Professional Development for Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students and Faculty
The Building Strong Geoscience Departments Traveling Workshop Program: A Retrospective
Dallas D. Rhodes, Humboldt State University
Diane Doser, University of Texas at El Paso
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The Traveling Workshop Program was initiated in 2009 with a modular structure design that that allowed participants to build a workshop around topics such as Assessment, Curricular Design, Preparing Your Students for the Workforce, Beyond the Curriculum, and others. By the summer of 2014 it was clear that topics such as SWOT analysis, and Envisioning Your Department were essential starting points for all departments. The modified workshop design now consists of the "core" sessions and a number of optional topics. A goal of the Traveling Workshops Program was to provide information of value to all types of geoscience departments. To date, there have been 37 workshops (21 in the first round and 16 in the second) involving nearly 300 faculty members. Public universities have hosted 28 workshop and 9 were conducted at privately-funded institutions. As some of the original facilitators left the TWP, others have joined, and the number of trained people has increased. New expertise has been added to support workshops for interdisciplinary environmental science programs. Most of the workshops (18) were held at doctoral universities (as defined by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education). Masters colleges and universities account for 12 workshops and baccalaureate colleges for 5. In addition, one workshop was conducted for a group of community colleges and one was in Canada, and therefore not classified by the Carnegie system. If the finer classification within each these institutional types is considered, the largest number of workshops (11) have been held at Master's College and Universities: Larger Programs. Workshop facilitators have shared their experiences and some general observations have emerged. Facilitators regularly find that: 1) many of the same issues are shared by departments of all kinds and sizes; 2) collegial relations among the faculty and maximum participation by them is essential; 3) many departments are interested in how other departments have managed similar problems. Perhaps most importantly we have found that the 2-day format is by far the best. The longer schedule allows maximum time for Action Planning during the workshop. The more planning that occurs during the workshop, the more likely that effective action will follow. The workshops have been given uniformly strong evaluations by the participants. During the current round of workshops the average score (with 10 indicating the highest degree of satisfaction) from the 93 participants is 9.15 with a standard deviation of 0.94. Comments made on the evaluation form consistently show that the "core curriculum" (e.g., SWOT analysis, envisioning your program, curriculum revision, assessment, etc.) is being well implemented. Many participants have encountered ideas and methods that are new to them (e.g., matrix mapping of curriculum). Perhaps most importantly, a strong majority of the participants feel more hopeful about their ability to influence the future of their programs.
Enhancing the cross-disciplinary inclusion of geoscience materials using a Faculty Mentoring Network
Jennifer Hanselman, Westfield State University
Tara Holmberg, Northwestern Connecticut Community College
Gaby Hamerlink, Northwestern Connecticut Community College
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InTeGrate and the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project partnered to support the adaptation of InTeGrate modules across disciplines. Beginning in 2016, QUBES project partnered with InTeGrate to provide an interactive faculty community called a faculty mentoring network (FMN). As we entered our second year, the goal of the Spring 2017 FMN was support a larger group of non-geoscience faculty (e.g. biology, environmental science) with the integration of geoscience materials into their courses. The InTeGrate modules, focused on earth science literacy, systems-thinking and sustainability, allow for the cross-disciplinary inclusion of concepts and the metacognitive development of students. Faculty participants identified modules and specific units to implement and developed a timeline for integration of activities and assessment that fit their courses. Two lead mentors provided support during the online group biweekly meetings by leading discussions around pedagogical topics, providing additional resources on implementation and assessment, offering suggestions about adapting the modules, and guiding next steps. QUBES provided logistical support and most importantly maintained the online environment in that faculty could share ideas and collaborate throughout the project. The project culminated in a reflective Instructor Story by all participants which is included in the InTeGrate program's database and contributes to a broader use of the modules.
It is in the Syllabus
Alayde Barbosa, Florida Gulf Coast University
Mary Abercrombie, Florida Gulf Coast University
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The ambition to become better instructors was the motivation to participate in the new Design Academy, an intense two week program offered by the Lucas Center for Faculty Development at the Florida Gulf Coast University. The goal was to transform a passive teacher-centered course – Introduction to Earth Science -- into an active student-centered course. Earth Science had been taught by one instructor as a small class with 32 students. Subsequently, the need for additional general education courses in natural science was solved by increasing the number of students to 72 per section. As a first attempt to teach the large format, two instructors were paired up. The work began with redesigning the syllabus using the backward design of Fink (2013). After numerous "aha" moments and sometimes frustration, a well-structured course was designed. However, the challenge of team teaching Earth Science had not been addressed. In order to address the effectiveness of team teaching Earth Science techniques and innovative pedagogy, ranging from Team-Based Learning, computer-based laboratory exercises, and concept mapping, were used. Redesigning a syllabus, planning a new course, and experiencing team teaching was a challenging and exciting experience. The result could be an inspiration to other faculty members that will be embarking in the adventure of teaching Introduction to Earth Science as a large format, alone or as a team.
