Workshop Overview

Note: this workshop has already taken place. The information on this page is useful to illustrate what the goals and format of the workshop were.

This workshop will bring together a relatively large group of 70 geoscientists and educators to showcase the variety of ways in which we are currently teaching with modern geoscience data, models and visualizations. Posters and demonstration sessions will provide a venue where faculty can share their own work and learn how to capitalize on the examples developed by other faculty. The program will also feature a variety of sessions that will demonstrate cutting edge geoscience research models, data and visualization and consider how they may be incorporated in our teaching. Underpinning these activities will be sessions identifying the major lessons from learning and educational research that can guide inquiry-based, data-rich teaching.

The goals of the workshop are to:

  • develop online collections that showcase the best of what is being done with data, visualizations, and models at the undergraduate level.
  • showcase where our science is going in these areas so that we can think about the next generation of teaching with these tools
  • discuss with learning scientists and educational researchers the state of the art in our understanding of how people (students and researchers) learn with these tools and the implications for teaching undergraduates.

This workshop is designed to move critical ideas and concepts into the mainstream of geoscience education. Participants are sought who are leaders in the field committed to sharing their expertise through on-line resources developed as part of the workshop experience.

Applications are invited from:

  • geoscience faculty currently teaching with on-line data, visualizations, and models;
  • geoscience researchers whose data, visualizations, or models are suitable for use in undergraduate teaching;
  • learning scientists and educational researchers whose work sheds light on effective teaching with on-line data, visualizations, and models.
The application deadline has been extended to January 14, 2008.


The workshop will begin on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10, 2008 at 5:00 PM and will end after dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Participants must attend all sessions.


Participants are expected to:

  • Contribute a description of a teaching activity, data set, data visualization, or model that is aligned with the goals of the workshop.
  • Contribute to website resource collections prior to and following the workshop
  • Prepare in advance for workshop discussions via readings, writings, discussion or other activities developed by workshop leaders
  • Participate fully in the entire workshop
  • Develop and use a new teaching activity based on materials that were presented at the workshop.


There will be a workshop registration fee of $150 to attend this workshop. This will cover some of the operational costs of the workshop, plus an opening reception, two dinners, and two lunches. The remainder of the operational costs of the workshop will be covered by a grant from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE-0127310). Participants or their home institutions must provide transportation to and from the workshop and pay for their own housing at the workshop. In cases of hardship, we will be able to offer small stipends to help defray travel costs (Application deadline Jan. 4, 2008). For more information about travel funds please visit the workshop stipends page.

Application and Selection Criteria

Your application must be submitted by Jan. 14, 2008. The workshop size is limited to 70 participants. The final list of participants will be established with the goal of assembling a group with expertise in the use of on-line data, visualizations and models in undergraduate education, the nature of cutting edge data, visualizations and models suitable for use in undergraduate education, and the learning and educational research that supports effective teaching with these tools, as well as, a spectrum of institutional settings and teaching experiences, and a diversity of participants. Preference is given to applicants who hold faculty positions at colleges and universities. In cases where there are no other overriding criteria, preference will be given to those who have not attended an On the Cutting Edge workshop or to those who have attended prior workshops and have made contributions to the website resource collections. Applicants will be notified of selection in early January 2008. For more information visit the general information for workshop participants page.


The workshop will be held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Participants will be housed in a hotel and will eat meals on campus and in town. See the workshop logistics page for more details.

For More Information

Please contact Cathy Manduca (, 507 222-7096).