Friday Poster Session
Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm Beren Auditorium
Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session
Presenters will hang their posters by 8:30am (the hall will be open to presenters at 8:00am), and the Poster Hall will be open throughout the day.
Broadening Participation: Attracting students and supporting students and teachers
Towards a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Susan Sullivan, University of Colorado at Boulder
The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) has initiated a new Diversity and Inclusion program to increase the diversity of the CIRES workforce and to assure that the CIRES workplace culture is supportive and respectful of all who work there. CIRES is a 850-person research institute based at the University of Colorado Boulder, and is the largest NOAA Cooperative Institute. The initiative includes recruiting to attract a wider range of students and employees, support for search and hire, training and other programming for current employees, and data to inform action plans and promote transparency. This poster describes progress to date within the CIRES Diversity and Inclusion program, including a recent workplace culture survey, training events and inclusion of preferred pronouns for the annual CIRES symposium.
NAGT Diversity Committee: Seeking Input Toward Enhancing Inclusion Efforts
Don Haas, Paleontological Research Institution
Susan Sullivan, University of Colorado at Boulder
Wendi Williams, South Texas College
The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) supports a community of educators and education researchers to improve teaching and learning about the Earth. Since 1938, the Association has been working toward fostering improvements in teaching and learning about Earth as a system at all levels of formal and informal instruction. The Diversity Committee was established to maximize the effect of work on behalf of NAGT membership. The committee (chaired by Aisha Morris, email@example.com) is charged with drafting a plan for a formal committee to enact, with a focus on the diversity of the membership, the inclusivity of the organization, and the use of diversity-oriented resources held in the collections. We are currently seeking membership input regarding current representation and broader issues of diversity in the Association. This poster will include a description of the current membership, thinking about the pathway forward, and opportunity to provide feedback and ideas.
A Diverse Cohort of Undergraduate Students to Address Hawaii's Water Challenges
Jennifer Engels, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Barbara Bruno, University of Hawaii at Manoa
How much water is there in Hawai'i? How long will this limited resource last given current pumping scenarios? How can traditional Hawaiian water use practices inform modern water management decisions? These are all questions posed by 'Ike Wai ("water knowledge"), a National Science Foundation funded EPSCoR project that incorporates a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the state's water needs for today and in the future. As part of the Education Plan, an REU-style academic year program recruits diverse community college students along a pathway to the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa by way of paid, closely-mentored research opportunities. After completing a summer bridge program based at Kapi'olani Community College, students work directly with geophysicists, geochemists, microbiologists, groundwater modelers, engineers, data scientists, social scientists and Hawaiian language specialists among the faculty, and use real data to answer questions about our integrated water systems. A 3-tiered program begins with Trainees in year 1, Interns in year 2, and Fellows in year 3, with increasing levels of responsibility, project ownership, and mentoring opportunities. Students have the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, and community meetings where they engage directly with project stakeholders. Students at all levels benefit from monthly Professional Development workshops delivered through a Culture/Science lens, and present their research finding to an authentic audience at an annual symposium. Of the 38 students who have participated in the program to date, 52% are Native Hawaiian, 22% are other underrepresented minorities, 47% are women, and all but 1 are in-state students, highlighting the importance of water topics to local undergraduates. This presentation will discuss successes and lessons learned by the EPSCoR Education Group, as well as plans for the future.
AGU's Virtual Programs: Providing Access to Students and Early Career Professionals Around the Globe
Pranoti Asher, American Geophysical Union
David Harwell, American Geophysical Union
Nathaniel Janick, American Geophysical Union
Leslie Marasco, American Geophysical Union
Erik Hankin, American Geophysical Union
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is committed to inspiring and educating present and future generations of diverse, innovative, and creative Earth and space scientists. To meet our commitment, AGU provides career and educational resources, webinars, mentoring, and support for students and professionals at various levels of development to reduce barriers to achievement and to help promote their advancement. This presentation will include an overview of current virtual programs such as Webinars, Mentoring365, and the Virtual Poster Showcase, as well as discuss current collaborative efforts with other organizations within the geoscience community and an appeal for additional partnerships.
Working with and across networks to support institutional change.
