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BUMP Hub Information



General Goal: Scientific Inquiry II

While all courses in scientific inquiry involve the application of major concepts, learning experiences in Scientific Inquiry II require more advanced application of concepts and methods, including the analysis of data, to frame and address complex problems.


Courses in this area must have at least one of the following outcomes.

  1. Students will apply principles and methods from the natural sciences based on collecting new or analyzing existing data in order to answer questions and/or solve problems. They will understand the nature of evidence employed in the natural sciences and will demonstrate a capacity to differentiate competing claims in such fields. This includes reflecting on and critically evaluating how natural scientists formulate hypotheses, gather empirical evidence of multiple sorts, and analyze and interpret this evidence.

  2. Using their knowledge of the natural and social sciences, students will engage with issues of public policy, such as climate change, inequality, and health, that involve the intersection of perspectives from different disciplines. This would entail an ability to identify the evidentiary basis for scientific claims, the challenges to it, and the connections among the economic, social, and scientific factors that shape the creation and adoption of effective public policy.

Marine Semester Goal: Original Research and the Scientific Method

In at least three of their four Marine Semester classes, students will conduct original scientific research. To answer an original question, they will formulate a hypothesis, collect data, analyze data, and place their findings in context. Students will learn the approaches that scientists use to form hypotheses about marine science. Through reading scientific articles, learning about studies in lecture, and collecting their own data, students will learn and practice the methods used by scientists for a vast range of marine science topics. Students will be asked to critically evaluate these studies including their own findings.

  • As students progress through the Marine Semester, they will continue to receive feedback on their hypothesis formulation, experimental design, data collection techniques, and data analysis methods. Feedback will come primarily from instructors and Teaching Fellows.

  • Students will be assessed not on the outcome of their experiments, but their ability to apply the scientific methods that they learn in class. This will be done through multiple contact points in each class. Final papers and/or presentations will provide instructors further insight into student understanding.




General Goal: Oral & Signed Communication

BU students should be able to communicate information in a clear and coherent formal oral and/or signed presentation, to engage responsibly with others, and to make use of a range of disciplinary-appropriate informal oratory. As with writing, effective oral/signing communicators should prepare remarks with an awareness of their purpose and their audience. Because oral and/or signed communication is generally interactive, students should be able to attend and respond thoughtfully to others. They should also understand that public presentation serves an essentially civic function as a means of participating in collective debate and decision-making.


Courses and cocurricular activities in this area must have all outcomes.

  1. Students will be able to craft and deliver responsible, considered, and well-structured oral arguments using media and modes of expression appropriate to the situation.

  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding that oral/signed communication is generally interactive, and they should be able to attend and respond thoughtfully to others.

  3. Students will be able to speak/sign effectively in situations ranging from the formal to the extemporaneous and interact comfortably with diverse audiences.


Marine Semester Goal: Scientific Conference Presentations

In at least three of their four marine semester classes, students will give mock scientific conference presentations. Students will improve their ability to give these presentations, by giving at least 3 conference presentations each over the semester. Scientific conference presentations are limited in scope, but all of the skills students learn in this context are transferable to other contexts.

  • Scientific conference presentations commonly reflect the content of a single scientific paper — indeed they are often given before the paper is published, so that people can get feedback on their work. Before each presentation, students will work with their instructors, TFs, and peers to prepare the presentation.

  • Scientific conference presentations are commonly given using Powerpoint or in a poster format. Powerpoint presentations are commonly 12 minutes long (12-15 slides) with 3 minutes for questions (15 minutes total). Poster presentation are commonly interactive with the presenter explaining text and figures on poster to audience. How colleagues view the presentation depends on many factors, including content, organization of material, effective use of Powerpoint, presentation skills and facility with answering questions.

  • After presentations, students will receive feedback from instructors, TFs, and peers so that they can continue to improve upon previously learned skills.

  • To give you an example of what makes a successful presentation, you will see presentations from your instructors and visiting scholars.





General Goal: Creativity and Innovation

Creative activity is a source of deep human satisfaction and common good. In addition, the ability to generate and pursue new ideas is quickly becoming a prerequisite for entry into the skilled workforce, which places a premium on applicants’ creative skills and potential for contributing to creativity’s more applied offspring, innovation. BU graduates should understand how the creative process moves from need or desire to design, to draft, to redesign, to execution; they will have personal experience of taking risks, failing, and trying again; and, in this way, they will have developed the patience and persistence that enables creativity to come ultimately to fruition..


Courses and cocurricular activities in this area must have all outcomes.

  1. Students will demonstrate understanding of creativity as a learnable, iterative process of imagining new possibilities that involves risk-taking, use of multiple strategies, and reconceiving in response to feedback, and will be able to identify individual and institutional factors that promote and inhibit creativity.

  2. Students will be able to exercise their own potential for engaging in creative activity by conceiving and executing original work either alone or as part of a team.


Marine Semester Goal: Creativity through Scientific Exploration

In at least three of their four marine semester classes, students will complete a month-long project in which they follow Design Thinking to solve scientific problems. Design Thinking is critical to success in Marine Science and students will follow the same general three steps in each research-based class:

  • Inspiration – Students begin by learning generally about the topic of the class. They learn through readings, lectures, fieldtrips, followed by discussions. These often open-ended learning opportunities help students to come up with original questions of their own.

  • Ideation – Students work together or in teams to form hypotheses and experimental designs that can answer their original question. Often, these ideas and designs need to be re-worked after trial and error, and feedback from instructors. Through the iterative process of designing and re-designing experiments, students become more comfortable with the creative process.

  • Implementation – Students work together with peers and instructors to produce a tangible product that can be shared broadly. This can come in many forms, for example, a scientific presentation, scientific paper, fisheries report, or captioned photos that are available publicly.




General Goal: Teamwork/Collaboration

Collaboration defines the 21st-century workplace. Employers rely increasingly on teams—groups of people with different backgrounds and training who tackle projects jointly—and they identify the ability to collaborate with these diverse groups as an essential skill for almost every position. Civic life in an increasingly interdependent world also calls more and more for the ability to collaborate with people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives, build consensus, and compromise for the good of a broader purpose.


Courses and cocurricular activities in this area must have all outcomes:

  1. As a result of explicit training in teamwork and sustained experiences of collaborating with others, students will be able to identify the characteristics of a well-functioning team.

  2. Students will demonstrate an ability to use the tools and strategies of working successfully with a diverse group, such as assigning roles and responsibilities, giving and receiving feedback, and engaging in meaningful group reflection that inspires collective ownership of results.


Marine Semester Goal: Working as a scientific team

Conducting scientific research is done as a team. Students must work together with their instructors, TFs, peers, and outside collaborators to be successful. Following the 3-S model, students will gain understanding of what makes a successful scientific team.

  • In at least three of their four Marine Semester classes, student teams will address the “Same” problem. This will be an original research question in the case of all research-based classes, but may also come in the form of working with a dive buddy, or using newly learned quantitative skills to work through a problem set.

  • Students then make “Specific” choices about the problem. This can take the form of choosing an experimental design, a specific quantitative tool, or method of communication while underwater.

  • Finally, students “Simultaneously” report their choices to the class. Throughout all Marine Semester classes, students update the larger group with progress being made and challenges they are facing.

  • Students are assessed and receive feedback – both formally and informally – over the course of each Marine Semester class. Through discussions with their instructors, students will reflect on their own roles within each team, how the team is functioning as a whole, and if any changes need to be made.

  • Students will be graded on their “performance as a field scientist” which includes working in a collaborative and collegial way with classmates, teaching fellows, instructors, and staff.

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