Mini Workshops

Mini workshops are open to all participants registered for that day (not reserved ahead of time). Join the email list to receive updates.


depts bw Strengthening Career Preparation in your Program

Phyllis Pouyat Thibodeau, Chesapeake Career Consulting

Monday, July 13 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: CIRES Fellows Room

Education Programs are increasingly evaluated by multiple stakeholders including Employers who seek specific Career Competencies as well as technical skills to meet the needs of the emerging Global "Green" Economy. Students must be prepared to perform complex problem solving, collaborative leadership with interdisciplinary teams, and adaptive communications skills to translate science within business, policy, NGO's and education sectors. Paradigms for classrooms are shifting to involve multiple mentors and modes that intersect with local, national and global experiential learning projects that can enhance learning outcomes, build networks and open up job opportunities beyond graduation, while also engaging new "research" partners for universities. Through a presentation and interactive exercises, this workshop will demonstrate proven ways to integrate career learning within academic classrooms and programs to synergistically motivate and maximize achievement outcomes on the transcript and ultimately during the job interview!

research bw Using Classroom Observations to Improve your Teaching

Rachel Teasdale, California State University, Chico

Monday, July 13 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: UMC 247

Small changes can make a big difference in engaging your students! This workshop will briefly review some of the results of the RTOP research project, in which more than 200 introductory and majors geoscience classes were observed in an effort to understand how classrooms are able to engage students and improve learning. We will focus on pedagogical practices that help make courses more student-centered. As a participant, you will develop a set of simple strategies that fit the constraints of your course content, student population and classroom dynamics to increase student engagement in your next course.

courses bw Online and Hybrid Learning

Sara Harris, University of British Columbia

Monday, July 13 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: REC Center Lower Gym Meeting Room

How do we maximize student learning opportunities in on-line and hybrid* courses? In this workshop, we will explore ways to best take advantage of student contributions, instructor expertise, and existing resources to benefit learning in these formats. Participants will develop a draft structure for an on-line or hybrid course that fits their context.

*Hybrid courses are those that include both on-line and in-class activities.


depts bw What Does it Mean to be a Geoscientist? Is There a Core Curriculum?

Cathryn Manduca, SERC, Carleton College & Sharon Mosher, The University of Texas at Austin

Tuesday, July 14 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: CIRES Fellows Room

Geoscientists work in a very wide range of jobs from exploration geologist, to consulting hydrologist, to environmental regulator, to Earth science teacher and beyond. This workshop will explore what we mean when we say we are preparing geoscientists in our programs. What expertise is core to being a geoscientist? What are the learning outcomes that are common across geoscience programs? Is there a core curriculum that underpins geology and geoscience majors?

research bw Grant Writing 101

Jill Singer, Buffalo State & Jeffery Ryan, University of South Florida

Tuesday, July 14 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: UMC 247

Preparing a proposal can be overwhelming – especially for those inexperienced with the process. This session will introduce participants to such things as: how to read and understand an NSF program solicitation; how to align your ideas with the goals of the NSF program; strategies for outlining and writing your proposal; places to go for valuable resources; how to think about project evaluation; and some common reasons why good ideas do not always result in a competitive proposal. By the end of the session, participants should be more confident in their abilities to write and submit proposals to the NSF in general and the Division of Undergraduate Education's IUSE program in particular.

courses bw Developing Systems Thinking

Hannah Scherer and Rachel Seman-Varner, Virginia Tech

Tuesday, July 14 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: REC Center Lower Gym Meeting Room

Many of the challenges we now face require complex solutions that cross disciplinary boundaries and take into account multiple perspectives. How do we as educators prepare students to think in this way? Participants will be introduced to the components of systems thinking (e.g. boundaries, reservoirs, feedback, resilience) through an interactive activity and learn about strategies for incorporating systems thinking in undergraduate courses through a guided exploration of existing resource collections. The remainder of the workshop will be determined by the needs of participants, but may include: work time, further exploration, small group discussion, or focused discussion of emergent questions and concerns from participants.


depts bw The Role of Societal Issues in your Course or Program

Sarah Fortner, Wittenberg University

Wednesday, July 15 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: CIRES Fellows Room

Building courses and programs around societal issues equips students to face earth resource challenges into the future. Linkages around societal issues can unify departments, stakeholders, and institutions, and support a shared vision and growth. Participants will identify and share ways to link courses and programs around societal issues and high impact practices (e.g. InTeGrate Modules) to support deep learning and growth through program development, articulation, and stakeholder opportunities.

research bw Intro to Quantitative Education Research Methods

Tim Shipley, Temple University

Wednesday, July 15 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: UMC 247

