Cutting Edge > Public Policy > Public Policy Workshop

Workshop on Teaching Public Policy in the Earth Sciences

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power building

April 20 - 22, 2006
American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC

The Earth sciences are integral to sound decision-making in public policy as it relates to many important issues: climate change; hazards mitigation (both natural and anthropogenic); resource exploration and extraction (minerals, energy, water); environmental mitigation and remediation; land use planning, and many more. These issues may be addressed on the international, national, and local levels. Policy issues are a great way to demonstrate the importance and relevance of the Earth Sciences in our personal and societal lives. Please join us at this workshop to explore the many ways in which public policy issues can be integrated with the Earth Sciences in introductory courses, courses for majors, in courses in related disciplines, and for the general public.


See the workshop program, with links to discussion notes and PowerPoint presentations.

The goals of the workshop were to:

  • share information and explore opportunities to increase public awareness of the Earth Sciences through expanded instructional activities in teaching public policy in the Earth sciences
  • integrate research and education by demonstrating how scientific data and research outcomes can inform public discourse on topical issues
  • demonstrate a variety of instructional methods and activities related to climate change
  • develop a plan to expand the coverage of public policy issues in undergraduate Earth science education (at all types of institutions and across the curriculum).

Workshop activities included large and small group discussions, demonstrations, and planning/writing sessions. Instructional materials and other information will be organized and compiled as collections of digital resources for use in the Earth Sciences throughout the world.

Workshop Conveners:

  • Cathy O'Riordan, American Geophysical Union
  • Dave Mogk, Montana State University

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Share insight, ask questions or network with other faculty who are engaged in teaching public policy in their earth science courses.

This workshop is one of the 2005-06 On the Cutting Edge Emerging Theme Workshops, which are designed to move critical ideas and concepts into the main-stream of geoscience education. This workshop was built upon prior workshops such as Geology and Human Health, Using Data in the Classroom, Using Global Data Sets in Teaching Earth Processes, and Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations: Using Images, Animations and Models Effectively.

This workshop is part of the On the Cutting Edge professional development program for current and future geoscience faculty, sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers with funding provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation-Division of Undergraduate Education . We are part of the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE).