Afternoon Mini Workshops

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

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A Beginner's Guide to Creating Short Videos for Geoscience Courses

Convener: David McConnell, North Carolina State University


Monday, July 15 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 334

A few years ago, we began creating short instructional videos for an introductory geoscience course. While we had little prior experience in creating videos, previous research provided us with some principles for effective multimedia design. Our videos follow a standard format and feature conversational narration with a mix of concise text, images, demonstrations, and assessments (see Based on our experiences, we will offer some suggestions for instructors who are considering creating their own short videos. We will provide guidance on key steps in the process including identifying learning objectives, writing a script, building a storyboard, and using visuals to illustrate information. We will focus on the use of relatively basic tools for organizing information (PowerPoint), non-professional tools for capturing images (phones, cameras), and introduce participants to software for video editing and production that is relatively straightforward (Camtasia).

How to Create your Own Open Educational Resources: Examples from Analytical Methods in Geosciences (AMiGEO)

Conveners: Elizabeth Johnson and Juhong Christie Liu, James Madison University


Monday, July 15 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 222

This workshop is for anyone interested in learning how to develop and publish open educational resources. Analytical Methods in Geosciences (AMiGEO) is an NSF-funded project to develop undergraduate-level, online, interactive, inquiry-based instructional modules for analytical techniques in the geosciences including: thin sections, petrographic microscopes, SEM/EDS, and Raman/FTIR spectroscopy. Participants will explore and review these existing materials, and will brainstorm ideas for adding to this textbook or creating open resources for their own courses. Workshop leaders will provide tips and guidelines for some technical aspects of creating online content, including creating or modifying diagrams and videos and where to publish content.

Internet access is needed to view the instructional materials, so please bring a laptop or tablet.

Using Community Science to Advance Earth Science Learning

Conveners: Rajul Pandya and Sarah Wilkins, American Geophysical Union


Monday, July 15 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 13

This workshop is for anyone interested in leveraging their Earth science teaching to produce meaningful local impact. We will introduce the practice of community science, in which projects are designed in partnership with community leaders and use Earth science to advance community priorities – and explore how community science can serve curricular goals from students from middle-school through college. Using case-studies and organizational partnerships, participants will learn strategies for connecting with local community groups. Through role-playing, participants will have an opportunity to practice scoping community science projects. Finally, we will deconstruct past community science projects so we know what kinds of student learning these projects are most likely to advance and what kind of additional learning supports might be needed to maximize that learning.

Getting your Geoscience Education Research Published

Convener: Anne Egger, Central Washington University


Monday, July 15 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 327

Are you interested in publishing your research in geoscience education? Have you been confused or surprised by reviews you've received? In this session, we will discuss strategies for determining where to submit your work and selecting a manuscript type; we will also develop a list of characteristics of strong submissions that will facilitate constructive reviews. If you are in the early stages of publishing educational research and/or want to increase your opportunities for getting published, this workshop is for you, no matter where you are in the timeline of your career.

Teaching & Perpetuating Earth Stewardship Education

Convener: John Warford, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University


Monday, July 15 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 320

Earth Stewardship - our deliberate and continuous effort to fulfill our sacred obligations and duties to the realm that makes Life itself possible - Mother Earth. The teaching of Earth Stewardship is needed now more than ever.The goal of this mini-workshop is to present and share additional and supportive methods and information to help us achieve our individual, collective, and institutional goals related to Sustainability, Conservation, and Earth Stewardship education and practice. Special focus will be on K-12 teachers and those who support them. Everyone is welcome. Best practices will be shared and embraced. Please bring your laptop or tablet.


