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How I Got Here Part II: Building Community

Posted: Aug 27 2009 by David W. Mogk
Topics: Community, Collaboration

View Part I: Enlightenment.

I was ready for a change in my academic life. And, I was on a mission. How could anything as important as living responsibly on Earth (through understanding Earth history, its components and processes) be so grossly underrepresented in STEM education and in society? I began to seek out kindred spirits with similar interests and concerns (Dex Perkins, John Brady), made presentations at national professional society meetings, organized theme sessions, and most importantly, began to become involved with NSF conferences and advisory boards. I recognized that the most direct route towards empowering Earth science education was through the various grant programs at NSF.

In 1995-96 I was honored to be appointed as Program Officer at NSF in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE). This was the first time that an Earth scientist served in this position More

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How I Got Here Part I: Enlightenment

Posted: Aug 25 2009 by David W. Mogk
Topics: Community, Collaboration

Midway through my academic career (post-tenure) I had a latent suspicion that things weren't right. I was covering the traditional content in a variety of introductory, mineralogy, and petrology courses, but it was clear that the students weren't "getting it", they were generally uninspired (by the science that I was truly excited about) and often were resistant to my class activities and were sometimes openly hostile ("this is not relevant, I'll never use this stuff"), and I was generally dissatisfied with my own teaching performance and the overall environment in my classes. Then I had a remarkable convergence of three disparate events that fundamentally changed my outlook and practice in education: More

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By Way of Introduction, Part 2

Posted: Aug 23 2009 by Kim Kastens
Topics: Collaboration

Cathy's eloquent By Way of Introduction post has inspired me to try my hand at articulating what I am hoping to accomplish with the Earth & Mind blog.

As I see it, humanity faces profound problems in our relationship with our planet, basic, non-negotiable problems such as ensuring sufficient food, potable water, energy, and a stable climate. Throughout the history of our species, Homo sapiens' most effective survival strategies have hinged around our ability to think and to combine the thinking of multiple individuals through mechanisms of distributed cognition (Hutchins, 2000). If, a hundred years from now, our descendants look back on the 21st century and see that human society survived our era intact, it will likely be because we managed to think our way, and collaborate our way, through our problems. I see Earth & Mind: The Blog as a mechanism to facilitate this thinking and collaborating. More

By Way of Introduction

Posted: Aug 13 2009 by Cathy Manduca
Topics: Community, Collaboration
Blogging is mostly a new thing to me, my primary experience being reading my son's blogs while he was traveling in China. With that as background, my hopes for this blog are that that my posts will help you see the world differently and lighten your day. The motivation for the blog as a whole, which comes from Kim, is to explore new ways of sharing ideas about geoscience thinking and learning. I am totally enthusiastic about the idea. From my point of view, the blog is like a sketch book where we can explore and get feedback on ideas, some of which can become part of complete works. Like an artist who more completely explores ideas by sketching, I am hoping that I will more completely explore ideas by writing. From a community point of view, I hope that the ideas in the blog foster discussion that might not have taken place and lead to a richer community discussion that elevates ideas from all who are participating. Usually we develop our ideas alone or in very small groups, write them in papers, and hope for some written feedback in other people's papers. This is a long slow loop that I hope the blog can shortcut and expand.

What will I write about? More

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