Completion of Research Experience

IE364 - Honors Level course, semester-long


 IE364 - Completion of Research Experience, Climate Change, is the 2nd semester continuation of Research Experience. Students will continue the study of climate change research focusing on research into the human impacts on climate as well as the economic and policy issues related to climate change. During this portion of the course, students will design and complete an independent or group project on a topic related to climate change. The topic must be approved by the instructor. Students will be required to present their project and their findings at the Annual NCSSM Research Symposium. The goal of this course is to provide students with a guided experience in research or community service related to climate change.


Course Goals:

The main goal of this course is to guide students through the experience of actively participating in a scientific research program through the development of their own research question, procedures to test that question, and presentation of their research in prescribed formats.

  • How to write a science research proposal
  • How to develop a research question
  • How to analyze and display data
  • How to write a technical report
  • How to present research in poster or oral forms
  • Methods of Science


Major Topics:

  • The Battery of the Biosphere
  • Coal and Oil
  • Oil and Methane
  • The Carbon Cycle Today
  • The Long Thaw
  • The Smoking Gun
  • The Present in the Bosom of the Past
  • Six Degrees
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded
  • Independent Research/Public Service Topics (NCSSM Research Symposium Presentation)



This course is open to seniors and juniors who have successfully completed Introduction to Research Experience and have permission of the instructor.



Students will conduct the research that they proposed as part of the fall semester Research Experience course and report their progress on a weekly basis. Students will be required to present their research at the NCSSM Research Symposium and they will be strongly encouraged to enter the North Carolina Student Academy of Science competition.


Course Delivery:

Collaboration will take place using web-based tools including:

  • Brain Honey
  • Wikispaces for discussion and posting of data and completed work
  • Google Spreadsheets for data sharing
  • VoiceThread for instruction, data collection, site-specific details and troubleshooting
  • STELLA9 for mathematical modeling


On-campus activities:

  • Field visit to where appropriate to student research
  • Demonstration, reporting and sharing of research activities and results

Course Instructor - Linda Schmalbeck, Ph.D.

Dr. Llinda Schmalbeck, Research Experience instructor. Dr. Schmalbeck teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science in the residential program at NCSSM. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Prior to becoming a teacher at NCSSM she worked as a research environmental scientist at RTI International in Research Triangle Park for many years.