This session is for those who want to increase their ability to conduct education research and to evaluate published research. Participants will have a chance to learn about principles of statistical testing and interpretation, limitations on interpretation, current concerns about false positives in research reports, and will have time to work on application to research plans. This session is intended to complement but not require the research design workshop.

courses bw Teaching Controversial Topics

Patricia Kelley, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Wednesday, July 15 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: REC Center Lower Gym Meeting Room

Although teachers may be tempted to avoid controversial topics in the classroom, topics such as geologic time, evolution, and climate change are fundamental to our field. In addition, addressing a controversial issue may help students learn skills such as critical thinking. We will explore different approaches for handling controversial topics, as well as successes and challenges in implementing these approaches. Participants will develop plans for handling controversial topics in their classrooms.


depts bw Creating the Graduates you Want

Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman

Thursday, July 16 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: CIRES Fellows Room

This course is intended for department heads/chairs and faculty interested in curriculum development at the department level. This interactive workshop will use the "matrix method of curriculum design" to help you define student learning outcomes related to mastery of geologic concepts and content, technical skills used in the geosciences, geoscience "habits of mind," higher-order thinking skills, and other professional skills (e.g., communication, quantitative, interpersonal, information). This workshop will help you explore the student learning outcomes that are most important to your degree program(s) as they apply to your students, institutional type, geographic setting, breadth of disciplines covered in your department, departmental resources, and faculty.

research bw What are Students Learning in your Course? Strategies for assessment

Karl Wirth, Macalester College

Thursday, July 16 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: UMC 247

What do we mean when we ask if students have "learned" something? Are some kinds of assessments better suited for specific kinds of learning? What are the purposes of assessing learning? This workshop will focus on what we want students to learn and how we know when they have learned it. Beginning with the end in mind, participants will first explore goals for student learning. Next the group will consider a variety of ways for assessing student learning, including: gauging prior knowledge; providing feedback to improve learning; and evaluating learning at the end of a unit. Participants will leave the workshop with drafts of several instruments for implementation in their next course.

courses bw Teaching with Geospatial Technology

Declan De Paor & Carol Simpson, Old Dominion University

Thursday, July 16 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: REC Center Lower Gym Meeting Room

At this BYOD (bring your own device) workshop, participants will obtain hand-on experience with innovative hardware and software designed to enhance geoscience education and undergraduate research. Topics will include Google Maps and Google Earth-based games and mapping challenges, creating your own Photo Spheres and 4D "digital Viewmaster" field trips, augmenting real field trips with digital content delivery at the outcrop, optimizing trips to your local digital planetarium, automated assessment, and teaching geospatial concepts in both large and small on-line and on-site classes.


depts bw Increasing the Diversity of your Graduates

Ashanti Johnson, University of Texas at Arlington

Friday, July 17 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: CIRES Fellows Room

This interactive workshop draws on broadening participation research and literature to introduce the many positive factors that reduce barriers to participation and support success in STEM pathways, enabling diverse students and early career professionals to succeed and persist in STEM fields. The goal is to provide participants the information they need to begin formulating personal action plans for cultivating, implementing, and facilitating positive factors of change in their own graduate level programs. Participants will be assessed on their ability to articulate an understanding of the positive factors presented, identify those factors that most supported them on their own STEM pathways, and explain how the positive factors may be most effectively leveraged for students in their environments through the implementation of practices that cultivate those positive factors in the student experience.

research bw Getting your Education Work Published

Heather Petcovic, Western Michigan University & Kristen St. John, James Madison University

Friday, July 17 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: UMC 247

Success with peer-reviewed journal publications are at the heart of tenure and promotion, as well as a critically important way to share your work with others. At this workshop, we will explore differences between publishing geoscience education research and practitioner papers, tips for paper writing and pitfalls to avoid, and practices common to science education journals. Hear from your peers who have been successful in publishing their work in the Journal of Geoscience Education and in other science education journals. Bring a manuscript in progress for feedback from current and former geoscience education reviewers and editors.

courses bw Connecting Students to the World They Live In

Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College

Friday, July 17 | 1:30pm-4:15pm | Location: REC Center Lower Gym Meeting Room

Courses in earth sciences have an inherent connection to the world in which our students live. In this session, we will begin with a discussion of pedagogies that engage the students and use faculty experiences to provide examples. We will discuss course experiences that appeal to students' current interests and surroundings while delivering information that the students may continue to use long after completion of the course. Some participants will want to develop an exercise while others will already have that and will be looking to broaden their approach. The shared experiences discussed at the beginning will be broad, and, as the session progresses, we will accommodate the desired outcomes of participants based on the needs and expectations expressed.

The pedagogies discussed will include Service Learning, Using Local Examples and Data, Using Real World Examples, Utilizing Field Work, and Contrasting Narratives. More information is available here: Integrate: Connecting Students to the World We Live In.