Cailin Huyck Orr, Carleton College
John McDaris, Carleton College
An advantage of multi-institutional networks of people working towards common goals is being able to draw from experiences across the networks and to share experience and successful practices from a variety of institution types. However, this has to be done in the context of limited time and resources to come together in face-to-face experiences. It also has to work across institution types. We, SERC at Carleton College, have been working in partnership with leaders from several different types of networks to build online resources, drawn from the experience of network members, that can be used to promote professional development across institutions. These networks include two Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, IINSPIRE and North Star, the Network of STEM Education Centers, the InTeGrate program models and several others. For example: The IINSPIRE LSAMP alliance is in its sixth year of funding and is comprised of three public universities, 2 R-1 and one comprehensive, 5 community colleges, all from Iowa, 7 liberal arts colleges and a tribal college from Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. While some groupings of the institutions had previously collaborated, the Alliance overall had no collective history and had different approaches to supporting students of color in pursuing STEM education. Some of the institutions had a considerable history of efforts to achieve the goals of the LSAMP program, others had little. By bringing together people from across these institution types, we have been able to foster cross-institution information sharing that is then documented for the parts of the community who have not participated in person. Drawing on the real experiences of people making change in their own settings can illuminate guidance and best practices in a particular area. We will share examples how these resources are built, and discuss what we know about the impact of these activities.
Helping your students find their career path and options in geosciences
Donna Charlevoix, UNAVCO
Beth Bartel, UNAVCO
Aisha Morris, National Science Foundation
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
Kelsey Russo-Nixon, UNAVCO
Dan Zietlow, UNAVCO
While students often choose to study and major in geosciences because of their love of the discipline, they may not be aware of what career options are available following graduation. Perhaps even more critically, students may pass on geoscience because of a perceived lack of diversity, profitability, or societal application of geoscience careers. As a national facility supported by the National Science Foundation, UNAVCO provides multiple career and mentoring resources for both students and faculty. For example, insight into typical skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a variety of geoscience career options is available through our spotlight video series: Geoscience Career Spotlight and Geoscience Student Spotlight. The videos are under four minutes long and feature relatable individuals in a variety of geoscience professions. Mentoring information for both mentors and mentees is available through archived webinars and online materials. This presentation will provide an overview of all of the diversity of resources available to both students and faculty and examples of how they have been successfully implemented in the past.
A PBL Approach to Linking Environmental Awareness with Geoscience Content at a STEM High School
Eva Lyon, University of Kentucky
Ashley Rosen, Lexington STEAM Academy
Rebecca Freeman, University of Kentucky
The Lexington STEAM Academy is a STEM-focused high school that promotes project-based learning at all levels and in all disciplines. Complementing these efforts, the Earth and Environmental Sciences department at UK works alongside the 9th grade integrated science teacher to craft project-based geoscience learning opportunities. One such effort addresses content related to the Human Impacts on Earth Systems core area of NGSS through pursuit of the driving question: "How can I understand my impact on the environment and our collective impact on the Earth?" The project entry event involves a "dumpster dive," highlighting common mistakes in household recycling efforts. Other components of the project include a benchmark lesson in which students calculate their own ecological footprints, a student-led recycling bin design contest (highlighting the "Arts" aspect of STEAM), and an assessment based on final presentations involving a "Public Service Announcement" to fellow students. The project addresses standards and practices relating to analysis of geoscience data, feedbacks among earth systems, making forecasts based on data, evaluating technical solutions to environmental issues, and relationships among earth systems. A larger goal of this collaboration is recruitment of future geoscience majors, particularly from underrepresented groups. Our recruiting efforts are grounded in pre- and post-survey data gauging students' attitudes about potential science majors and careers, emphasizing geoscience. Although none of the students surveyed indicated a desire to pursue a career in either geology or environmental science, 61% of them stated that environmentally-friendly employment was important. Whether or not this can be attributed to the success of the project is unclear, but it suggests that most students are concerned with environmental issues. These results may also suggest we can use project-based activities like this one in the future as a targeted approach for recruitment by emphasizing geoscience careers that focus on conservation and environmental cleanup efforts.
