Earth Educators Rendezvous > Previous Rendezvous > Rendezvous 2017 > Program > Roundtable Discussions

Round Table Discussions

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

Tuesday - Session I

Strengthening TA Teaching Capacity

Moderators: Rachel Teasdale, California State University, Chico; Kelsey Bitting, Northeastern University , Katherine Ryker, Eastern Michigan University

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Acoma A & B

Teaching Assistants (TAs) play a major role in undergraduate instruction, and their teaching practices and beliefs influence student learning. Nonetheless, TAs often begin their positions with little to no teaching knowledge and naïve beliefs about the nature and process of both science and learning. Despite many calls in the literature for well-validated approaches to training STEM TAs within the context of their departments, minimal research on TA training exists in the geoscience context. This round table discussion will provide a forum for the community to identify new and existing approaches to TA training, the desired outcomes of those training programs, and (quantitative and qualitative) approaches to assessing the degree to which those training programs meet those desired outcomes.

Leveling the Playing Field by Developing Student Metacognition

Moderator: Kaatje Kraft, Whatcom Community College

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Santa Ana A & B

Metacognition is the ability to think about ones thinking, as part of a large context of self-regulation of learning. Students who demonstrate the ability to be metacognitive are more likely to be successful at any stage of their career, whether it be as a K-12 student, a first year college student, or a graduate student. Metacognition is a skill that can and should be taught, particularly in the context of the discipline because it will not only yield stronger students, it also helps address issues of equity. At this roundtable, we will spend some time talking about what metacognition looks like at different stages in the geosciences and share strategies that have been successful in supporting student development of metacognition.

How to Incorporate Research into your Undergraduate Program

Moderator: Rachel Headley, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Fiesta A & B

Undergraduate research is a high-impact practice that has been tied to increased rates of retention rates, graduation, and graduate school attendance for STEM majors in general and particularly for under-represented and non-traditional students. However, building a successful undergraduate research program, whether in an individual lab or at the department level, often involves intentional design and adjustment of expectations away from those of graduate level researchers. Discussion topics will be guided by participant interest but could include publishing and presenting undergraduate research, setting realistic expectations, incorporating authentic research experiences into coursework, safety concerns, recruitment, and mentoring of undergraduate researchers.

Work-life Balance; Arc of a Career

Moderator: Alison Bridger, San Jose State University

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Mirage

Your goal is to reach retirement age with some measure of satisfaction in your professional life – but how much? A Nobel prize? Membership in every professional group you can think of? Publications in every journal you can think of? A long list of successful graduate students? Great teaching awards? Quiet satisfaction every night you go home? You also have a goal of reaching retirement age with good health, and good relationships with your partner, kids and pets. You also want time to watch and/or play baseball in summer, hockey in winter etc. At every stage of your career, it's hard to balance these – there are still only 24 hours in the day. What decisions have some of us made, and how have these changed from early to late career? Were these even conscious decisions?

Service Learning

Moderator: Sue Ebanks, Savannah State University

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Thunderbird

In this round table discussion, we will exchange ideas for ways in which students can learn how to take action in their surrounding communities, including their campus, as it relates to the environmentally relevant challenges. This will include suggestions for steps in developing the service learning project, from identification of the project and community partners, to helping to facilitate the success of the students in delivering on the objectives of the project, as well as some discussion on assessment of success. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document, Service-Learning in Undergraduate Geosciences: Proceedings of a Workshop (2017), will be used as a framework for the discussion.


Using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports in Teaching and Outreach

Moderator: Robin Matthews, IPCC WGI Technical Support Unit

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Spirit & Trailblazer

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assesses the current state of scientific understanding on aspects of contemporary climate change. Their assessments span the physical science of climate change, impacts on human and natural systems, and options for adaptation and mitigation. As the IPCC begins preparation of its Sixth Assessment, the Technical Support Unit of IPCC Working Group I (WGI - 'The Physical Science Basis') is examining ways to enhance usage of WGI-related materials in teaching and outreach. The goal of this round-table session is to discuss ideas for disseminating physical science in IPCC reports to a range of age levels (middle school to undergraduate). Challenges include how to simplify complex climate science ideas without losing scientific accuracy, and how to communicate recent scientific advances to recipients with little or no background knowledge. As a catalyst for discussion, feedback will be sought on specially-developed educational versions of IPCC figures. The round-table will draw upon the broad collective knowledge and experience of EER attendees throughout Earth science education/educational research.

Tuesday - Session II

Research Challenges in Geoscience Education Research

Moderator: Heather Petcovic, Western Michigan University

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 3:00-4:15pm | Student Union - Acoma A & B

This discussion will explore issues in geoscience education research such as finding collaborators, starting projects, securing funding, publishing your work, and defining and sustaining your research agenda. Come ready to share your challenges, strategies, and successes.

Building Community in your Online Course: Strategies for getting students to work together

Moderator: Hannah Scherer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 3:00-4:15pm | Student Union - Santa Ana A & B

Facilitating peer learning and building community in online courses represents a fundamental component of student engagement and success in online learning. In this roundtable discussion, we will share examples of synchronous and asynchronous activities and educational technologies that provide online learners with less isolating opportunities to contribute ideas, learn from their peers, and ultimately become part of a more engaged community of online learners.