Paying Paleoclimatology Forward: an academic multigenerational journey linking professional development to curriculum development
Tom Gill, University of Texas at El Paso
Joe Collins, Texas A & M University - San Antonio
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The first author has long taught climate science and earth sciences at University of Texas- El Paso (UTEP), a research-oriented minority-serving institution (MSI) with majors in Geology and Environmental Science. In 2012, he received the opportunity to participate in School of Rock, a MSI faculty professional development program offered at the Gulf Coast Repository (Texas A&M, College Station), the North American repository for marine sediment cores. School of Rock was an intensive training program in interpretation and utilization of marine sediment cores to reveal and teach Earth's climate history. The experience was so positive for the first author that he immediately developed a provisional UTEP class in paleoclimatology based on the School of Rock curriculum, a capstone senior and graduate course using sediment cores and other proxy data. It was the best-received course he had ever taught, and was formally added to the UTEP curriculum. The first author was invited by School of Rock's organizers to help propose, implement and be one of the instructors/mentors in a similar follow-up professional development program, "MSI-REACH," at the Gulf Coast Repository in summer 2015 and 2016. The second author, whose research reconstructs Quaternary paleoenvironments using lacustrine sediment cores, was a top-performing graduate student in the first organized UTEP paleoclimatology course, and chosen to be the teaching assistant / lab instructor the second time it was offered. After receiving his doctorate under Gill, Collins accepted a faculty position at Texas A&M University- San Antonio, another HSI, where he is developing new sophomore- and senior- level climate and paleoclimate science classes, implementing parts of the "School of Rock" and "MSI-REACH"-based curriculum he learned at UTEP. This narrative demonstrates how a single professional development program positively influenced students and echoed down through multiple institutions, acting as a "force multiplier" for the transmission of scientific knowledge.
Graduate Teaching Assistant Training at Baylor University - Strategies for Success
Sharon Browning, Baylor University
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Graduate teaching assistants are an integral part of geoscience education at all levels. It is imperative that they have access to training on a variety of issues, including course content, current pedagogical techniques, assessment strategies, student motivation, feedback from both course instructors and students, and mentoring opportunities. Challenges include institutional/departmental, faculty, and graduate student attitudes and motivations towards teaching, awareness of current pedagogy, inexperience, relevant background coursework, and departmental resources. The Geosciences Department at Baylor University utilizes approximately 20-25 graduate teaching assistants per semester in six introductory classes and selected upper-level undergraduate labs that span a rage of geoscience topics. All introductory courses are taught by Geoscience faculty and satisfy a general education lab requirement. the labs associated with these introductory courses are taught by teaching assistants and supervised by a lab coordinator. For many non-science majors, the lab science course is their only formal exposure to geoscience concepts and ideas. Critical thinking and quantitative skills are also often weaker for this group. Baylor provides graduate teaching assistant training for new students during orientation and through resources at the Academy of Teaching and Learning. In addition, the Geosciences Department has departmental training, weekly teaching assistant meetings for specific lab courses, and a written manual of policies and procedures. Feedback from the teaching assistants is sought throughout the semester on lab activities, tests, and assessments. Through these training and feedback opportunities, the Geosciences Department graduate teaching assistants are generally well prepared and consistently receive some of the best student evaluation scores across Baylor Graduate School. This demonstrates that instructional training, regular teaching assistant meetings, and feedback opportunities are important ways to help graduate teaching assistants succeed as instructors, which in turn improved undergraduate education.
Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-Year Colleges (SAGE 2YC): Building a Foundation for Change through a Network of Regional Communities of Practice
Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
John McDaris, Carleton College
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
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One goal of SAGE 2YC: Faculty as Change Agents is to develop regional communities that can promote a cycle of change through activities that allow members to share experiences, synthesize expertise, and document their collective knowledge related to teaching all students and moving them along the path to geoscience careers. In the fall of 2016, ten teams of two-year college faculty Change Agents each ran a regional workshop. The workshops aligned with the guiding principles of the project, specifically, to implement high-impact practices that support the academic success of all students, promote professional pathways of students into geoscience, and broaden participation in the geosciences. The one-day workshops enabled the leaders to gain ownership of the changes they aimed to implement at their institutions, to propagate the new knowledge and skills they had gained from the project to their peers, and to begin to build their regional communities of practice. The workshops were held across the country in the ten regions; workshops involved over 130 two-year college faculty and other participants. Each workshop had its own goals with many of the workshops focused on using active learning strategies in the classroom and other strategies related to student success, such as promoting metacognition and grit and supporting student transfer. In preparation for these workshops, the teams of faculty leaders participated in a multi-day workshop on these topics, shared their workshop plans with each other, and offered other teams feedback on their plans; project leaders also offered suggestions. Workshop participants found value in hearing different perspectives from their faculty colleagues as well as other participants such as counselors from advising centers. We anticipate that these regional events will contribute to the continuing development of communities of two-year college geoscience faculty working collaboratively to support the success of all students.
For Higher Ed portal to Resources Supporting Change from Individual to Program scales
Cailin Orr, Carleton College
John McDaris, Carleton College
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College
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Making and supporting changes in higher education at multiple scales presents challenges that are shared broadly by individuals and programs across institution types. It is important that we, as agents of change, have mechanism for spreading the wealth of knowledge and expertise about STEM Education around the community. Together we can more efficiently explore important issues and provides each other examples of how members of the community have addressed common concerns. The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College has had success generating such resources in geoscience and STEM education. Working with groups of educators from a range of disciplines and institution types, we have helped develop content around making change happen at the program or institutional levels on topics such as increasing the diversity of students graduating in geoscience and STEM, fostering interdisciplinary learning, translating the results of education and research into practice. These resources draw out common practices, situate them in the education research base, and highlight examples of their use in the real world but also communicate the different ways individuals or institutions have adapted these practices for their particular situation. Our For Higher Ed portal is a suite of web pages that organize the resources across projects that partner with SERC to support activities at the individual, course, department and program scales by providing tools and information on topics that are of broad interest. Informed by a variety of sources, the pages explore five facets: including improving teaching and learning, inter-institutional networks, designing courses and programs, supporting career paths, and broadening participation in STEM. This makes the examples of how they have achieved success particularly valuable for everyone engaged in making the geosciences and STEM communities more inclusive. By sharing this collected expertise, we can all move forward more effectively and efficiently. We invite you to explore the Portal at http://serc.carleton.edu/highered/index.html
Problem Solving and Workflow Strategies Employed In Seismic Interpretation
Matthew Jackson, Texas A & M University
Eric Riggs, Texas A & M University
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This study was designed to advance understanding of the interactions, strategies, and techniques graduate geoscientists employ in the process of 2D seismic interpretation. This qualitative study was designed to record pre-professional, experienced participants in order to develop insights into emerging expert behavior in this task. Videos of participants were coded for co-occurrences of features that were identified by participants, the markings participants made, the order of common features among participants, physical interaction with the images, and time use between the different exercises resources provided to participants during interpretation. Information was also collected with a background survey and through interviews in order to gain insight into participant's experience with seismic interpretation. This information was used to place participants into different levels of expertise. Our results show that the lowest expertise group uses a less holistic approach with the available resources and is more hesitant to use written observations during their exercise. The high and medium groups also employed strategies that the low group did not to help them asses the seismic data set. Additionally, we were able to show and categorize the common elements among participants' interpretations, and offer a method to capture workflow strategies. The insights from this study will help guide future research to probe the practice of seismic interpretation, with the hope to provide instructors with new teaching methods and help create software advancements. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the efficiency of training geoscientists in seismic interpretation.
