GETSI > About GETSI

About the GETSI Project

Over the last two decades, technical advances in geodesy—the study of the size, shape, and mass of Earth and their changes with time—have revolutionized our understanding of Earth processes and produced discoveries of major societal impact related to climate change, water resource management, and mitigation of natural hazards. Teaching resources have simply not kept pace with advances in geodesy, both for introductory and majors-level undergraduate courses. GETSI was born out of requests from geoscience faculty for more resources with which to educate future citizens and future geoscience professionals on the power and breadth of geodetic methods to address critical topics. The diverse toolbox of geodetic methods includes GPS, gravity, laser ranging, radar, sea level altimetry, and more.

The GETSI project is developing a suite of ~2-week modules featuring geodetic data and quantitative skills applied to societally important issues (climate change, natural hazards, water resources). Modules are being developed for both introductory and majors-level courses. Adoption of the produced teaching materials is promoted via webinars and in-person short courses.

The overarching goals for the project are:

  1. To improve geoscience and geodetic knowledge base of undergraduate students, both for general science literacy (introductory) and future science workforce (majors-level);
  2. To improve effectiveness of teaching resources and pedagogy employed by faculty members teaching geodesy, geoscience, and allied science and engineering fields.

This NSF-funded project is collaborative between UNAVCO and geoscience departments at Mt. San Antonio College and Indiana University. Assessment, evaluation, and website support is provided by the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) in coordination with the InTeGrate Project. The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) has sponsored GETSI and is aiding in recruitment and dissemination efforts.

The project is funded by the National Science Foundation's Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM program within the Education and Human Resources Directorate (DUE-1245025).

If you have questions about the project, please contact education_AT_unavco.org)

Project Principal Investigators

Donna Charlevoix (UNAVCO), UNAVCO Education and Community Engagement (ECE) Director

The ECE program provides infrastructure for geoscience and geodesy learning and has extensive experience engaging teachers, K-20 students, university faculty and researchers. UNAVCO manages the curriculum development project GEodetic Tools for Societal Impact (GETSI). Dr. Charlevoix has over 20 years of high education instruction and curricular design, formal expertise in science education and research and has been ECE Director since 2012. She supervises GETSI activities at UNAVCO and ensure that the necessary UNAVCO resources and support are available.

Bruce Douglas (Indiana University), Instructional materials lead for majors-level
Dr. Douglas is a co-author on several GETSI modules and mentors newer authors for majors-level GETSI teaching material development. He has also been involved in developing and teaching >30 laboratory modules for introductory physical and environmental geology courses and majors' field camp geology in the last 5 years. He worked closely with School of Education colleagues on pedagogical design and embedded assessment. Dr. Douglas is also the director of the Indiana University Geologic Field Station and has worked closely with UNAVCO on innovations to integrate geodesy in field courses.

Meghan Miller (UNAVCO), UNAVCO President and GETSI Lead PI
As president of UNAVCO since 2008, Dr. Miller focuses initiatives and advances goals of the academic geodesy research and learning communities, her principal role in this project. Miller was a faculty member and dean for 18 years at Central Washington University (a regional comprehensive university and founding member of UNAVCO) and oversaw the revitalization of a geology majors' program that grew from 8 to 75 students over four years and integrated geodesy, field work, and student research across lower and upper division courses. Miller actively participated in the national community that advanced innovative learning strategies (such as Project Kaleidoscope), and led successful NSF proposals that integrate technology into the undergraduate curriculum.

Beth Pratt-Sitaula (UNAVCO), GETSI Project Manager, editor, and pedagogical expert
Dr. Pratt-Sitaula brings geoscience, educational, and logistical expertise to the project. She is the Project Manager for GETSI and as such is intimately acquainted with the module development and assessment process. Prior to joining UNAVCO as an Educational Specialist in 2011, she held a joint position at Central Washington University in the Geological Sciences and Science Education Departments. She has been a CoPI on other education projects within NSF EarthScope and NSF GK-12. Dr. Pratt-Sitaula also directs Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya field camp program in the summers.

Becca Walker (Mt. San Antonio College), Instructional materials lead for intro-level
Ms. Walker is a co-author on several GETSI modules and one InTeGrate module and mentors newer authors for intro-level GETSI teaching material development. She is a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and Astronomy at Mount San Antonio College (MtSAC), a minority-serving community college with over 40,000 credit students. From 2005-2006 she worked as an Education Specialist at UNAVCO, where she developed geodesy curricular materials and workshops involving the use of EarthScope data in K-12 and college classrooms. As a PI on a Hewlett Foundation-funded Faculty Inquiry Network grant from 2009-2011, she and collaborators adopted new instructional materials and teaching strategies to promote self-directed learning and metacognition for introductory students on field trips. She is also a Co-PI on two IUSE-GEOPATHS projects.