Science + Education Collaboratory: A Mechanism to Broaden Impact
Susan Meabh Kelly, Connecticut State Department of Education
Michael Thompson, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Assistant Director William Wulf, (NSF 1988-1990), advocated for leveraging expertise beyond institutional and disciplinary boundaries. This concept came to be known as a collaboratory. Established in response to a recent American Geophysical Union Scientist-Teacher Partnership Session, The Science plus Education Collaboratory (S+EC) is an extension of Wulf's vision. S + EC is envisioned as a space in which the expertise of scientists, K-12 formal and informal educators, and education researchers is exchanged to identify and address overlapping national initiatives. Primary initiatives are to 1) address challenges associated with long-standing efforts to integrate "authentic science" in K-12 settings and in conjunction 2) then collectively communicate and act to benefit multiple domains in society. This poster aims to introduce S + EC, share its initiatives, enhance the national BI conversation, and support the Scholarship of Broader Impacts (SoBI).
Using fossils of the Paleobiology Database (PBDB) To Explore the Tectonic Linkage of the Americas
Callan Bentley, Northern Virginia Community College
In this poster, we describe and demonstrate a student activity we developed utilizing the Paleobiology Database's (PBDB's) user-friendly "Navigator" interface. The activity has students to explore the tectonic implications of the Great American Biotic Interchange, an event where North American species moved into South America and (to a lesser extent) vice versa. Students use the PBDB Navigator ( https://paleobiodb.org/navigator/ ) to access information about the time/space distribution of several terrestrial fossil taxa, plot maps of these results, formulate hypotheses about the timing of the build-up of the Isthmus of Panama (and hence the connection between North and South America), and then test those hypotheses using several other sources of online data. The activity has been piloted using our project's research protocols, and refined based on feedback from multiple colleagues using a rubric. It is now available for any educator to utilize: https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/intro/activities/180125.html
Student choices, outcomes, and engagement with Self-guided introductory field experiences using the Flyover Country app
Avery Shinneman, University of Washington-Bothell Campus
Amy Myrbo, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Shane Loeffler, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Field experiences are an integral and attractive part of an education in the geosciences, and considered formative by many students. However, at many institutions class sizes, transportation, and other barriers make field trips difficult to include in geoscience classes, particularly in lower-division coursework. Using the free "Flyover Country" app to design self-guided field trips that students can take on their own schedules, instructors can offer options for field trips that fit a student's own schedule and utilize local areas of interest. In testing with three Introductory Geology sections at the University of Washington – Bothell, students showed similar lab scores and similar engagement with field trip material, as measured on a post-trip survey, regardless of whether they attended the class field trip or went on their own time using the app-based guidance. Students who took the survey also cited work and family care commitments as the main reason they chose not to attend the class trip, reasons that disproportionately affect lower income and non-traditional students' ability to participate in field trips outside of class time. Understanding which students are missing out on introductory field experiences, and why, can help instructors to better utilize alternative options and technological bridges, like Flyover Country, to engage non-traditional students with connections to field experiences at the introductory level.
Developing a Geology Field Trip for Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Students
Patricia Gallagher, Drexel University
Walter Yerk, Drexel University
Philip Getty, P.G., Boucher & James, Inc.
Kristin Sample-Lord, Villanova University
Loyc Vanderkluysen, Drexel University
Robert Swan, Jr., Drexel University
Geotechnical engineering faculty at Drexel and Villanova Universities collaborated with an environmental hydrogeologist from a local civil engineering firm and a volcanologist from Drexel University to develop a field trip for their engineering geology courses. A small seed grant provided a unique opportunity to begin this collaboration, which enhanced the geotechnical engineering faculty's knowledge of geology, provided field experience in geologic interpretation, and improved their engineering geology courses. The team selected a section of restricted-access trail in Wissahickon Valley Park as the location because it provides a major stream ecosystem within a geologically diverse setting that has been highly impacted by development of the surrounding City of Philadelphia. Additionally, it can safely accommodate a group of 60-80 students and students with limited mobility. Most of the outcrops consist of igneous and metamorphic rocks, but the stream valley provides many examples of sedimentary processes as well. In addition to looking at outcrops and evidence of geologic processes, we considered engineering issues associated with infrastructure in the valley, storm water management, and the impact of development on the stream valley. This trip is novel compared with classical geology field trips intended mostly for geology students. This poster will describe the development of the collaboration, the field trip, and the reception by the students. It will provide an example for other faculty who would like to incorporate similar elements in their courses. We expect that the field trip will complement our strategy of active learning we implemented in the course. We anticipate that students will be more engaged in learning geology and exit the course with an appreciation of the relevance of geology to civil, architectural, and environmental engineering.