Types and Functions of Geologic Gestures
Angela Van Boening, The University of Tennessee-Martin
Eric Riggs, Texas A & M University
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Students commonly use gestures when describing geologic processes and features both in classroom and in field settings. Traditional gesture classification schemes lack the vocabulary to classify the diversity and complexity of gestures used by geologists. We have developed a new classification scheme that categorizes gestures by "type" (shape the hand makes) as well as by "function" (the gesture's purpose). We have defined five main "types" of gestures that are most commonly used by students when discussing geologic concepts: points, domains, flat-hands, frames and forms. We observe that each of these types may be used in a variety of ways to convey geological information and meaning. For example, a pointing gesture may be used to indicate direction, highlight or trace out a feature, or mimic a linear feature. To describe the purpose of the gestures, we have defined eight lower-order gesture "functions". These functions are fairly simplistic, indicating or describing a singular aspect about an object, feature, or process. Lower-order functions include: tracing, highlighting, locational, directional, constraining, rotational, sizing, and emphasis gestures. We have also defined three higher-order gesture functions. These functions often include more than one gesture type and/or more than one lower order function in combination or succession to describe or convey more detailed and/or complex concepts and processes. Higher-order functions include: sequential, illustrating, and constructing. We have observed that while the types and functions used by geologists in field and non-field settings are the same, students in the field utilize lower-order gesture functions more frequently as they interact with their surroundings and perform initial observations. Students in non-field settings utilize more higher-order gesture functions as they must compose their ideas "from scratch". Students in the field may also utilize higher-order functions once they transition from observation into interpretation of their surroundings.
How We Really Learn The Micro-Spiral Method (MSM)
Dr. Edith Davis, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
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Teaching and learning are the crux of every nation on Earth. The issue is how can we teach science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to the future scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, and STEM educators? What is the best method that will result in supernatural accelerated learning? The answer is the Micro-Spiral Methodology, a spiral way of learning. Each iteration of this method adds another level of depth and understanding of knowledge and skills. The concepts are encoded on both the right and left sides of the brain and stored in long-term memory with a pneumonic retrieval mechanism. The scientific test results had an entire year's curricula compressed into three months and micro-spiraled African American state science test scores went up by 45 percent, Hispanic scores approximately 26 percent, economically disadvantaged scores went up by 32 percent and Anglos scores went up by 28 percent. The Micro-Spiral Methodology works! I am Dr. Edith G. Davis, a science professor at Florida A & M University. I have a vision to increase science achievement in our children. I was a Woods Hole United States Geologic Survey research fellow. I am also a Stanford University Earth Science graduate, with a Masters in Geophysics, making me the first African American female geophysicist in United States of America. I graduated from Baylor University in December 2007 with my doctorate in education curriculum and instruction, with emphasis in science education and research. As an African American woman I believe that I am able to contribute in meaningful ways to the nation's science and technology needs. I am presently a tenured faculty, teaching science education, physics, chemistry, biology, earth and space science. Through my work and affiliations, part of my goal is to help build and establish significant meaningful relationships with others of similar interests.
Teaching Geoscience in a Societal Context
Teaching Sustainability through Global Web-Based Competitions
Ana Vanoye, Tecnologico de Monterrey
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The causes and consequences of climate change and environmental degradation have not been fully understood by a large sector of the population, resulting in a reluctance to perform mitigation actions. One possible strategy to encourage action is the implementation of gamified activities that connect the understanding of the global problems with actions that an individual can carry out in his daily life. This poster describes the preliminary experience of promoting the participation of first-year college students in the global web-based competitions One World Challenge and Project Green Challenge. The challenges' activities were carried out by students from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, Mexico, during the terms of Spring and Fall 2016, and were aimed at raising climate change awareness, and encouraging the adoption of sustainable habits and attitudes in the students' daily agendas. The challenges' topics included efficient use of water and energy, waste reduction, responsible consumption, fair trade, nutrition and wellness, among others. Strengths and opportunity areas for this type of activity were identified.
