UNT Fall 2005 semester (August 29 December 12) , for three hours 6-9 PM, hosted from the Environmental Education, Science and Technology (EESAT) Building at UNT. The students at UNT registered regularly under GEOG 5400-Environmental Modeling and were evaluated directly by the instructor, Miguel Acevedo. Mexicos participants met on the UAEM campus where a site was connected to the UNT host site. UAEM personnel coordinated with personnel from UNT's Center for Distributed Learning (CDL), who operated the host site. UNT instructor made his textbook available to UAEM participants (Acevedo, M.F. Simulation of Ecological and Environmental Models, Second Edition, Xanadu) for the course describing modeling concepts, procedures, and exercises.

Juan Carlos Sanchez, Facultad de Química, coordinated the instruction and evaluation at UAEM. This consisted of recitation or practice of the computer based exercises plus assignments and exams. UAEM will list the course in the future for three semester hours of graduate level credit. UNT recognizes UAEM listing of this course as equivalent to GEOG 5400-Environmental Modeling. Fifteen participants in Mexico completed the course. These participants included: graduate and selected undergraduate students as well as faculty of UAEMs Facultad de Química, and researchers from other Mexican institutions including the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares (ININ), the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) and the Instituto Tecnológico de Toluca. This course also supported the collaborative UAEM-UNT project Developing Environmental Strategies for Sustainable Flower Cultivation (Folio ICAMEX 15-2676-2005, Clave UAEM 2187/2005E).

In compensation for the exchange, UAEM will deliver a future course at Toluca during UNTs May-mester period of 2007 (last two weeks of May). This class will be open to approximately 15 UNT participants, who will enroll at UNT, and will travel for two weeks to Toluca to participate in the course. For UNT, the course will be coordinated by Bruce Hunter and Miguel Acevedo. The course will take place in the field and the UAEM campus in Toluca.

This course exchange was possible by the enthusiastic support of Jesús Pastor Medrano, Director, Facultad de Química, UAEM, and of Paul Hudak, Chair of the Geography Department, UNT. We acknowledge the help of Brenda Ritz, UNTs CDL and María Esther Contreras Lara Vega, and Juan Manuel Méndez Rodríguez at UAEM. This course exchange contributes to strengthen the academic link between UNT and UAEM.