Measuring coseismic deformation with differential topography in undergraduate courses
Chelsea Scott, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Ramon Arrowsmith, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Christopher Crosby, UNAVCO
When a fault ruptures the surface in an earthquake, the fault scarp is observable in a topographic hillshade produced from meter to sub-meter scale resolution imagery. Frequently, earthquakes are now imaged by before and after topography. Differencing these two datasets constrains on- and off- fault surface displacements. These displacements are used by scientists to identify the type of activated fault (i.e., normal, reverse, strike-slip), measure the amount of slip on the fault plane, assess the deformation in the volumes adjacent to the major fault, and determine the earthquake magnitude. In this laboratory exercise, students explore classical faulting relationships and are exposed to cutting-edge technology. We develop a laboratory exercise in which undergraduate students learn about faulting processes by examining coseismic surface ruptures and computing surface displacements from high-resolution topography (<1 m/pix). Students develop their scientific model of earthquake processes by mapping surface ruptures and analyzing coseismic surface displacements. Students also gain experience working with digital elevation models, which are used in increasingly more geological and engineering applications. This laboratory assignment is designed to be implemented in the active faulting part of a structural geology or geophysics class. There are four learning goals: (1) Students visualize how earthquakes permanently deform landscapes. (2) Students describe the relationship between fault slip, surface displacement, and earthquake magnitude. (3) Students interpret quantitative geospatial datasets. (4) Students practice writing scientific methods and interpretations for an experiment with uncertainty. In the laboratory assignment, students are given hillshades and point cloud files that represent the surface topography before and after an earthquake. They map and describe surface ruptures. They calculate 3D coseismic displacements using the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm available in Cloud Compare's GUI. Students determine the type of activated fault and estimate the earthquake magnitude.
Making Everyday Chemistry Public: A Non-disposable Writing Assignment in a Freshman Honors Course
Drew Vartia, University of Kansas Main Campus
Timothy A. Jackson, University of Kansas Main Campus
Jason C. Applegate, University of Kansas Main Campus
Nathan R. Erickson, University of Kansas Main Campus
Traditional assignments are typically two-party transactions that hold little value for either the student or the instructor. Such disposable assignments that "add no value to the world" are more frequently being replaced with both non-disposable and renewable assignments. The title project "Making Everyday Chemistry Public" reformulates a traditional writing assignment as a non-disposable assignment for a freshman honors chemistry course. For the assignment, students create and publicly display posters that highlight the chemistry associated with that public area. For the curious viewer, the poster includes a QR code that links to student-written web content, which preserves the writing-focused nature of the assignment. Details of the project format, implementation, response, and suggested alternatives are presented.
GEOCHEMISTRY IN THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM: MAKING LEARNING RELEVANT AND FUN
Laura Mori, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Eduardo Becerra Torres, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
It has been well documented that, when students are actively engaged in learning, they process and retain information more efficiently, and develop higher order thinking skills. Based on this consideration, we decided to reform our Geochemistry course by implementing the flipped classroom as a strategy to enhance active learning. On one hand, we deliver course content through a variety of online educational resources (lecture notes, didactic videos and interactive quizzes elaborated with financial support from DGAPA-UNAM to PAPIME projects PE102917 and PE103618) that allow students to practice autonomy and take control over their learning, by choosing the materials, the times and the place that best fit their needs and personal situations. On the other side, by transferring the acquisition of basic knowledge outside of the classroom, during class time we have the possibility to explore topics in more detail and to create meaningful learning opportunities. We typically involve our students in collaborative learning activities, in which they use geochemical data to solve geological problems; or analyze and discuss information concerning a variety of geochemical issues. The classroom thus turns into a dynamic and interactive environment that fosters student motivation and engagement, and in which learning becomes a really gratifying experience. In this presentation we will share our positive experience with the flipped Geochemistry course, as well as some examples of the collaborative and cooperative learning activities we realize in the classroom.