The River Basin Simulation For Undergraduate Hydrology: Multi-Year Results, And Lessons Learned Pairing Hydrologic Science With Decision-Making
Kyle Hodder, University of Regina
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The Twente Water Centre developed the freely available River Basin Simulation as a participatory teaching tool for post-secondary users. Over the past 6 years, I have run the simulation 16 times with 120 students in a senior undergraduate Hydrology course. This poster shares (a) quantitative and qualitative results from those simulations; (b) incremental modifications to the simulation that other educators can deploy; and (c) examples of the ways in which participants were consistently challenged to pair hydrologic science with decision-making. Participants compete as users of water ('farmers') in the simulation, each of whom tries to optimize their benefits via irrigation. Each simulation spans one decade, and water availability is the limiting factor. All participants are well familiar with the hydrologic cycle, and also the Hydrologic Continuity Equation; the challenge lies in pairing hydrologic science with decision-making. The model uses only four variables (precipitation, river inflow, river outflow, groundwater) plus a fifth variable by which participants exert their decision-making efforts (irrigation). Participants are grouped into three unidirectionally-connected compartments within each basin: up-, mid- and down-stream. Despite the relative simplicity of the five-variable model, participants struggled to avoid initial catastrophe. Results show the consistent tendency of participants to overexploit the available water resources very early in the simulation, resulting in extreme oscillations in water availability between years. The different exposure to risk is also illustrated as the consequences of upstream decisions propagate downstream. Successful modifications include: (a) incorporation of stochastic elements; (b) digital 'dashboard' for each basin to augment the otherwise paper-based system; and (c) second round of simulations in which participants apply lessons learned during the first simulation and catastrophe is avoided. Lessons learned include the demonstrated value of running coeval simulations side-by-side to illustrate the path-dependency of decisions, and also the inevitable need for basin-wide planning.
Desert Odyssey: Integrating Geology, Biology & Native American History & Culture in a Field-Intensive Program
Ben Fackler-Adams, Skagit Valley College
Cliff Palmer, Skagit Valley College
Charles Luckmann, Skagit Valley College
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In Spring 2015, Skagit Valley College offered Desert Odyssey, a 15-credit learning community integrating geology, biology and Native American history, including a 3-week field program exploring interconnections among landscapes, ecosystems and human experience in the Southwest. Students learned how geologic and biological systems influenced past and present Southwest Native American cultures. Five weeks preceding the field program focused on (1) basic geological tools of petrography and stratigraphy; (2) biological fundamentals including evolution and phylogeny, organismal form and function, and ecosystems; (3) Puebloan and Navajo history and culture, especially storytelling and oral history, basic language training in Diné bizaad (Navajo); and (4) the legacy of the energy industry and the unique political and environmental situation of the Big Mountain Navajo. Students used these foundational studies to develop both group and individual research questions integrating the three disciplines. In the field, students applied these tools as we explored diverse landscapes and spent time with Navajo families at Big Mountain where we assisted subsistence activities, including sheep herding, collecting water and firewood, butchering, and road and fence repairs. Students work was making inter-disciplinary connections among what they were seeing in the rocks, organisms, and Pueblo and Navajo culture. Their learning was facilitated by lectures from faculty and regional professionals/experts, a detailed field guide and nightly discussions. Upon returning, students developed posters summarizing the results of their group and individual research projects which were shared with the college community. Student research projects and responses to summative assessments and a reflective "Critical Incident Questionnaire" revealed that they gained significant insights about (1) deep time and the evolution of geologic and biological systems; (2) challenges, poverty and connection to the land in modern Navajo communities; and (3) the significant way that changes in the past at both geological and cultural time-scales effect what is happening today.
Using Design Patterns as a Strategy for Capturing Generalizable Knowledge from Educational Interventions
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
Cailin Orr, Carleton College
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A design pattern is a reusable solution to a problem that recurs repeatedly as people try to navigate through life. The concept began in architecture and has spread to many other fields. We think that the design pattern idea can be helpful in conceptualizing and articulating the nature of some of the higher-order contributions that are emergent from ambitious educational interventions, allowing them to be replicated. We offer two examples from the InTeGrate project, at two different levels of granularity. At the level of instructional modules, a recurring challenge is the need to set up opportunities for students to learn from authentic data. We analyzed introductory level InTeGrate modules, and found six instructional sequences that different development teams used multiple times, across different content domains and data types. These include "Pooling Data to See the Big Picture," "Nested Data Sets," and "Make a Decision or Recommendation." At the level of whole departments or programs, a recurring challenge is to attract and support diverse learners in Earth-related fields. A methodical effort to synthesize lessons learned across InTeGrate's sixteen example programs found recurring approaches to this challenge used by multiple teams across widely different institutional contexts. Two widely used approaches are "Demonstrate Cultural Relevance" and "Generate Community Involvement." As illustrated by these examples, design patterns capture the broad strokes of approaches that have been used by skilled designers and tested in the real world for resonance with real users. They convey the essential features that lead to effectiveness, while encouraging adaptation to local circumstances. By conceptualizing these flexible, powerful, reusable approaches as "design patterns," we foreground what the different instantiations have in common and open the door to a discussion of what foundational cognitive and social processes are being leveraged by each pattern.
Geoscience Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Bridging the Gap from Niche Discipline to General Awareness for Sustainable Development
Tricia Alvarez, The University of Texas at Austin
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Trinidad and Tobago is located within an active plate tectonic boundary characterized by regular seismicity, and it is also positioned at the southern margin of Atlantic Basin hurricane paths. Consequently the islands are affected by geo-hazards; earthquakes, landslides and floods, which pose significant risk to life and property. The country has a history of petroleum exploration and production activities for >100 years, and the energy sector currently accounts for ~35% of GDP. Energy industry activities carry inherent risks for environmental hazards including the potential for catastrophic environmental impact events. Earth science issues are introduced at elementary school; through the study of current natural hazard events and associated societal impact, in social-studies classes. Students may take geography classes in lower high school (up to Grade 8), but beyond this level, less than 50% continue to receive geography instruction which includes map reading, natural Earth systems, and environmental hazards and resources issues relevant to the Caribbean. At the tertiary level there are undergraduate degrees in geography, and environment and natural resource management; as well as applied/specialized degree programs which include relevant earth science modules. While instruction at the high school level is appropriate for generating understanding and awareness of earth science issues many citizens do not receive sufficient exposure. The need for increased public awareness and action to mitigate the risks of natural and human-induced hazards have been documented and are evident from recurring loss due to natural hazard events and industrial pollution issues. An informed and engaged public have the potential to influence policy designed to minimize loss associated with earth processes, and promote sustainable development of earth resources. Action to increase awareness include: (1) enhanced student engagement with geoscience topics and issues, (2) appropriate preparation of educators to integrate geoscience topics within the curriculum and, (3) general public awareness campaigns.
