Undergraduate Research as Teaching Practice

Undergraduate research is an exciting way to introduce students to the scientific method and to engage them in critical thinking and problem solving skills. Research can also increase relevance of the topics at hand and pave the way for students to transition from novices to experts. In the geosciences, there are a plethora of field, laboratory, and computational research experiences that can be employed from the introductory to upper levels.

Pedagogical Approaches

Undergraduate Research From Pedagogy in Action
Learn what defines undergraduate research, explore why research enriches the learning experience, and delve into methods to engage students in research.

Strategies to Involve Students in Research

Upper Division Courses, Independent Studies, and REU's
Learn from a set of web-based modules that aggregate the community knowledge, experience and resources that can encourage and support undergraduate research across the geoscience curriculum.

Incorporating research into an introductory meteorology course, Elizabeth Malcolm, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Wesleyan College

Assessing Student Research

Read more about assessing student research as a pedagogy, or assessing REU programs.


  • 2015 AGU: Embedding Research in Undergraduate Classes Across the Geoscience Curriculum Workshop
    Building on the 2014 workshop (see below), this workshop presented numerous strategies for conducting in-class research projects including use of archived on-line Earth data, use of instrumentation, computer and physical modeling, and field-based research. Participants will receive practical advice on design principles, development and implementation plans, and research project assessments.
  • Engaging Students in the First Two Years: 2014 Workshop
    This workshop explored the many ways that authentic research experiences can be embedded in introductory Earth Science courses.
  • 2011 CUR-Cutting Edge Undergraduate Research Writing Retreat
    This event brought together several faculty from across the nation who are actively involved with undergraduate research to collaboratively write essays and case studies of undergraduate research throughout the curriculum.

Get Involved

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