Two-day Afternoon Workshop: Data Labs: Using Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) Data to Engage Students in Oceanography

Convener: Janice McDonnell, Rutgers University-New Brunswick


Tuesday, July 16 and Wednesday, July 17 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 103

Join us for this two-day National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored workshop focused on the integration of Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI) data into undergraduate teaching of introductory oceanography themes and concepts. Harness the constant flow of data streaming in from ocean research arrays to engage students in addressing real world problems and working with data. Participants will explore ways to effectively teach with data, share effective practices, and brainstorm ideas for how to integrate OOI data into introductory oceanography and Earth and environmental science courses. Professors from Community Colleges, Primary Undergraduate Institutions (PUI), and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who teach introductory courses (100 and 200 level) are especially encouraged to attend. A $300 stipend is available for those who participate in the entire two-day workshop, modify an existing activity, test it in their class, and provide feedback to the project.


Teaching Computation in the Geosciences Using MATLAB

Convener: Phil Resor, Wesleyan University


Wednesday, July 17 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Farrell-Westbrook (Barn): 114

This mini-workshop is for anyone interested in teaching computation: data analysis, algorithm development, or numerical modeling, using the MATLAB programming platform. The workshop will include hands-on exploration of selected examples from a community resource collection as well as discussions of how you can incorporate these teaching activities into your courses, including through the use of notebook-style scripts (Live Scripts) and interactive classrooms.

Over the past four years, MathWorks and SERC have convened a series of 3-day faculty workshops to explore how to apply MATLAB to strengthening computational skills of undergraduate geoscience majors. This workshop enables us to use the learnings from those workshops to improve our own courses and curriculums. No prior MATLAB or programming experience is required. Access to required software and computers will be provided during the workshop.

Make it Better: Assessing and addressing departmental and workplace culture issues

Convener: Susan Sullivan, The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Blair Schneider, University of Kansas, and Michael Ralph, University of Kansas


Wednesday, July 17 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 320

With every upsetting instance of scandalous or simply uncivil behavior in our workplaces, every conversation with a student or employee who struggles to feel they belong, and every new external review that finds we aren't doing enough for diversity and inclusion in our business as usual, it's easy to wonder-how to begin? How can we understand and quantify the problems and successes in our departments and units? What are some strategies for assessing the existing culture in your unit and moving forward with solutions that work?

In this workshop we'll examine ways to assess the workplace culture as it exists today, including best practices to encourage participation and candor and to ensure respondent anonymity and safety. We'll look at example strategies for addressing problems that are uncovered and for replicating areas of strength. Participants will work in small groups to develop an action plan that they can take back to their home department or other geosciences workplace.

Broaden and Diversify Your Reach Through Expanding Your Definition of 'Community of Practice'

Conveners: Margie Turrin, Columbia University in the City of New York and Katie Farnsworth, Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus


Wednesday, July 17 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 13

Community of Practice (COP) is a term for the collective learning that develops when people who desire to reach a common goal build a support network that fosters open communication and includes shared resources, exchanging lessons learned and engaging different perspectives and understandings. The Earth Educator Rendezvous can provide the foundation for Geoscience educators to build and solidify an instructional COP, but in order to broaden our community to include diverse voices and career experiences we need to develop an expanded definition. The Geosciences need to reflect the voices and needs of both our local and global community, engaging people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to work with us in tackling issues and challenges that reflect their concerns.

This workshop intends to provide guidance and opportunity for working on developing an expanded community of practice. We will specifically address the importance of identifying key members of your community and how to establish bi-directional learning between you, students and members of the community as you develop a diversity of voices through a regularity of interaction. The COP model can be applied to many different situations to encourage new knowledge in individuals or the group, to stimulate innovation and ideas or for distribution of knowledge within a group.

The workshop will include discussion and shared experiences as well as demonstration of some communities of practice within the earth sciences. We will provide specific tools for growing your own community of practice as we focus on expanding and connecting more deeply in your own communities.

Telling a New Climate Story — Giving Students a Positive Voice in the Age of Science Denialism

Conveners: Cheryl Manning, Evergreen High School


Wednesday, July 17 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 222

Forest fires, floods, hurricanes, and famine are challenging problems. It doesn't help that the "grown-ups" running our country can't seem to agree on anything. For young people who can't even vote yet, it seems like there is so little that they can control, much less impact and the effects on their mental well-being are significant. In this mini-workshop we will explore how students can use storytelling to communicate their understanding of climate change data and evidence while charting a path toward a future very different from our past.

GER Theoretical Frameworks

Conveners: Kathy Quardokus Fisher, Florida International University


Wednesday, July 17 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 327

Theoretical frameworks serve a variety of functions in research. These roles span from guiding the articulation of research questions to supporting the implications of findings. This workshop will be a facilitated exploration of the many uses of theoretical frameworks in GER. Both novices and experts are invited to join the discussion.


Addressing Bias in Teaching

Convener: Blair Schneider, University of Kansas


Thursday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 13

Unconscious biases can impact the way we teach – from our interactions in the classroom to how we grade assignments or exams. And it isn't just our own personal biases that affect our teaching – each of our students brings in their own biases that can present challenges in our courses. Participants in this workshop will be introduced to unconscious biases and their impacts, strategies to overcome them, identify their own personal biases that they may hold, and develop a plan to minimize and avoid incorporating negative biases into their teaching for future courses.

Earth Observatory for Kids: Communicating Earth Science in a hands-on approach to Our Young Earthlings

Convener: Tassia Owen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Thursday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 320

NASA's Earth Observatory, launched a free online publication aimed at communicating real Earth science data to diverse young adults. Publications showcase global issues, increasing young adult's awareness of our Earth and many of the natural (and unnatural) phenomena that are occurring on our planet. Each issue comes with a story focused on real satellite imagery and an activity that can be used in programs, along-side peers, and with parents. Stories are complemented with a different hands-on activity to further engage kids in science and satellite data. DIY Science experiments reinforce the science concepts from the main story and Maker Corner activities connect science with engineering. The Data Viz and Data Investigation themes focus on engaging kids with real satellite data to connect hands-on activities to answering science questions. Our goal is to put the publication in the hands of kids who are interested in current non-fiction about our planet and use hands-on activities to connect science with unifying global issues that affect all humans on Earth. We will showcase some of our favorite activities and discuss methods for using them with kids. Come explore our Earth with us.

In this session, explore some of the hands-on activities and ask questions as we investigate our Earth from the unique perspective of satellites.

Successes and Challenges of Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning

Convener: Alison Jolley, University of British Columbia


Thursday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 222

Our students are increasingly connected and engaged with various social media platforms, e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. How can we leverage this to build motivation and facilitate learning of earth science concepts? This workshop will explore considerations and approaches for integrating social media into teaching and learning environments. Participants will be introduced to different styles of social media, share resources and examples, and develop strategies for incorporating social media into their own classrooms.

Building a Portfolio of Teaching and Service

Conveners: Cody Kirkpatrick, Indiana University-Bloomington and Megan Plenge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Thursday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 334

This workshop is designed for faculty members who need to illustrate their teaching and service contributions for hiring, retention, or promotion. Our workshop will provide a template for organizing, expanding, and reflecting on artifacts that demonstrate excellence in teaching and service with the goal of constructing a portfolio. Workshop time will be allocated to outlining a template for portfolio construction, tutorials on the construction of evidence-based artifacts, e.g., how to show evidence of learning outcomes, networking/group discussion, and independent work time.

Spicing Up Your Assessments: Moving beyond exams

Conveners: Larry Collins, Washington State University-Vancouver and Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia


Thursday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | TSU - Humphries: 327

Are you completely satisfied with your formative and summative assessments? If so, this workshop is not for you. This workshop will focus on how to develop and implement performance-based assessments in your classes, drawing on empirical support for each strategy (e.g. sort tasks). Performance-based assessments are useful to both K-12 educators looking to assess NGSS crosscutting concepts and college instructors seeking to build conceptual understanding in lower and upper division courses! Participants will have opportunities to share their assessment strategies and goals, and will leave with a plan to implement performance-based assessment in one of their courses.

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