The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)
Anne Gold, University of Colorado at Boulder
Susan Sullivan, University of Colorado at Boulder
Jennifer Taylor, University of Colorado at Boulder
Susan Lynds, University of Colorado at Boulder
Frank Niepold, NOAA
Marian Grogan, TERC
Sean Fox, Carleton College
Tamara Ledley, STEM Education Consultant
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It is important that we prepare tomorrow's scientists, decision makers and citizens to address the societal impacts of a changing climate. In order to respond, manage, and adapt to those change citizens of all ages need accurate, up to date information, knowledge of the sciences, and analytical skills to make responsible decisions and long-term plans regarding these challenging topics. The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN, http://cleanet.org) is providing 1) teaching resources for educators through the CLEAN Collection and pedagogical support for teaching climate and energy science, and 2) facilitating a professionally diverse community of climate and energy literacy stakeholders, called the CLEAN Network, to share and leverage their efforts to extent their reach and effectiveness. This poster will provide an overview of the CLEAN webportal. We will showcase the CLEAN Collection, which is comprised of 650+ resources (activities, videos, visualizations, and short demonstrations and experiments) that were reviewed for scientific accuracy, pedagogical effectiveness, and technical quality. The search interface allows for search by topic, grade level, resource type and Next Generation Science Standards among other filters. We will also summarize the updated version of the Teaching Climate and Energy Pedagogical Support Pages that outline common misconceptions and challenges as well as tips for teaching climate and energy topics. We will further include a brief summary of the activities of the professionally diverse community of climate and energy literacy stakeholders – the CLEAN Network.
Ambitious Redesign of an Introductory Physical Geology Course at a Two-Year-College
Elizabeth Nagy-Shadman, Pasadena City College
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Every year the Geology Department at Pasadena City College (PCC) offers ~15 sections of Physical Geology (lecture/lab combinations) taught by 8-10 full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty with minor consistency required between instructors. Faculty began meeting regularly in Spring 2017 to establish some uniformity among course sections. Faculty shared best practices and, in particular, examined ways to enhance the relevance of the course to the lives of the campus's diverse student population. A rich resource for such activities came from a course redesign of a single physical geology course section that began in Spring 2016 and continued in Fall 2016. The restructured course replaced about half of the existing laboratory activities with material from four different InTeGrate modules. This redesign is part of a larger research project by eight faculty members from across the country who redesigned their courses in a similar manner to investigate student performance and attitudes about science in courses modified with InTeGrate materials. This study will present the details of the PCC redesign. Strategies for instructors who want to add InTeGrate activities into their courses include reading through the on-line material a week or so in advance, doing the actual activities that you intend to have your students to do, and spending time reading the instructor stories and how the material authors specifically used the unit in their courses. Following first-time use in a class it is strongly suggested that you write a brief reflection after class about what went right and wrong and suggested changes that you would make next time. These reflections turn out to be incredibly valuable to review the second time you use the material.
Implementing InTeGrate Critical Zone Science materials in an undergraduate geoscience curriculum
Ashlee Dere, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Tim White, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Adam Wymore, University of New Hampshire-Main Campus
Adam Hoffman, University of Dubuque
James Washburne, The University of Arizona
Martha Conklin, University of California-Merced
Robert Shuster, University of Nebraska at Omaha
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The InTeGrate course "Introduction to the Critical Zone Science" was developed by an interdisciplinary team from a variety of institutions to introduce and examine the life-sustaining services and resources provided by Earth's terrestrial layer, the Critical Zone (CZ). The CZ extends from the top of the vegetation canopy to fresh groundwater beneath the Earth's surface and includes coupled biological, chemical and physical systems that interact to support ecosystems and humans alike. The InTeGrate curriculum uses data and literature generated from the NSF CZ Observatory program and emphasizes a systems approach to understand the nature and methods of geosciences as well as to address geoscience-related grand challenges facing society. Pre- and post-testing administered in CZ Science courses piloted across a range of institutions showed gains in student perceptions that CZ skills learned through this material could help them tackle grand challenges in the future. Additional pre- and post-testing has been conducted in the most recent course offering at UNO in an effort to understand in more detail how CZ Science materials help to develop student learning and critical thinking skills. Although the CZ concept is new to many students, using a CZ approach to learn about Earth systems has the potential to deeply engage students and help develop skills to address humanities' grand challenges. One example of implementing this material into an undergraduate geoscience curriculum is described here. At the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO), a large, 4-year public and primarily non-residential campus, students pursuing undergraduate degrees or minors in Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies or M.A. degrees in Geography can take the course to fulfill upper-level degree requirements. The initial two course offerings each included 14 students, taught over two 75-minute sessions or one 150-minute session per week; future course offerings will include an additional 2-hour lab section.
Teaching in the (critical) zone: Linking land management and Earth system processes at the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory
Katherine O'Neill, Roanoke College
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The Earth's critical zone (CZ) represents the upper layer of the Earth's surface (referred to by the National Science Foundation as the zone where 'rock meets life') that provides the resources and services critical for sustaining living systems. CZ science is explicitly interdisciplinary and integrates components of the Earth, life, and atmospheric sciences, the social sciences, and the environmental humanities and, thus, provides a rich opportunity for engaging environmental and geoscience students in critical thinking about the interdependencies between human well-being and the Earth's outer layers. Here, we discuss the development of place-based, interdisciplinary educational materials using emerging research from the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory (CZO), one of a network of ten terrestrial observatories funded by NSF. Like much of the southern Piedmont, the landscape represented by the Calhoun CZO was severely impacted by agricultural soil erosion and water degradation later followed by land abandonment and reforestation. The imprint of these historical land management practices can still be observed today throughout much of the region. Together, historic and contemporary data from the Calhoun CZO provide a rich opportunity to explore Earth science research within the context of land management, environmental history, and socio-cultural institutions. Rather than organizing activities by academic discipline, visualization and geospatial platforms such as Google Earth and ESRI Story Maps are used to frame integrative earth systems processes within narrative contexts that help students to make more direct connections between human well-being and the health of the land itself.
Curriculum Materials and Approaches to Prepare Students for an Interdisciplinary Future
Dave Gosselin, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
John Taber, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
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A primary goal of the InTeGrate project was to increase the incorporation of geoscience concepts into the teaching about current grand, Earth-related, societal challenges. The materials produced from this project prepare students to meet future intellectual and workforce demands through scholarship, research, practice and informed citizenship. The InTeGrate collection of modules and courses use an interdisciplinary approach to address grand challenges facing society. All materials have common design intended to: improve student ability to use methods of geoscience; develop geoscientific habits of mind; use authentic, credible geoscience data to learn in the context of scientific inquiry; and incorporate systems thinking. Examples from the InTeGrate materials that will be featured include: The Cli-FI: Climate Science in Literary Texts module addresses climate science through data analysis and interpretation, and the portrayal of climate science using literary tools and techniques. In the Mapping the Environment with Sensory Perception module, students connect their personal sensory experiences to environmental data collected and analyzed by geoscientists, cultural impacts documented by social scientists, and the communication of environmental conditions and advocacy for remedial action crafted by rhetoricians. The Water Sustainability in Cities module addresses hydrologic and atmospheric processes, clean water, low-impact development, green infrastructure, flood risk, and climate variability. The Wicked Problem of Global Food Security module uses an Earth systems approach to address world food insecurity issues, and explore how social, economic, and political factors impact decision-making can improve or compromise the biogeochemical interactions related to food production. In the Regulating Carbon Emissions module, students experience the integration of climate science, economics, and law in the formulation of federal policy to address climate change. The Food and the Foundation for Healthy Communities uses social, economic, and environmental relationships established around food as a foundation for the creation and perpetuation of healthy communities.
Individual Development Plan: A Personal Action Plan for 'Ike Wai Graduate Students
Daniela Bottjer-Wilson, University of Hawaii at Manoa
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'Ike Wai ("Water Knowledge") is a National Science Foundation EPSCoR funded project addressing the critical needs of the state of Hawai'i to maintain its supply of clean water. The interdisciplinary research team including geophysicists, geochemists, microbiologists, groundwater modelers, engineers, data scientists, social scientists and Hawaiian language specialists aims at improving our current understanding of "How much water is there?", "Where does it flow from/to?" and "How long will our resources last?". Through this integrated program of research, education, community engagement and decision support, 'Ike Wai seeks to build a diverse and competitive workforce in key Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The Professional Development (PD) program's goal is to equip 'Ike Wai graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with the skills and experiences needed to maximize their potential and succeed in their professional careers. As part of the PD program, each graduate student and postdoctoral researcher creates an Individual Development Plan (IDP), in consultation with their research advisor and PD mentor. The IDP outlines PD milestones, accompanied by timelines to track progress, and serves as a blueprint to guide each student's professional development. All IDPs will include six core competencies: Research, Teaching & Mentoring, Leadership, Writing & Publication, Oral Communication, Career Development. This presentation will provide some first insights into how IDPs benefit 'Ike Wai graduate students in emerging competitive from their 'Ike Wai training period.
Motivated by Eisner: Physical Geology assignments that connect to students' lives and everyday experiences
Tarin Weiss, Westfield State University
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This project draws on the philosophy of Elliot Eisner, summarized in Educational Leadership, 61(4). Primarily, the concept of education as mainly preparatory is flawed and leads to "intellectually irrelevant" learning. For learning to be meaningful, it must peak students' interests and be intellectually challenging. WSU's Physical Geology course is designed to meet that assertion through varied assignments. Two assignments, a Quick Report and the Hometown Geology Summary, are presented in light of Eisner's challenge; to create opportunities for students to use effective judgement, critical thinking, varied representational modes, and their idiosyncratic talents collaboratively to make a contribution to, and beyond, the classroom. The Quick Report is a 5-minute presentation focusing on how a student's major (or interest) relates to, or is informed by, the geosciences. Students present their findings and questions following deliberation, research, and synthesis of information. After an initial struggle with understanding the assignment's interdisciplinary nature, most students create wholly unique presentations that teach us all something new. Titles of reports have included; The Landscape as Muse, Finding Bin Laden, The Music of California's Earthquakes, and Extreme/Endangered Habitats around a Hotspot. Through the Hometown Geology Summary, a summative assessment, students respond to the question, In what ways has the Earth (geology/landscape) impacted your hometown? or In what ways has your hometown impacted the Earth? Alone, or in pairs, students research and describe local bedrock geology and the interconnectedness between humans and the local landscape. They question practices that have driven progress and consider future implications of human activity and/or natural change. Submitted work may use the form of a traditional paper and/or more creative modes (creative writing, film, photography, drawing, or music). Summaries have focused on, for example, topographical relief and car-buying decisions, the legacy of brownstone quarries, caves as smuggler's hideouts, and the economic boost from beaches.