Incorporating writing into large and very large courses
Lisa Tutty, University of Toronto
In my large (100+ students) and very large courses (400-1000 students) I have been increasingly incorporating writing into the curriculum. This entails short and long answer questions on tests and examinations in addition to scaffolded written assignments. Assistance from University librarians (ex. citation, locating peer reviewed sources) and teaching assistants (detailed formative comments and grading) has been instrumental in the implementation of these ideas. The WIT (Writing instruction for TAs) program at the University is based on the idea of Writing across the disciplines and assists both financially and with direct TA training in my Department. The students in these courses are mainly breadth requirement students taking a science credit for degree and they generally appreciate not having a"large course" marked entirely on multiple choice tests, but rather being able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills and incorporate their own disparate disciplines into mine.
MT Rocks: The implementation of the MT Engage initiative in the Department of Geosciences at Middle Tennessee State University
Melissa Lobegeier, Middle Tennessee State University
Racha El Kadiri, Middle Tennessee State University
Jeremy Aber, Middle Tennessee State University
Mark Abolins, earthsiteAGS.com
Warner Cribb, Middle Tennessee State University
Clay Harris, Middle Tennessee State University
Henrique Momm, Middle Tennessee State University
The MT Engage initiative is part of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and focuses on enhancing student academic engagement. This is achieved through the use of high impact pedagogies, beyond-the-classroom experiences, and challenging students to use integrative thinking and reflection. Student-learning indicators in the QEP include: (1) the ability to connect relevant experiences and academic knowledge; (2) the ability to make connections across disciplines and perspectives; (3) the ability to adapt and apply information to new situations; (4) the ability to use effective, appropriate, and various forms of communication; and (5) the ability to demonstrate a developing sense of self as a learner, building on prior experiences to respond to new and challenging contexts. The MTSU Department of Geosciences' mission and core values align with the student-learning indicators of MT Engage. The Department of Geosciences utilizes various high-impact pedagogies within many classes including collaborative learning, problem and project-based learning and the incorporation of research components in many upper-division classes. Most geosciences courses include a beyond-the-classroom experience as most courses include a 2-3 day fieldtrip, which allows students to make connections to experience and transfer knowledge from the classroom to the real world. MT Engage has been implemented in 5 classes in the Department of Geosciences: Historical Geology, Environmental Geology, Hydrogeology, Invertebrate Paleontology, and Structural Geology. In MT Engage courses students complete a signature assignment and create content to be included into an ePortfolio to showcase the skills and abilities gained in each course during their academic tenure in the Department of Geosciences. This presentation will give examples of signature assignments used in these classes and discuss the effectiveness of the implementation. We will also discuss how the ePortfolio template will be used as the program assessment in place of an exit exam.
Incorporating earthquake data into the classroom
Wendy Bohon, IRIS Consortium
Tammy Bravo, IRIS
Mladen Dordevic, IRIS Consortium
Perle Dorr, IRIS
Jenda Johnson, IRIS Consortium
Michael Hubenthal, IRIS Consortium
Danielle Sumy, IRIS Consortium
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Russ Welti, IRIS Consortium
To encourage active learning, IRIS EPO has created two new tools that are designed using best educational practices and which engage students to investigate, explore and discover the Earth and its properties using real seismic data. These tools allow students to look at seismic recordings on two different scales; local and global. After a large earthquake (magnitude 7.0+) the Global Seismogram Viewer provides students with the opportunity to view real seismograms from select seismic stations around the world. Students can see the arrival of seismic waves at each station and determine the associated travel time curves for the earthquake. This data can be used in conjunction with the IRIS undergraduate activity "Imaging Earth's Interior with Seismic waves" where students examine seismic evidence to determine that the Earth must have a layered internal structure and then estimate the size of Earth's core. Supporting animations, videos and a teacher guide are also included. Station Monitor is an online tool/app that lets student choose seismic stations near their location and view live seismic data feeds from those stations, as well as records of large or newsworthy earthquakes. This place-based approach captures the attention of the students, personalizes the data and can be used to supplement lessons on local geography, geology and physics. Additionally, by using this tool, students will soon realize that not all the information recorded at a given seismic station is earthquake related. This allows for student driven exploration of other phenomena that are captured by seismic instruments including weather events and man-made disturbances. These resources, as well as animations, lessons, Fact Sheets and other classroom resources are freely available at http://www.iris.edu/hq/inclass/.
