Monday B: Earth Connections

Monday 1:30pm-4:00pm Ritchie Hall: 368
Oral Session Part of Monday B: Earth Connections

Session Chairs

Cassie Xu, Columbia University in the City of New York
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College

The EarthConnections Alliance is a national effort supporting the development of local education pathways that link opportunities to learn geoscience together with opportunities to use that learning in the local community at multiple points in students educational progress (e.g. elementary, middle, high, college). This session features the work of individual communities and national partnerships in support of this goal.

Also check out these other opportunities to learn about EarthConnections.

1:30pm
EarthConnections Alliance: Strengthening and Diversifying the Geoscience Workforce and the Geoscientific Capacity of the Communities
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College
Donna Charlevoix, UNAVCO
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Rajul Pandya, AGU
Barbara Nagle, University of California-Berkeley

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The EarthConnections Alliance seeks to create a world in which all students in our country can make use of pathways that weave together geoscience learning with opportunities to use that knowledge to serve their local community. Our work is grounded in the belief that students' use of newly obtained geoscience knowledge to address problems of immediate local importance strengthens interest in and persistence toward geoscience careers. At the same time, it can strengthen the ability of participating communities to use and benefit from the geoscience by increasing their community science literacy. Creating geoscience pathways requires a wide variety of actors to come together: formal and informal educators serving students at all levels of their education, community leaders and members seeking to address topics of local importance, geoscientists whose research expertise is central to the solution, and more. EarthConnections uses a collective impact model to support regional leaders in recognizing existing pathway elements, imagining how to strengthen, connect and enhance these elements into a recognizable pathway, and in moving forward implementation in collaboration with national program partners. We support our regional partners with consultants drawn from the project leadership, a cohort based design and development process, opportunities for collaboration with national program partners, and evaluation tools and expertise. Our work has initiated a community of practice that supports this work and which we invite you to join.
1:45pm
Monitoring and measuring the development of earth education pathways: Strategies learned from the EarthConnections project
Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
Karen Peterman, Karen Peterman Consulting Co
Barbara Nagle, University of California-Berkeley
Mitchell Awalt, Carleton College
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College

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A critical aspect of program assessment involves establishing a process for progress monitoring and measurement. Monitoring and measurement can identify early signs of success or unanticipated obstacles. Introducing structured practices for monitoring and measurement can enable team members to learn from each other, bolster a shared vision, and enhance collaborations and working relations. The EarthConnections: Community Pathways to Geoscience Careers project uses a collective impact approach to develop regionally focused earth education pathways. The design of a shared measurement system fulfills one of the five conditions of a collective impact approach. The EarthConnections shared measurement system includes three strategies: a discourse-centered checkpoint process, a web-based communications dashboard, and a set of common measures to document student outcomes. The EarthConnections metrics working group helped establish the processes and measures, gathering feedback from the EarthConnections steering committee and regional alliance members to formalize and adapt the processes. The checkpoint process allows regional alliance team members to routinely report on progress through a set of prompts that align to key areas of pathways development. Feedback is given through online discussion boards and a moderated virtual meeting involving all the regional alliance and steering committee members. A checkpoint visual rubric administered by the internal evaluator helps the alliance as a whole to monitor progress. Regional alliance members value the opportunity that the process provides for articulating bright spots and challenges, reflecting on progress, and learning through the rich discussion and feedback across the alliances. In addition, a real-time web analytic dashboard visually quantifies engagement metrics such as the numbers of email list messages and email list members and the visits to internal workspace pages. Lastly, the metrics working group identified a set of validated student measures that alliances will pilot at various points within their pathway to understand students' attitudes related to learning.
2:00pm
The EarthConnections San Bernardino Alliance: Addressing Diversity in the Geosciences Using a Collective Impact Model
Sally McGill, California State University-San Bernardino
Mark Benthien, University of Southern California
Bryan Castillo, California State University-San Bernardino
Jeffrey Fitzsimmons, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board
Anna Foutz, Chaffey Community College
Daniel Keck, Etiwanda High School
Gabriela Noriega, University of Southern California
Rajul Pandya, AGU
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Bernadette Vargas, ETIWANDA HIGH SCHOOL

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The EarthConnections San Bernardino Alliance is one of three regional alliances supported by the national EarthConnections Collective Impact Alliance, funded by a pilot grant from the National Science Foundation INCLUDES program. All three of the regional alliances share a common vision, focused on developing a diverse geoscience workforce through connecting existing programs and institutions into regional pathways that support and guide students from engagement at an early age with Earth science related to issues facing the local community, through the many steps and transitions to geoscience-related careers. The San Bernardino Alliance began with collaboration between one university, one community college and one high school and also includes the Southern California Earthquake Center and professional geologists in the region. Based on discussions at an opening round table event, the Alliance chose to capitalize on existing geology student clubs and deeply engaged faculty and alumni at the educational institutions involved in the Alliance to plan joint, multi-institutional activities for students at various stages along the pathway, including field trips, service learning projects, guest speakers, and visits to dinner meetings of the local professional societies. The underlying motivation is to connect students to their peers and to mentors at institutions that represent the next step on the pathway, as well as to expose them to careers in geology and to geoscience issues that impact the local community. A second type of intervention we are undertaking is to promote high quality teaching in introductory Earth science courses at the university, community college and high school levels, including the development of an honors geology course at the participating high school. To this end we hosted an NAGT traveling workshop focused on using active learning and societally relevant issues to develop engaging introductory geoscience courses, including those that are offered in large lecture halls.
2:15pm
EarthConnections: The Oklahoma Tribal Nations Alliance's Progress Toward Education Pathways
Kathy Ellins, The University of Texas at Austin
Norma Neely, The University of Texas at Austin
John Taber, IRIS Consortium

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EarthConnections is a collective impact alliance that is developing regionally focused, education pathways to guide students toward geoscience-related careers. Pathways include opportunities for students to learn geoscience in the context of local issues, appreciate the value of geoscience in tackling local challenges and explore geoscience careers. The Oklahoma Tribal Nations Alliance, one of three EarthConnections regional alliances, seeks to address the relationship between increased number of earthquakes and energy industry practices, and resulting implications for energy production and energy-related jobs in Oklahoma. Induced seismicity is especially important to American Indians, who have a close association with the land and sovereign control of natural resources within their reservation boundaries. Representatives from 11 organizations and 8 tribes have been involved in Alliance activities, including the University of Oklahoma School of Geology and Geophysics (including an existing course on combining Native and western science), Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), Jones Academy (Bureau of Indian Education School with a summer STEM academy), and Anadarko School District (K-12 professional development and resources for Native American students). Through independent funding, OGS is deploying 100 low-cost seismographs in public locations across the state (museums, libraries, schools), to raise awareness of earthquake hazards and to provide additional data for locating earthquakes. Participants at two stakeholder meetings considered critical stages along a pathway from middle school to tribal college to university, including informal learning experiences, where the potential for geoscience integration into STEM learning exists. This led to evolving pathway maps that show both American Indian, and other stakeholders' assets, which may be "stops" along an educational path that lead to a geoscience career. By focusing Earth education on the local issue of induced seismicity, we expose American Indian students to geoscience careers of value to their communities and help increase the resilience of American Indian communities in Oklahoma.
2:30pm
Break
2:45pm
Collective Impact for Broadening Participation
Cassie Xu, Columbia University in the City of New York
Margie Turrin, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

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In this presentation, we will explore how a collective impact framework can be used to create meaningful partnerships that lead to more impactful student development and broadening participation efforts in STEM. Borrowing from our NSF INCLUDES pilot project, we will introduce our collective impact framework has come together and demonstrate how program partners from formal learning environments (i.e. higher education institutions and K-12 school systems), informal learning organizations (i.e. museums, science centers), and educational non-profits (i.e. parks) have successfully worked together over the last 1.5 years to develop new pilot programming grounded in research, pedagogy, and assessments. We will discuss, with examples from our own research, the mechanisms that were needed to set up this framework, provide examples of how these collective impact efforts have led to program implementation, and how these partnerships can have positive implications for STEM education efforts going forward. Specific discussion questions will cover the following topics: 1. What is collective impact, what are the components, and why they provide a helpful model for student development and broadening participation efforts in STEM? 2. What are the mutually reinforcing activities that are needed in collective impact? 3. How has this framework led to impact for program partners and how have reinforcing feedback loops to greater organizational capacity to reach more students? 4. What are the resources/products that have been created as a result of collective impact and how can they be used in different contexts with different partners?
3:00pm
Developing Culturally Responsive Pathways to local Geoscience Jobs and Careers
Darryl Haddock, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA)