Assisting Non-geoscience Students to Understand Environmental/Sustainability Issues through Scientific Writing Classes
Byron Straw, University of Northern Colorado
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At many colleges and universities, students wishing to graduate with a science degree are required to take a course in scientific writing. Traditionally, these classes required students to choose a topic in the first several weeks of the course and develop it throughout the semester; however, the topics were usually unrelated to any type of societal environmental or sustainability problem. During spring and summer semesters of 2016, the University of Northern Colorado (UNCo) implemented a new pedagogy in its Scientific Writing course to encourage students to consider the importance of environmental issues facing society. Instructors and students still had the freedom to select topics of interest, but the requirements for selecting a topic slightly changed. During the first two weeks of class students completed assignments that challenged them to select a topic that would relate to their major and make a connection to some type of grand challenge facing society. Students retained the academic freedom to choose topics connected with their major, but they would need to add the environmental and/or sustainability component. Throughout the semester, the students started to make connections between their field of study and environmental concerns they never thought possible. For example, a dietetics major after the first class meeting asked "how could my major have any connection to an environmental concern." After the second week of class, her title was developed, and she started to see a strong connection between her major and sustainable farming techniques. She then went on to write a ten-page scientific manuscript, and develop a poster which she presented passionately during our departmental "Poster Fest". In addition to students being challenged to look into complex and forward-looking problems, they developed a stronger personal and professional voice that is important to their future. Many students realized they can make a difference!
Improving Understanding of Earth Science Topics through Evaluation and Plausibility Reappraisal
Doug Lombardi, Temple University
Janelle Bailey, Temple University
Elliot S. Bickel, Temple University
Shondricka Burrell, The National Hispanic University
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Evaluation is an important aspect of science and is receiving increasing attention in science education. This study investigated changes to high school students' plausibility judgments and knowledge as a result of a series of instructional activities that facilitated evaluation of scientific and alternative models in four different Earth science topics: (a) climate change, (b) fracking and earthquakes, (c) wetlands and land use, and (d) the formation of Earth's Moon. Repeated measure MANOVAs showed that participants shifted toward scientifically accepted explanations and increased their knowledge about these four Earth science topics after participating in the instructional activities. We also examined whether these evaluations mediated the relation between post instructional plausibility and knowledge. As shown by structural equation modeling, greater levels of evaluation significantly mediated plausibility shifts and knowledge increases. Effect sizes were small to large, depending upon topic and instructional context. Based on these results, the activities used in this study have the potential to facilitate students' critical thinking skills when evaluating the validity of explanations based on evidence, a scientific practice that is key to understanding Earth science.
Supplementing InTeGrate Earth Science Modules with American Meteorological Society (AMS) and Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Educational Content
David Padgett, Tennessee State University
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The American Meteorological Society (AMS) Weather Studies and Climate Studies programs have been institutionalized at Tennessee State University (TSU) since fall 2005. The interactive AMS learning materials are delivered via the Weather and Climate (GEOG 3500) course. Approximately 250 undergraduate students have been exposed the AMS materials over the past 10-plus years. Tennessee State University has been a Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program Partner Institution since October 2001. Undergraduate students enrolled in GEOG 3500 and introductory World Regional Geography (GEOG 1010/1020) courses engage in GLOBE earth science data collection and analysis exercises. The "real time" and "hands-on" format of the AMS and GLOBE materials can significantly enhance students' learning experiences with the InTeGrate Earth-Focused Modules. For example, the AMS Weather Studies "Tropical Weather Systems" unit can be taught concurrently with the InTeGrate "Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes" module. As students work through the historical InTeGrate module information, they are able to observe and analyze tropical weather in real time via the AMS portal. The GLOBE "Surface Temperature" Protocol exercise can be taught concurrently with "Unit 2: Earth's Atmosphere and Its Influence on Temperature" of the InteGrate "Earth's Thermostat" Module. In completing the Surface Temperature Protocols, students spend time outdoors engaged in "citizen science" collection of cloud, ambient temperature, and other atmospheric data. With both the AMS and GLOBE content faculty are able to "customize" the lessons to focus upon the local area, giving students perhaps a more meaningful learning experience. In terms of course preparation, the AMS teaching materials are relatively user-friendly and like the InTeGrate modules, can be incorporated into a wide range of courses, including the social sciences. Becoming a GLOBE Partner requires training, some of which may be able to be completed online.
Teaching STEM Teachers Using NASA GLOBE Protocols
Carol Engelmann, University of Nebraska at Omaha
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Graduate and undergraduate STEM courses at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) are being designed to integrate the protocols from NASA's Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program. GLOBE is an international citizen science and education program that encourages teachers and students to participate in data collection and the scientific process while making observations of their environment. GLOBE is aligned with Earth System Science and the protocols focus on collecting data to study the Pedosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere. The GLOBE web-site provides a set of observation protocols that include information about the GLOBE approved equipment required for each investigations. Using these GLOBE protocols standardizes the data collection process of UNO STEM students, thus making their collected data credible and comparable to data collected at other GLOBE sites around the world. These UNO STEM courses are conducted on a restored prairie, The Glacier Creek Preserve, which is a short drive from UNO's main campus. The students enter their data on the GLOBE international web-site and the data is used by scientists' in their research and by NASA scientists to ground truth NASA satellite data. Assessment data collected through surveys and undergraduate STEM research projects and graduate student projects over three semesters is very encouraging. While this is new at UNO, three semesters of data show that both the graduate and undergraduate students claim the GLOBE protocols deepened their understanding of how to engage in "real" science research and the importance of following protocols. In support of the in-service teachers taking the graduate courses, Dr. Carol Engelmann, Hubbard STEM Learning Instructor, and Dr. Ashlee Dere, Assistant Professor of Geology, were awarded a Nebraska Space Grant Office "Teacher-Training Mini-Grant", which funded the purchase of GLOBE equipment for educators to borrow and use with students at their own schools.
