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GEO 43C1 Senior Colloquium Capstone (Hamilton): Class Discussions

Natural Sciences Librarian & STEM Librarian Coordinator

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Christina Chan-Park

Getting Started on Class Discussions

Each week you will be paired up with a classmate to a lead discussion of a topic based on your assigned article.  The discussion involves both summarizing the article (a one-page handout is suggested) and generating questions on the topic based on the article.

Date Science Topic Application/Professional Development Topic
Jan 12 Class Overview Library Research:Christina Chan-Park
Jan 19 Discuss research topic/question Career Overview:  Wayne Hamilton
Jan 26 Hydrogeology Groundwater Conservation District:  Scooter Radcliffe
Feb 2 Environmental Geology Texas Water Development Board:  Natalie Bellew
Feb 9 Engineering Geology Engineering Consultant:  Bob Wallace
Feb 16 Remote Sensing Aerial Photography Exercise
Feb 23 Depositional Systems Brazos River Visit
Mar 1 Mining Geology and Economic Geology Trinity Mine Visit
Mar 15 Applied Geophysics  
Mar 22 Professional Geology & Graduate Schools  
Mar 29 Geology and Safety  


Finding Articles for Class Discussion

If you know the title of the article you have been assigned, simply type the article name into OneSearch.

If you have the volume/issue/page number for the article you have been assigned you can either look the journal up in OneSearch and then link the journal or go directly to publisher's website.

Reading, Summarizing, and Annotating a Scientific Paper

Scientific research articles usually include

  • abstract:  highlights of the major points of the paper
  • introduction/background:  context and purpose or the experiment
  • methods:  what was done
  • results:  sometimes combined with the methods or analysis
  • analysis:  how well did the experiment work
  • discussion:  sometimes combined with the analysis or conclusions
  • conclusions/future work

Knowing the different sections of a scientific article will make it easier to understand the article.  By comparing the same section across papers, you might be able to discern how the science has evolved or the influences of one group on the other.

Questions and themes to consider as you read.

  • Evaluation of the author’s background. Affiliation of authors and (if possible) some evaluation of their level of expertise. Sometimes you can check the bibliography and see that they have published many articles on the topic. In other cases this is harder from a journal article.
  • For whom is the article intended? Other researchers in the field? Physicians? General public?
  • Brief summary of how study was conducted and key findings. 
  • This may include the purpose or the hypothesis behind the experiment, the method used to test the hypothesis, whether the data support the hypothesis or not, and why.
  • Relevance of this information to your bibliography topic. “This study clarifies the mechanism by which the disease is transmitted…..: etc.