Rendezvous 2015 > Program > Teaching GeoEthics Across the Geoscience Curriculum: Need, Opportunities and Strategies

Teaching GeoEthics Across the Geoscience Curriculum: Need, Opportunities and Strategies

Tuesday 1:45pm REC Center Medium Ice Overlook Room


Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
John Geissman, University of Texas at Dallas, The
Susan Kieffer, University of Illinois at Urbana
Monica Bruckner, Carleton College
Ethics education is increasingly important in the professional training of geoscientists. Funding agencies (NSF) require training of graduate students in the responsible conduct of research, employers are increasingly expecting their workers to have training in ethics, and the public demands the highest standards of ethical conduct by scientists. Yet, few faculty have the requisite training to effectively teach about ethics in their classes, or even informally in their mentoring of research students. A NSF-funded workshop was convened to explore ways that ethics education can be introduced into the geoscience curriculum. Workshop goals included: Examine where and how GeoEthics topics can be taught from introductory courses to modules embedded in "core" geoscience courses for majors or dedicated courses in GeoEthics; Share best pedagogic practices in "what works" in ethics education; Develop a framework for a GeoEthics curriculum; Develop a collection of online instructional resources, case studies, and other instructional materials; Apply lessons learned about ethics education from sister disciplines; and Consider ways that instruction in GeoEthics can contribute to public scientific literacy. Four major themes were explored in detail: GeoEthics and self: what are the internal attributes of a geoscientist that establish the ethical values required to successfully prepare for a career in the geosciences? GeoEthics and the geoscience profession: what are the ethical standards expected of geoscientists if they are to contribute responsibly to the community of practice expected of the profession? GeoEthics and society: what are the responsibilities of geoscientists to effectively and responsibly communicate the results of geoscience research to inform society to protect the health, safety, and economic security of humanity? GeoEthics and Earth: what are the responsibilities of geoscientists to provide good stewardship of Earth based on their knowledge of Earth's composition, architecture, history, dynamic processes, and complex systems? Workshop resources can be accessed at

Presentation Media

Teaching Geoethics (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 4.9MB Jul14 15)