Science communication as a conduit for geoscience engagement in non-major students

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm Beren Auditorium
Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session

Session Chairs

Kelly Lazar, Clemson University
Stephen Moysey, East Carolina University
Many students find their way into geoscience majors and careers through a spark originating from their introductory geoscience course. Cultivating the triggered situational interest in these students is essential to interest development and shepherding them towards geoscience career pathways. A project-based geoscience communication course was developed as a framework to allow these students to further delve into their geoscience curiosity. Students representing six different majors joined a handful of geology students to develop their own geoscience communication projects that aimed to inform their peers of topics the student found to be important. Each iteration of the course involved a multi-day, optional fieldtrip (both in-state and international) that encouraged these non-majors to experience geoscience fieldwork and enabled them to collect their own data, images, and videos. Students utilized these resources to create interactive websites, blogs, and videos that communicated the impacts of hurricanes to communities, explored the impacts of climate change on agriculture, infrastructure, and the economy, and created virtual reality experiences that allow participants to "become" scientists and see how climate change research is done. Enabling opportunities for student-created content empowers students to craft their own narrative and define their own relationship to geoscience. By providing students with opportunities to explore their geoscience interests within the context of their own majors and interests, it is hoped that these students will be empowered to be passionate advocates for geoscience-literate solutions to critical, modern problems.