Geo-Ventures El Paso: A Gateway for Engagement, Recruitment, & Instruction

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm Student Union: Ballroom B
Poster Session Part of Wednesday Session


Rob Rohrbaugh, El Paso Community College
Fusing Introductory Field Geology with Recreational Activities as a Gateway Tool for Geoscience Recruitment, Supplemental Instruction, and Enhanced Student/Community Engagement

Geo-Ventures El Paso is a bi-institutional, multi-campus program, serving El Paso Community College (EPCC) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), that exposes 2YC/4YC introductory level students and the community to local and regional geologic settings during select outdoor recreational activities (i.e. hiking, caving, mountain biking, and climbing). Field geology exposure is often limited to upper level students already committed to the Geoscience pathway, therefore excluding non-majors and introductory level students that are a diverse population of potential Geoscience candidates. The fusion of outdoor recreation and introductory field geology creates a gateway attraction for students and the community alike to step through the gate of Geoscience, that would otherwise be avoided with the typical advanced geology focused field tour. The 4-year old program has expanded EPCC's recruitment of Geoscience majors, provides supplemental field instruction across 6 campuses (5 at EPCC, UTEP), and has enhanced student and community engagement by correlating relevant geologic factors to academic, career, civil, and environmental facets. Essentially the program serves as a Geology "highlight" reel to initiate interest and facilitate enhanced learning and engagement. Founder and coordinator, Rob Rohrbaugh of EPCC (UTEP alumni), will share key program aspects with multi-media and discussion; including promotional tools (social media, posts, etc.), participation data/demographics, event descriptions, common logistics, instructional facets, risks vs. gains, and grant integration.