Teaching about the Early Earth: Evolution of Tectonics, Life, and the Early Atmosphere

Hot spring terraces
NPS Photo by J Schmidt
The early formation of our planet conjures up images of a sky filled with volcanic emissions, primordial oceans with strange life forms and continents that had not fully formed.

The formative processes that shaped our planet offer up several exciting areas for teaching. How did the earth's solid crust evolve? What processes formed the initial atmosphere? How and where did life emerge? Each of these areas is interesting in its own right, but the formation and evolution of the earth as an integrated system is a concept that also has direct applications for teaching.

This website offers a growing collection of teaching materials and research results that will aid in the understanding of and teaching about the early earth.

Resources for Teaching about the Early Earth

A workshop, Teaching about the Early Earth: Evolution of Tectonics, Life, and the Early Atmosphere was held on April 12-14, 2007 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

This workshop brought together experts in early earth research and geoscience education to explore opportunities to bring this exciting research into undergraduate classrooms.

See presentations from the workshop.

The workshop featured four catalyst speakers:

Lynn Margulis , University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
James Kasting , The Pennsylvania State University
Stanley Awramik , University of California, Santa Barbara
The conveners of the workshop were:
Cathryn Manduca, Carleton College
David Mogk, Montana State University
Michael Williams, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Share Your Knowledge and Experience

We are gathering references and classroom materials that are useful for teaching about the many facets of the early earth. Please help us in our efforts to distribute quality teaching materials by sharing activities that you have created or references that you use.

Join the Discussion

The email list is the place where workshop participants and others can have ongoing discussions about issues in teaching about the Early Earth.

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