Dueling Sandboxes: Revising a Physical Geology Lab Course
Christopher Berg, Orange Coast College
Randa Harris, University of West Georgia
The Physical Geology Laboratory is a two-hour weekly standalone course commonly taken by non-STEM majors to fulfill core science requirements at the University of West Georgia; most students are co-enrolled in the Physical Geology lecture course. In recent years, the faculty teaching the lab sections had sought to revamp several laboratory exercises that covered identification and interpretation of landform processes, including river systems, shoreline processes, and glaciers. These labs were largely based on the analysis of topographic maps; while a useful skill, the exercises were very static and students were not engaged. To promote a more dynamic classroom and promote student interest, these lab exercises were significantly revised in the Spring of 2017, replacing most of the activities requiring topographic maps with exercises incorporating Google Earth, a stream table, and two Augmented Reality (AR) sandboxes constructed within the Department of Geosciences. This presentation will describe specific activities developed to use these tools and direct student learning, provide examples of assessments, and report feedback from students and instructors about their experiences with the revised lab exercises.
Geodesy for everyone: Educational resources to incorporate geodetic data and concepts into instruction and activities
Beth Bartel, UNAVCO
Donna Charlevoix, UNAVCO
Aisha Morris, National Science Foundation
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
Kelsey Russo-Nixon, UNAVCO
Dan Zietlow, UNAVCO
Geodesy is the study of Earth's shape, gravity field, and rotation. Geodetic applications and data are used to understand many societal issues such as land surface change, drought monitoring, climate change, snow depth, and vegetative cover, in addition to monitoring plate tectonics. As a science support facility of the National Science Foundation, UNAVCO provides data, information, and resources to educators and researchers. This poster will provide an overview of support services available to the geosciences community with a focus on instructional materials (formal and informal) as well as an overview of the student opportunities available at UNAVCO.
TEACHING COASTAL GEOLOGY USING INTERACTIVE GOOGLE TECHNOLOGY
Charles Carlson, Old Dominion University
Jennifer Georgen, Old Dominion University
The use of Google technology within the classroom provides a captivating, progressive, and hands-on strategy for teaching undergraduate science lessons. This Google TourBuilder activity provides an online comprehensive examination of coastal Virginia and North Carolina environments by leading the student through various geologic settings, identifying important features, and assessing their knowledge periodically. It will be available through the GEODE (Google Earth for Onsite and Distance Education) project, which has developed a diverse series of virtual field trips, tutorials, and mapping tools. With the focus on physical geology and Earth science curricula, this activity provides high-quality instruction based on the fundamentals of the scientific process. Quantitative concepts common to introductory physics, mathematics, and computer science classes are reinforced by embedded questions and interactive investigations. The ability for the user to navigate between map and street views forces the student to become familiar with each location, which inspires critical thinking, stresses self-instruction, and provides a unique learning experience. Although the module is designed for implementation during class time, students are also allowed to individually investigate at their own pace. Within the tour, there are several activities that utilize a simple Google Earth Engine code to perform topographic analysis, cross section profile extraction, and a distance calculation; students will have the opportunity to alter the code and see the effects in the output. There are many pictures, animations, and Google Timelapse videos embedded within the tour to capture the student and show the dynamic nature of the coastline. Because this activity was created with open source Google software, it offers an opportunity for many teachers to collaborate, customize, and expand upon the tour in an effort to improve teaching.
What should we teach undergraduates about plate kinematics now, a half century after the revolution?
Vincent S. Cronin, Baylor University
Much of what is presented in undergraduate textbooks about plate kinematics represents a first-generation model from the early-1970s. In some cases, obsolete ideas (expanding/contracting Earth, geosynclines, whole-mantle convection cells moving plates around like packages on a conveyor belt, etc.) are taught to provide historical context before introducing more current ideas, but this is a deeply problematic strategy. Given that the typical student knows little or nothing about the topic, they tend to absorb incorrect information taught first -- the first ideas about the topic they learn -- making it difficult to displace these abandoned ideas later. Students often emerge from this style of teaching with persistent misconceptions as they mash together the chaff (disproven ideas) and the wheat (our best current understanding). Our current understanding of lithospheric kinematics reflects more than a half century of thought as well as displacement/velocity data from GPS, VLBI, and other technologies that are expressed in carefully defined reference frames. Recognizing that much of the target audience is populated by undergraduate students whose mathematical comfort zone does not extend much beyond arithmetic and a little bit of plane geometry, this topic can be challenging. However, it also provides a great opportunity to introduce ideas about the vectorial description of displacement and velocity, as well as the idea of reference frames. Once introduced to describe plate kinematics, vectors and the related idea of flowlines can then be used later in a general geoscience course to discuss the flow of groundwater, streams, wind, hydrocarbons, magma and ejecta from volcanoes, and so on. Helping students build relevant mathematical skills is part of a geoscience educator's job. What are your ideas about what to include in an up-to-date introduction to plate kinematics in undergraduate geoscience courses?
Tools & Support for Integrating Real Environmental Data into Education
Liza Brazil, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc
Jon Pollak, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc
Using real data in a classroom setting can help students better understand scientific concepts. By working with data from a place they are familiar with they can form deeper connections to the research or they can learn about a new place by examining how environmental observations differ with geography. Students are also exposed to, and can solve, challenges faced by "real" researchers, such as interpreting metadata and data scarcity. With the support and resources provided by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), educators can more easily implement real data into their classroom. Free of cost, CUAHSI offers an extensive catalog of environmental observations, tools for accessing data, and staff support for developing data-driven lessons. To promote collaboration and sharing among educators, all lessons are made available on the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC) website. This presentation will describe community data tools, how educators have used them in developing lesson plans, and the resources available to learn more.
Towards Development and Online Deployment of Virtual Rocks and Minerals for Teaching and Learning
Scott Brande, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Patrick McDaniel, University of Alabama at Birmingham
In a recent review of the technology for creating and deploying three-dimensional models of geological objects, De Paor (2016) emphasized the diversity of applications in research and learning. However, in the laboratory setting for undergraduate geoscience courses, pedagogical objectives place constraints on the use of digital rocks, minerals, and other materials designed for teaching and learning. For example, what image quality and resolution is needed for a student to critically observe and identify properties of limestones needed for identifying the rock by name and interpreting an ancient environment? How can digital resources be deployed and promote learning objectives that incorporate observation, exploration, and analysis, among others. These pedagogical considerations make the creation of 3D models of geoscience specimens a greater challenge than simply a matter of photography and computer processing. The creation of 3D models of typical laboratory specimens of rocks and minerals for teaching and learning requires significant hardware and software resources. We have assembled the necessary resources and are building an archive of 3D models of rock and mineral specimens for teaching and learning in geoscience. We will demonstrate how we have begun to explore the use of 3D models in a face-to-face introductory physical geology laboratory course for non-science majors. We believe the greater challenge the geoscience education community faces is based in questions of pedagogy. For example, what should students be expected to understand from exposure to 3D digital models? How can technology be exploited to enhance the student's online experience removed from the traditional physical contact with rock and mineral specimens? Collections of our 3D models are available to the geoscience education community. https://sketchfab.com/rockdoc/collections Perhaps our growing archive will provide resources that address these, and other, questions about geoscience teaching and learning in a digital environment.
Science communication as a conduit for geoscience engagement in non-major students
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.
Leveraging Prior Student Experience to Understand the Unique Nature of Water in an Introductory Oceanography Class
Rebecca Freeman, University of Kentucky
Understanding the water molecule and the unique properties of water is essential to understanding many phenomena in oceanography. An active-learning activity draws on students' prior knowledge and observations of the world to enhance their understanding of water. After discussing water chemistry and properties, students are given a series of statements summarizing the concepts. They then analyze a series of scenarios likely experienced in everyday life and identify the property of water being demonstrated. For example, shivering after getting out of the pool is a demonstration of the high heat of vaporization of water, and broken frozen pipes are a function of water's decrease in density (and increase in volume) as it goes from liquid to solid. The scenarios can reinforce previously learned concepts while introducing new ones. For instance, water absorbing into a paper towel is due to both adhesion (discussed), but also cohesion (discussed) through capillary action (a new concept). Although hands-on laboratory activities and complex data manipulation are ideal strategies for teaching oceanography, they are not feasible in classes taught to many students in the lecture hall format common in introductory science classes at many universities. This exercise is designed to scale upwards to accommodate as many students as needed (including online), while requiring minimal to no materials or set-up. It can be adapted for students from different cultural backgrounds by varying the details of the scenarios to more accurately represent the shared experiences of the community. It does not require visuals, so can be adapted easily for visually-impaired students, especially if modified to emphasize experiences rather than observations. Students who do not have strong chemistry backgrounds are sometime overwhelmed by the basic chemistry necessary to understand the water molecule, but are relieved to discover that they are knowledgeable about water already, even without the accompanying scientific jargon.
Teaching glacier dynamics through online visualizations
James Stauder, The University of Montana-Missoula
Leigh Stearns, University of Kansas Main Campus
Jesse Johnson, The University of Montana-Missoula
A major contribution to global sea level rise is the increased melting of land-based ice, such as glaciers and ice sheets. The objective of this project is to improve understanding of the physical processes controlling glacier dynamics, and to determine how individual glaciers will contribute to sea level rise based on predictions of future climate. Visualizations and model experiments offer advantages that are hard to obtain in traditional classroom settings; users can systematically investigate hypothetical situations, explore the effects of modifying systems, and repeatedly observe how systems interrelate. I have developed an interactive website which displays published data related to ice masses and provides an intuitive interface. The user is able to select a glacier from Greenland and perturb several variables that directly or indirectly affect the flow of the glacier. The website then uses a sophisticated numerical model to determine the geometry of the ice sheet through time, given perturbations to climate and its coupling to ice dynamics. Throughout the run, a user is able to see the output of the model in the form of two line-graphs. One graph displays the results of the user's perturbations while the other displays the same glacier without the perturbations. These resulting graphs are an intuitive and simple way for the user to see the changes to the ice sheet as time moves on, and also to see what kind of effects that their perturbations have on it.
Using 3D Modeling to Promote Design Thinking and Inquiry in an Introductory Geology Lab
Megan Plenge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Introductory students rarely get the opportunity to engage in one of the most challenging and fundamental steps in scientific methodology: developing scientific research questions, formulating hypotheses, and devising a research plan to test their hypothesis. To solve this problem, UNC-Chapel Hill's introductory geology laboratories have been piloting a semester-long project in which students do just this. Student groups work through the experimental design process, each group coming up with a question, hypothesis, and methods for testing their hypothesis and analyzing data they collect. The project requires them to design and create a model to use in their research process. In some cases, the modeled object will be essential to the collection of data. One example is a volcano that students are 3D printing so that they can determine how magma flow paths vary with viscosity. Other models may be generated to illustrate a conclusion that students have come to after analyzing data; for example, one group is modeling the predicted saturated thickness of the Ogallala Aquifer in 50 years using today's discharge and recharge rates. UNC-Chapel Hill has several makerspaces on campus: spaces that provides 3D printing, laser cutting, and other "making" supplies and expertise to allow students to design and construct physical objects. Students are encouraged to use the makerspace to generate the model they incorporate into their experimental design and are given resources to help them develop their models. For example, many students use TouchTerrain, a web-tool that allows students to create 3D-printable models topographic features (touchterrain.geol.iastate.edu). The project is broken up into several parts, including a project proposal, peer review, model design, and a write-up and oral presentation of their experiment. The poster will show sample rubrics, survey data from students who have completed the project, and products including pictures and models generated by students.
First Day "Nice"-Breaker: Using a Gallery Walk to Get Students to Start Thinking About Science
Fred Marton, Bergen Community College
The first day of class is a chance for me to review the syllabus, course expectations, and introduce the students to the subject material and myself. It's also an opportunity to engage the class in a broad conversation about science and science education by having them participate in a gallery walk activity. My classes have a maximum enrollment of twenty-four students and the rooms have six tables that seat four each, so they are conveniently already divided-up into six groups. These groups are initially asked to provide answers to one of six randomly-assigned question: "Why take this class?", "What do scientists do?", "What comes to mind when you think 'scientist'?", "What do you like about science?", "What do you NOT like about science?", and "What basic knowledge about science should an educated person know?" Once each group has written their answers on a poster, they hang it up and proceed to the others, adding additional comments as they feel necessary. After the entire class has gone through all the posters (taking about ten minutes), the students return to their seats and I go to each station, reading the answers out loud and acting as a moderator for a discussion on each topic. Sometimes the students will clarify or expand on their answers, providing additional context. I also provide my own thoughts on their answers or talk about how their ideas tie-in to the course material. I, and the students, have found it a thoughtful, enjoyable icebreaker to help us start the class.