Program Assessment

Moderator: Karen Viskupic, Boise State University

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 3:00-4:15pm | Student Union - Fiesta A & B

Assessing program-level learning outcomes can drive curricular and pedagogical changes, and is likely a requirement of your institution's administration and accrediting body. We'll discuss assessment strategies, mechanisms, and instruments as well as how to use results to make program improvements. Please join the conversation to share your successes and/or your struggles, and to learn from your peers.

Building Pathways to Geoscience Graduate Programs

Moderator: Reginald Archer, Tennessee State University

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 3:00-4:15pm | Student Union - Mirage

This round table discussion will focus on ways to inspire diverse talent to become the next generation of innovative leaders through advanced geoscience degrees. We would like to build on the best practices and experiences from folks here in the room and continue to develop novel approaches for engaging students in career-relevant experiences in geoscience – as early as possible. Our table will explore the appropriate questions, data sources and experts to consult regarding: student knowledge of career options and learning about opportunities, the role of graduate programs and faculty in informing and guiding students along the path to geoscience occupations. The session will draw on expertise from HBCUs.

Strategies for Writing a Strong NSF Proposal

Moderator: Keith Sverdrup, National Science Foundation

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 3:00-4:15pm | Student Union - Thunderbird

This round table will discuss top ten recommendations for what PIs should think about to make their proposal more competitive in the review process as well as top ten recommendations for things to avoid.

Getting it Done: Experiences Implementing the Framework and NGSS in Earth and Space Science

Moderator: Susan Sullivan, CIRES, University of CO Boulder; Aida Awad, Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Round Table

Tuesday, July 18 | 3:00-4:15pm | Student Union - Spirit & Trailblazer

Since the release of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS, members of the geoscience education community have gained a collective wealth of experience to draw on. Continued momentum toward implementation of the NGSS depends on continuing to build a broad and inclusive community. This round table discussion will enable us to share progress on NGSS efforts, troubleshoot issues, describe best practices and strengthen connections between community members. Discussion topics will depend on the interests of participants.

Friday - Session III

Reward Structures: Geo Ed and PT

Moderators: Karen McNeal, North Carolina State University

Round Table

Friday, July 21 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Acoma A & B

In this round table discussion, participants will share ideas pertaining to the tenure and promotion and reward structures for Geoscience Education Research (GER) Faculty. The conversation will include what to look for in potential institutions hiring in GER, what institutions should consider when developing a GER program, as well as navigating tenure and promotion in existing positions. The round table discussion would benefit from the participation of graduate students, post-docs, and teaching and research track faculty (that are both seeking tenure and those that have earned tenure) as well as administrators from a variety of institutional types.

Mentoring Students through Research Experiences

Moderator: Aisha Morris, UNAVCO

Round Table

Friday, July 21 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Santa Ana A & B

Developing confident, capable geoscientists from diverse backgrounds requires, among many variables, the development of confident, capable mentors to help guide and support students along the path to professional positions. This round table discussion will seek to illuminate the approaches that have been successful in mentoring undergraduates in research, with particular focus on the nuances of mentoring students from underrepresented groups. The goals of the discussion are to: 1) share experiences to elucidate the differences between mentoring, advising, and sponsorship, and 2) share available resources to facilitate incorporation of successful strategies in mentoring undergraduates (including underrepresented groups) in conducting scientific research. All interested mentors and potential mentors, regardless of experience level, are invited to attend.

Engaging Online Students in Authentic Earth Science Experiences

Moderator: Eliza Richardson, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Round Table

Friday, July 21 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Fiesta A & B

Whether we are teaching large or small classes, introductory level, non-majors, or upper levels, we all want our online students to analyze and interpret authentic data as well as make scientifically sound observations in an Earth science context. This round table discussion will explore ideas and best practices for finding appropriate data, balancing use of technical tools with learning science content, and ways to tear reluctant students away from their computer screens and out into their environments to see some geology.

Using InTegrate Materials to Strengthen Geosciences Across the Curriculum

Moderator: Richard Schulterbrandt Gragg, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Round Table

Friday, July 21 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Mirage/Thunderbird

This session will explore the use of InTeGrate curriculum materials and faculty development workshops to strengthen infusion of Earth literacy throughout the curriculum. The value of culturally competent materials for engaging diverse students will be emphasized, including environmental justice and equity themes related to geoscience topics. The session will draw on expertise from HBCUs examining programming at Claflin, Florida A&M, and Morehouse College in detail.

Advocacy and Connecting with Community

Moderator: Don Duggan-Haas, Paleontological Research Institution

Round Table

Friday, July 21 | 1:30-2:45pm | Student Union - Spirit & Trailblazer

We live in polarized times. Climate change, fracking, evolution, and many more issues are mired in political conflict that are better understood through science and science education. Advocacy has a role in informing policy and educational practice, yet scientists are often wary of being labeled as advocates. We, of course, do not hesitate to advocate for certain things, like high quality science education. And, of course, there are issues where advocacy is not appropriate. Drawing the line is sometimes challenging, but generally there are clear distinctions between appropriate and inappropriate advocacy. Amongst the issues is the fact that most Americans say that they do not personally know any scientists. Important too, is the issue that approaches that are highly effective with one audience may backfire with another. At this roundtable, we will discuss how to avoid crossing inappropriate lines, how to advocate effectively, and how to engage with your community.


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