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The Atlanta Alliance is building strong and impactful strategies and leveraging relationships with education and environmental organizations to; *expand "pathways to geoscience" careers *remedy prominent and lingering community issues Alliance resources will be directed toward resolving long standing and prevalent community issues such as health inequities, soil and water contamination, air pollution, and lack of interaction with nature. Geoscience addresses critical issues like. energy, meteorology, water resources, stewardship and reducing natural hazards. We plan to highlight the Outdoor Activity Center as a epicenter of environmental and geoscience and expand its capacity as a field laboratory on public land. We'll implement restoration and maintenance activities via service learning programming and develop urban watershed management plans through culturally responsive based learning. WAWA will facilitate school field trips and weekend learning opportunities for thousands of youth, community and institutional partners co-lead knowledge exchanges. Since geoscience combines geology with oceanography, meteorology and astronomy and others to understand interactive planetary forces; it is often considered well paying! According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016 median annual pay for geoscientists was $89,780. Median household income in westside Atlanta Communities was $19,447 to $25,447 same time period. Creating more geoscientist in our community increases household incomes. Earth science majors traditionally overlook the usefulness of their problem-solving skills; compared to other sciences in which the answers are in the book, geoscience deals with real world issues. Student experience opportunities to work with imperfect data sets, mixes of descriptive and numerical data, open-ended problems with several possible solutions, and the necessity of picking the best explanation given limited data. Having youth move through both college bound and non college bound activities and have the ability to make livable wages in: corporate businesses, entrepreneurs, government agencies, not for profit will make for real community sustainability.
3:15pm
Earth Connections Atlanta Alliance
Felicia Davis, Felicia Davis
Darryl Haddock, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA)

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The Atlanta Alliance targets under-served West Atlanta communities along Etoy and Proctor Creeks where water has been an environmwntal justice issue for decades. The evolving geoscience focus is anchored within the community-based West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA). WAWA operates an urban Outdoor Activity Center and is now building geoscience education curricula, identifying local geoscientists for presentations and mentoring, and hosting experiences that build Earth literacy. This session will explore the challenges and solutions for building pathways in challenging communities. How to recruit and retain community participation, roles for academic partners, bridging "town & gown", building community knowledge and measuring change are key topics to be addressed.
3:30pm
Teaching for Community Science Literacy
Rajul Pandya, AGU
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College

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In a recent report, the National Academies recognized and described a new kind of science literacy - community science literacy. Community science literacy is "a community having sufficient shared resources that are distributed and organized in such a way that the varying abilities of community members work in concert to contribute to the community's overall well-being." This additional approach to thinking about science literacy offers real promise for enhancing the utility of science and broadening participation the sciences, but it has profound implications for the way we teach and do science. Let's start with the promise. Community science literacy acknowledges, builds on, and enhances knowledge and skills that already exist in communities - it upends deficit models and creates space for other ways of knowing to interact with and influence science. It is explicitly about action and so it connects science to application and exposes the limits of the "loading dock" model where completed science is handed off to users. In its place, it encourages a participatory and iterative approach to science and science literacy, where communities and scientists work together to do science in ways that advances community priorities, creates new knowledge, and enhances the science literacy and agency of individuals. This collaborative approach is a nontraditional, approach to science learning, and it opens the door for new, and integrated models of research and education: service learning, citizen science, co-created science. The Earth Connections project uses educational pathways to enhance community literacy by developing three educational pathways, anchored in community priorities and focused on building community agency, that link across grade level and across informal and formal learning environments. We will pull from this experience to offer suggestions useful to anyone interested in advancing community science literacy in their teaching and research.
3:45pm
Discussion

We invite you to check out these other EarthConnections-related events at the Rendezvous: