Teaching Introductory Geoscience with Data and Math in a Societal Context Using GETSI Modules

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30am-11:30am TSU - Lawson: 110


Becca Walker, Mt. San Antonio College
Jessica Smay, San Jose City College
Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico

Integrating cutting edge data and quantitative skills into introductory courses can be challenging. The GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI) project has developed a suite of undergraduate teaching modules to make this easier and more engaging. The workshop will feature three of the modules in greater depth, as well as overview additional resources, provide coaching on teaching with data and math more generally, and give participants time to work on implementation planning. Participants who complete the full workshop will receive a $200 stipend.


The GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI) project has worked in collaboration with the InTeGrate project to build undergraduate teaching resources which feature analysis of geodesy data to help address challenges facing society. This workshop will give instructors the chance to learn about several of these modules in more depth, as well as think more generally about best practices for teaching with real data, improving students' ability to apply math to geoscience problems, and increasing student capacity to propose solutions of value to society. The final stage of the workshop will have participants working on implementation plans so they have thought through the steps needed for actually adopting of the modules or learning strategies into their courses. Anticipated featured modules are Measuring the Earth with GPS, Ice Mass and Sea Level Change, and Monitoring Volcanoes & Communicating Risk (links will be added as the modules are published in the spring and early summer). Other teaching resources on topics from measuring water resources to landslide and earthquake hazards will be introduced as well.

Workshop Program »


This workshop is for any instructor of introductory earth science courses at college or university level, who wants to increase their capacity to have students working with cutting edge data, math skills, and situating science in a context of societal issues. Also appropriate for secondary K-12 teachers, who are interested in learning about these methods and adapting materials originally designed for early college level (note: modules are being reviewed for NGSS alignment and these will be posted by late summer 2019). Later stage graduate students with some teaching or assistant teaching experience and plans to teach more in the future would also gain from participation.


Participants will:

  • Be able to teach more effectively about geodetic data and methods, including using math skills
  • Be able to integrate societal challenges and interdisciplinary solutions into earth science courses
  • Make implementation plans for adopting elements of the modules and/or teaching strategies into their courses


Each day the workshop will include an introduction to the topic(s) for the day, time to collaboratively explore one GETSI module in more depth through hands-on completion of module element(s), discussion of teaching strategies or other relevant topic, and reflection how to implement ideas and resources into one's own courses. Participants should bring a laptop to work on in order to access the online materials.

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