Appreciative Inquiry as an Approach to Transformational Service Learning to Promote Sustainable Development in the Missouri Ozarks through Adoption and Adaption of the InTeGrate Project's Module "Interactions between Water, Earth's Surface, and Human Acti
Michelle Fisher, Three Rivers Community College
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Sustainability is the capacity of meeting the needs of the present without diminishing opportunities for the future of humanity. Can higher education offer learning approaches to transform students to serve as agents of change for sustainable development? A changed educational paradigm that develops and embodies the theory and practice of sustainability is needed. Problem-based learning (PBL) involves the development of analytical and decision-making skills with real-life problems. Appreciative inquiry (AI) is an innovative approach to PBL that shifts away from traditional problem solving by valuing the strengths and affirmative influences instead of what is problematic. Appreciative inquiry will be used as an approach to create a transformative awareness of sustainability to lead biology students to contribute to civic engagement and the sustainable development and empowerment of a rural community in the Ozarks of Missouri which is prone to flooding. The author proposes research with aims to collect and analyze evidence on the performance of AI, on which basis educators can decide whether AI represents a suitable approach for preparing students to face today's challenges. As a participant in the InTeGrate 2017 Faculty Mentoring Network, the "Interactions between Water, Earth's Surface, and Human Activity" module will be adopted into a Biology for Majors class to integrate data-driven teaching materials developed by the InTeGrate Project as an interdisciplinary approach to addressing grand challenges. The module will be implemented over the course of 6 weeks that will allow students to construct their own understanding of the behavior of rivers through the use of stream tables and streamflow data and activities that are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The module will be adapted to include students interviewing to learn of stories of impacted stakeholders and to apply their knowledge to inform their local community about flooding hazards.
Adapting the InTeGrate "Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes" module in the wake of Hurricane Matthew
Daren Nelson, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
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In the fall of 2016 the impacts of Hurricane Matthew caused over 22 deaths and estimates of over $1.5 billion in damage in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke was evacuated and closed and many students and faculty lost homes and possessions due to the damages incurred by the storm. As part of the InTeGrate research team, I had the unique opportunity to adapt and implement the "Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes" module into my introductory Earth Science courses. The implementation of the module and analysis of student responses were analyzed over a control term (fall 15), pilot term (spring 16), and treatment term (fall 16). During the control course the students were taught in a traditional lecture style format regarding extreme weather events; whereas, in the pilot and treatment courses the InTeGrate module regarding hurricanes was implemented. The fall 2016 term was our "treatment" term where the implementation of this and other modules were in full swing. However, due to the storm it was decided that the students perceived interest would increase by further adapting the module to use Hurricane Matthew as an additional case study. As part of the presentation I will discuss how the module was adapted pre and post the storm. In addition, it will be discussed how adapting the InTeGrate module to relate to current and local events will increase student performance and interest. Data for the control, pilot, and treatment terms will be compared and discussed in relation to the disaster. In spring of 2017 the adapted post Hurricane Mathew version of the module was repeated and student experiences were collected to see if their personal experiences continued to improve student understanding.
A View of InTeGrate Materials through the Lens of a Community College Student Tutor
Luke Baker, El Paso Community College
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In the fall 2016 semester I served as a tutor and laboratory assistant for El Paso Community College professor Russell Smith who used units 1-4 of the "Living on the Edge" InTeGrate module for laboratories in his Earth Science 1 course. Thus I have a unique perspective on the materials that the students and I found particularly helpful or challenging. Overall, the students found the InTeGrate materials fun and interesting. Some students had difficulty with learning to read graphical information, while others had problems with the fact that some thought was required to answer questions, rather than looking up the answers in their books. I did note some interesting misconceptions such as the fact some students equated lower population densities with higher earthquake hazard because they felt that in regions of higher population density buildings would be better constructed. In some labs the instructor attempted to combine InTeGrate materials with topics from an in-house laboratory manual. In these cases, the students appeared to be more confused about material from the manual than with material from the InTeGrate units which was generally better organized and more goal oriented. I found the Google Earth based InTeGrate materials especially appealing to me since I have Asperger's syndrome and am a visual learner. Other students I tutored that had disabilities also found the InTeGrate materials easier to use and understand than the laboratory manual based exercises.
Adapting InTeGrate for the Large Lecture Classroom: Impacts on Engagement and Student Performance
Christopher Berg, Orange Coast College
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The InTeGrate project seeks to incorporate concepts of sustainability and societal issues into the geoscience classroom using inquiry-based, active-learning approaches. A multi-institution study is documenting the changes in student performance and attitudes as a result of replacing approximately one-half of existing course materials with InTeGrate modules and units. This presentation focuses on the changes in practice and impacts on student success as a result of implementation of InTeGrate materials in an undergraduate physical geology course at the University of West Georgia. This course fulfills a science requirement for all UWG undergraduates, and the student population is largely non-science majors. Several types of data were collected to assess student engagement (attendance, homework completion, attitudinal surveys) and student performance (including GLE summative assessments and other class-based pre-/post-tests) across control and treatment groups. The control semester (Fall 2015) was taught using traditional course materials and approaches; during the treatment semester (Fall 2016), the class was significantly revised by replacing existing content with InTeGrate materials, including two complete modules (Human Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources, Living on the Edge) and selected units from several other InTeGrate modules (Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources, A Growing Concern, Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes). Several adaptations were made to InTeGrate materials and activities to make them more user-friendly and effective for the large lecture hall setting; specific examples will be discussed in the context of overcoming challenges related to logistical or student success issues.