A Pilot Study to Assess Chemistry Education in the Geosciences

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


Erika Zocher, Northern Illinois University
Nicole LaDue, Northern Illinois University
It is well established that chemistry is an integral discipline underlying many scientific concepts. However, chemistry also presents challenges and misconceptions that act as barriers for many students (Birk & Kurtz, 1999, Anderson & Libarkin, 2016, Barbera, 2013). This poster will center on chemistry education in the geosciences, detailing results from a pilot study. This project aims to shed a light on discontinuities in undergraduate chemistry preparation as part of a geoscience degree and career. A survey was given out at the 2018 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Indianapolis this past November to assess attendees' chemistry self-efficacy, their views on the importance of chemistry, and their chemistry preparation. Preliminary results suggest that geoscience undergraduates, graduate students, and experts share similar opinions about the importance of chemistry, the necessary number of semesters, and the most important skills. This information can help to inform programs about curricular choices and chemistry content in a geoscience education.