Using the Neotoma Database in the Classroom
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is an online hub for data, research, education, and discussion about paleoenvironments. The database is designed to make it easier for community members to discover, explore, and share datasets that illustrate paleoenvironmental conditions.
The use of real data in teaching is a powerful way to engage students in scientific thinking and learning. A 1.5 day workshop designed to develop teaching activities for the undergraduate classroom, making use of the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, was held at Carleton College in the fall of 2015. This workshop was by invitation only for the project PIs, paleoecology experts, and educators with expertise in the pedagogy of teaching with online datasets. The NSF-funded Neotoma database has North American pollen and fossil mammal data for the past 5 million years. Additional datasets will also be available by the time of the workshop.
The 2015 workshop focused on the development of teaching activities using the Neotoma database, incorporating best practices in teaching with data. Activities developed are appropriate for use in many undergraduate courses, including environmental science, geology, global change, biology, ecology, or geography courses. Most of the activities focus on data that reveal changes since the end of the last Ice Age and species' responses to those changes. More activities will become available as the authors finish writing them.
This website is supported by the Neotoma Database project. Funding is provided by the National Science Foundation - Division of Earth Sciences (grants #0947459 and 0948652). Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.