The EarthConnections Alliance: Engaging Communities through Education

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Wednesday


Cathy Manduca, Carleton College
Kevin Bonine, The University of Arizona
Donna Charlevoix, EarthScope Consortium
Margie Turrin, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
From flooding to resource issues, many of the challenges and opportunities faced by communities around the world can be addressed more successfully if the community can make full use of geoscience. Community scale scientific literacy is an essential aspect of this capacity and can transcend the knowledge of skills of any individual in the community (National Academies of Science, 2016, Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences) . Geoscience education within a community has the potential to contribute substantially to not only the development of individual science literacy but to science literacy at the community scale.

The EarthConnections Alliance was established in 2016 with twin goals of enhancing the ability of communities to use geoscience and to broaden participation in geoscience learning and workforce. Our key strategy is to develop educational pathways within communities that link together opportunities to learn geoscience and to serve the local community. Rooted in existing regional activities, these pathways connect opportunities in both formal and informal education across age or grade levels. Signposting or mentoring that make the path visible to students, parents, and community members is a central part of the vision.

The Alliance supports regional coalitions in developing pathways by supporting communication and sharing among these groups, linking them to a national consortium of program partners committed to supporting different aspects of geoscience and education across the country, providing a set of planning tools for pathway development and evaluation, and showcasing examples of pathway development and pathway elements. This presentation will discuss the value proposition for integrating community engagement and education at all levels and demonstrate how individuals or groups can capitalize on the growing EarthConnections Alliance.