Teaching for a Changing World: Water resources and melting ice

Thursday, Friday 8:30am-11:30am

Session Chairs

Jessica Smay, San Jose City College
Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island
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 two of the modules in greater depth, as well as overview additional resources, and give participants time to work on implementation planning. Participants who are educators and complete the 2-day 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 Eyes on the Hydrosphere: Tracking Water Resources and Measuring the Earth with GPS (emphasis on the ice-change unit). Other teaching resources on topics from landslides to plate tectonics will also be overviewed.

Target Audience

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 have been aligned with NGSS). Later stage graduate students with some teaching or assistant teaching experience and plans to teach more in the future would also gain from participation and can receive a stipend.

Note: most of this workshop will be different than that EER 2019 GETSI workshop. The Measuring the Earth with GPS was also included in 2019, but a different aspect (ice change) will be emphasized instead of plate tectonics. Participants from 2019 are eligible to participate and receive a stipend again in 2020.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Be able to teach more effectively about the changing Earth using geodetic data and methods
  • 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.


Beth Pratt-Sitaula - prattsitaula AT unavco.org