GeoConnections

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

Authors

Darryl Reano, Purdue University-Main Campus
Jon Harbor, Purdue University-Main Campus
GeoConnections is a recent NSF-funded project that is focused on creating geoscience education modules (GEMs) that are place-based and culturally relevant for Native American undergraduate students. The development and implementation of these modules has been and will continue to be guided by a unique Indigenous research framework (IRF) set forth through the use of Sociotransformative Constructivism and Tribal Critical Race Theory. The initial construction phase of the education activities in the module have been developed and tested in a pilot study at Acoma Pueblo, NM. The IRF approach used for the pilot project disrupts the status quo by truly sharing positions of power within an active learning environment. This includes acknowledging traditional, cultural knowledge of Acoma Pueblo elders and other Acoma Pueblo community members, creating a safe dialogic space for participants to interact, respecting Acoma Pueblo cultural values and history, and the delicate weaving of Western geoscience concepts into these more familiar funds of knowledge. Preliminary qualitative analysis of the focus group interview highlights how Acoma Pueblo elders utilized the IRF to heighten place attachment and positively affect place meaning for other participants during the concluding discussion of the geoscience program. GeoConnections will continue implementation of these modules with undergraduate students at Heritage University in Toppenish, WA. Those students will focus on three main topics for the modules: The geologic history of the Columbia River Basalts, the geologic impacts of the Glacial Lake Missoula Floods, and the hydrogeologic system of the Yakima River Basin. The curriculum for these modules was constructed using a backward design approach in which focused questions are used to align the activities and assessments of the module in a way that develops understanding of key geologic concepts while also offering opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding in multimodal learning environments.