Earth Science and Science Education
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
I am an assistant professor (2nd year) of Earth Science and Science Education at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). I regularly teach Introduction to Geology, Inquiry into Earth Science, and Field Studies in Geology at UNI. My research interest include fluvial geomorphology, Quaternary mapping, and geoarchaeology in western Sicily and Iowa. I am also interested in increasing the understanding and appreciation of geology through k-16 place-based learning activities. I am interested in sharing and developing ideas/activities that make science accessible for students and encourages them to participate in earth science.
O' I am somewhere in the mid-stages of a Fall cold, so if I write something that does not make sense please ask me to clarify.
Activities that I have used in class to investigate the connection between hurricanes and climate change include -
1. Exploring Tropical Cyclones GIS Investigations for the Earth Sciences (published by Brooks/Cole)
2. I've had students investigate the NOAA (weather.gov) sites to obtain images, hyrdographs, forecasts....
Teaching activity development
I am interested in using activities that develop a student's general earth science knowledge, challenges them to work as a scientist; collecting 'real world' data, use/test these data purposefully (through a basic model), and interpret their results. I am also interested in setting up scientific 'story' problems using real data that address situations that hit close to home (the midwest, for me). For example, what effect do hurricanes have on agriculture in the Midwest? As we have heard today, current models suggest possibly less, but more intense hurricane activity in the near future what implications does this have for the Midwest?
Activity in progress: Midwestern Climatic Variability: A Iowa case study
Why am I interested in this approach
After attending major meetings (E.g. 33 IGC and the Houston GSA) over the past few months and hearing about the looming earth science workforce crisis, I believe it is very important to develop new and innovative methods that reach out to students. I agree with the general Cutting Edge philosophy "Bringing research into the classroom" and bridging the gap between scientific research and developing teaching efforts. Using science as an effective tool/means of not only relaying and interpreting data, but also communicating the value and need for and increased understanding our natural or perhaps now unnatural world. I think students (in general), are receptive to the use of technology to explore earth science concepts. Although when I have tried to use activities such as the Exploring Tropical Cyclones with GIS, they have struggled.