Eric Pyle

Geology and Environmental Science

James Madison University

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (5)

Web-o-Cycles part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a classroom activity intended as an introductory exercise in a capstone experience involving complex Earth systems.

Be the Block: Working the Geologic Block Diagram as an Inquiry Tool part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
The activity is presented as a part of a 5-E learning cycle: Engagementstudents are asked to reflect on their prior knowledge of Steno's Principles as well as the social, scientific, and technological climate of the late 18th and early 19th Century England. A few slides about Steno and the industrial age crises in England are presented. Explorationplaced around the room are a series of stratigraphic columns and surface expressions, with lithologies represented by different colored squares of construction paper. Some of these have overprinted on them sedimentary structures or fossils. The columns are placed in such a manner as to represent the corners and the middle of the sides of a block diagram, rendered flat as a cut-out and foldable object. Students then plot the lithologies in order on the block, connecting similar lithologies to reveal not just the cross-sections but also the surface expression. The block is then cut-out and folded into the standard block diagram. Explanationthe structures created by the students are evaluated compared to a master block diagram and corrections made. The remainder of the slide presentation is shared, relating the development of the geologic map by William Smith and its basis in his observations of coal mine shafts, canal excavations, and related fossils. ElaborationStudents are given additional block diagrams, containing only partial information, and asked to infer what would exist in the blank areas. Evaluationstudents are given a complete block with more complex structures and asked to design, through inference, a set of columns and surface expressions that would represent the diagram and allow another student to recreate the structures. Learn more about the course for which this activity was developed.

Rubric for field notes/field books part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Assessment Tools
This is a rubric for assessing student work with field note-taking. It provides clear expectations to students before any field assignment commences. This rubric is derived from the work of the sub-committee at the Cutting Edge workshop on Assessing Geoscience Programs.

Lithologic/Memoir Rubric for Field Activities part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Assessment Tools
This is a scoring rubric that has been used over the last two years in the JMU field course. It specifically targets student performance in knowledge, skills, and dispositions as expressed in their written descriptions.

Rubric for maps and cross-sections part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Assessment Tools
This is a scoring rubric for assessing student geologic maps and cross-sections, as used by the JMU Field Course.


James Madison University - History and Philosophy of the Geosciences part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Courses
As an introductory experience in the Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science, students will be inculcated in the philosophy of geosciences as an interdisciplinary medium for extending classical science viewpoints to complex Earth systems. The history, traditions, and conventions of the geosciences, from antecedents in classical philosophies to contemporary models of the geosciences as a way of knowing, will be represented as a part of learning experiences. Students will grasp the geosciences as unique within the sciences, establishing relevance and value of Earth science literacy in professional and personal settings. Class activities will consist of seminar discussions, lecture, and analysis/synthesis activities. For Dr. Pyle's reflections on the course and its design, see History and Philosophy of the Geosciences: Role in the Program.

Essays (3)

Connecting Science Pedagogy with Complex Earth Systems Thinking: A Non-Linear, Sensitive-Dependent Journey part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Workshop 2010:Participant Essays
Eric Pyle, James Madison University When I contemplate the nature of complex Earth systems, I am immediately drawn to both the philosophical aspects of their descriptions as well as the instructional opportunities ...

Assessment in the Context of Evaluation at James Madison University part of Building Strong Geoscience Departments:Workshops:Assessing Geoscience Programs:Participant Essays
Eric J. Pyle, Department Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University The Department of Geology & Environmental Science at James Madison University is a large one among undergraduate ...

Eric Pyle part of Cutting Edge:Affective Domain:Workshop 07:Workshop Participants
Department of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University Homepage What are the key issues related to the role of the affective domain in teaching geoscience that you would like to engage at the ...

Other Contribution

Theme Group 2: Earth Science for Secondary Teachers - Systems and Models part of Teacher Preparation:Workshops and Activities:Workshop 2007
Group Members Eric Pyle, History and Philosophy of the Geosciences James Ebert, Laboratory Techniques in Earth Science William Slattery, Earth Systems Jill Singer, Oceanography Sandra Rutherford, Methods for ...

Events and Communities

Affective Domain 2007 Participants: Presenter

Teacher Preparation Workshop 2007 Participants: Presenter

Assessing Geoscience Programs: Theory and Practice Participants: Presenter

Developing Student Understanding of Complex Systems in the Geosciences Participants: Leader

Teaching Geoscience in the Field in the 21st Century Participants

Using Data in the Classroom Workshop 2007 Participants: Presenter

Using Data in the Classroom Workshop 2008 Participants: Presenter

Access Data Impacts Workshop

ITG Teacher Preparation Module Development Meeting