Workshop Overview
Seismic tomography indicates a correlation between the Pacific "superswell" and geophysical characteristics of the upper mantle.

Note: This workshop has already taken place.

This workshop will focus on the exciting new science that is emerging from the study of the deep earth using a variety of approaches: observational instrumentation (seismic networks, magnetotellurics), analysis or rocks (xenoliths, isotopic tracers), experimental methods (diamond or multi- anvil apparatuses; rheology; seismic velocity measurements), and modeling (physical and computational) that have been supported with major funding from the National Science Foundation for facilities and programs such as EarthScope, IRIS, Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics, COMPRES, Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research (CIDER) and many more projects underway by numerous principal investigators. This is an opportunity for participants to survey the breadth of new information that is currently available through recent research about the deep earth, and to explore new ways to integrate this information into undergraduate geoscience course work.

Workshop Goals

  • Help participants stay current about data, tools, services, and research related to the deep earth.
  • Address the "big science questions" related to deep earth (e.g. plumes, slabs, drips, post-perovskite, etc.) and explore exciting new scientific approaches (e.g. noise processing to derive images of the deep crust)
  • To consider ways to effectively teach about "what can't be seen", at least not directly.
  • Develop and review classroom teaching activities for undergraduate education using these data, tools, services, and research results to facilitate teaching about the deep earth across the geoscience curriculum.


This is a virtual workshop and there will is no face-to-face component. The online format of this workshop will allow sessions to be held in half-day segments grouped into two parts. The first set of virtual sessions will be held February 17-19, 2010 (Wednesday - Friday) to introduce the opportunities for teaching about the deep earth in the geoscience curriculum, followed by a four-days work period when participants will be developing new materials in their own setting. The second set of virtual sessions will take place February 24-26, 2009 to showcase and review the new instructional materials (Wednesday - Friday).

Apply to participate in the workshop. Application Deadline - December 20, 2009


The goal of this workshop is to support participants in designing or improving teaching activities that they will use to teach about the deep earth in their courses. To this end participants are expected to:

  • In advance of the workshop, familiarize themselves with the resources and information available on the workshop website.
  • During the workshop, develop and contribute a classroom activity that they will use in their teaching in the upcoming year. You will receive feedback on this activity during the workshop.
  • In the year following the workshop, implement the activity you designed, or another activity available through the Cutting Edge website and complete a review of that activity using the observational protocol provided.

In addition, participants are expected to participate in all workshop activities, including pre-workshop preparations, scheduled workshop sessions, online discussions and small group work, and follow-on activities. Online workshops have many advantages, especially in your ability to access all of your instructional resources from your home office. However, the downside is that there are also many local distractions. So please be sure to block out times in your calendar for all scheduled workshop activities, just as if you were attending face-to-face meetings at those times. We anticipate that in total, the workshop will require 3-4 hours of your time each of the 6 scheduled days and that you will want to set aside some time over the four days in between the two halves of the workshop to work on your activity. Your focused attention will be appreciated by all.


There is a $50 workshop fee, payable after your application to participate has been accepted.

Application and Selection Criteria

Applications must be submitted by December 20, 2009. The workshop size is limited to 40 participants. Participants will be selected based on the quality of their applications. Workshop speakers will be drawn from the participant pool based on their activity or course submissions and their applications. The final list of participants will be established with the goal of assembling a diverse group reflecting a wide range of disciplinary interests, institutional types and instructional settings. Preference is given to applicants who hold faculty positions at colleges and universities. Applicants will be notified of selection by early-January 2010. For more information visit the general information for workshop participants page.

For More Information

Please contact John McDaris at the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.