Poster Sessions

Poster sessions will be held from 12-2:30pm PT / 1-3:30pm MT / 2-4:30pm CT / 3-5:30pm ET on Wednesday. All Rendezvous participants are invited to attend. More details on the format are forthcoming, but presenters will be encouraged to post a copy of their poster, the hours they plan to be 'at their poster,' and any other files that may be helpful for visitors.

Presenter Guidelines

Course Resources

National Ecological Observatory Network- A Data Source For Your Classroom
Arlene Megill, National Ecological Observatory Network
Erin Crandall, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
Kate Ludwig, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
Byron Graves, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
Megan Jones, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)

Show Abstract »

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale ecological observation facility sponsored by the National Science Foundation. NEON collects data at 81 sites across the United States and provides these data free of charge to help address many research and education questions including about the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity. These data can support numerous student centered activities in your classroom once you know how to discover the data or access the existing OERs using the data. Over 180 data products, from plant phenology to microbes, from water chemistry to gas fluxes, and from lake bathymetry to lidar remote sensing, can be accessed from the NEON data portal. An ever growing library of open educational resources are available using NEON data and can be accessed from NEON or from QUBESHub. To support faculty using NEON data in classrooms, staff on the NEON project are available to answer questions and a Faculty Mentoring Network is available to participate in during Spring and Fall semesters.
Strategies for engaging with Teach the Earth online resources
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Sean Fox, Carleton College
Sarah Fortner, Carleton College
Phil Resor, Wesleyan University
Lisa White, University of California-Berkeley
Missy Holzer, Great minds PBC
Kyle Fredrick, California University of Pennsylvania
Bruce Mason, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Andrew Haveles, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Show Abstract »

Have you been overwhelmed by the sheer number of resources on Teach the Earth? Have you wished for more guidance on how to navigate the Teach the Earth Portal? Would you like to contribute to the community of practice represented by Teach the Earth? Teach the Earth is designed to be the web portal to all things Earth education (https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/). But, with thousands of professional development opportunities, modules, and ready-made activities, engaging with the web resources can be daunting and it may seem difficult to get involved. NAGT's Teach the Earth website committee is interested in better understanding how we can serve the needs of the Earth Education community and wants to hear from you. This presentation is designed to provide the community with tips for navigating Teach the Earth based on our current understanding of the collection. We highlight the many entry points to Teach the Earth, the variety of resources available and a range of opportunities to engage with an active community of practice, wherever you are. Emphasizing the adaptable navigation, we help you effectively explore and discover a variety of peer-reviewed activities. We also provide encouragement to get involved by focusing on ways that you can contribute activities that are designed to receive exemplary reviews.

Course Resources, Online Education, Program Design, Student Learning

Community College: Academic Rigor in Online Earth Science Courses vs Traditional Classroom Formats
Dr. Marico Bryant-Howe, University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College
Katina White, Forest Heights Middle school
CONSTANCE MEADORS, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Show Abstract »

Maintaining rigor across modalities is important at the University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College (UA-PTC) because our goal is to deliver a high-quality educational experience regardless of the method of delivery. In 2019, The Aspen Institute named UA-PTC in Top 150 U.S. Community Colleges. We have seen double digit enrollment growth in our science courses over the past academic year. The science curriculum is designed such that students can demonstrate critical and independent thinking through scientific investigation, demonstrate professionalism in communication and collaboration, and analyze the influence of scientific thought. Additionally, students should be able to demonstrate proper use of scientific instrumentation and laboratory techniques. Course level assessment are performed annually; and, a major assessment goal is to ensure that all assessments are rigorous and identifies the areas or contents the students are having difficulty. Additionally, all instructors cover the content as agreed upon by the department. Student centered teaching resources are an integral component in earth sciences as we seek to promote student learning that enables individuals to develop to their fullest potential.

Curriculum Design

Toward an undergraduate certificate program in natural hazards planning and mitigation
Steven Semken, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Heather Fischer, Oregon State University
Elizabeth Wentz, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Patricia Gober, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus

Show Abstract »

Natural hazards pose risks to people, institutions, and infrastructure. These risks are rendered more extreme, more complex, and more challenging to manage by global climate change. Recent extreme events including massive wildfires and severe storms in the US (and on other continents) reveal a need for a more robust system of preparation for and mitigation of natural hazards: implemented at the state and national level and reproducible elsewhere. This is a challenge for Earth and environmental scientists, engineers, and social scientists alike, as hazards originate and occur in the interfaces between natural and social systems. Research results indicate that better-educated societies with savvy decision-makers are best equipped to prepare for, mitigate, and recover from natural disasters. We seek to fully characterize the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of graduates who will enter the natural-hazards workforce, and foster these in students by means of a certificate program accessible and professionally useful to hazards-minded students majoring in geoscience and other natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, planning, sustainability, and many other fields. In 2019 and 2020 we conducted a collaborative design process involving workshops with faculty from community colleges, tribal colleges, and several universities who shared disciplinary and pedagogical expertise. We met our goal of collectively designing learning outcomes for an innovative undergraduate certificate in natural-hazards preparedness and mitigation, which is now under development. These learning outcomes focus on teamwork, communication, and natural hazard preparedness and mitigation. This certificate combines courses that can be offered at two-year and four-year colleges. Through this collaborative process and full implementation of the certificate program in the coming years, we offer a change to the fundamental way in which certificates are designed to fill the workforce gaps identified by the employment sector.
Promoting Inclusion in the Geosciences with an Equity-Minded Syllabus
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
Susan Keenan, University of Northern Colorado
Cassendra Bergstrom, University of Northern Colorado
Lori Reinvold, University of Northern Colorado
Jodie Novak, University of Northern Colorado
Sharon Bywater-Reyes, University of Northern Colorado

Show Abstract »

The syllabus provides a first opportunity to leave an impression on your students and can go a long way in helping to promote an inclusive environment in your course, especially for marginalized students. Geoscience disciplines are still among the least diverse fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Changing the culture of the discipline as a whole ultimately begins in the classroom, and the syllabus can provide an opportunity to set the tone for your course and help you establish a partnership with your students in a way that serves the needs of students from diverse backgrounds. The language, tone, and content of your syllabus all have an impact on student impressions, and can ultimately impact the sense of inclusion in your classroom. We share a process and strategies for reviewing and revising your syllabus through an equity lens that was inspired by work from the Center for Urban Education. Among the steps we can take to promote an inclusive environment through our syllabi include: (1) explaining or eliminating jargon that might be unfamiliar to some students, (2) carefully considering the tone we invoke in our classroom policies, (3) finding ways to relate to students on a personal level, and (4) helping students understand what they need to do to be successful in our courses. We also share examples of syllabi from geoscience courses that have been revised through this equity lens.
So what does a degree in geology actually mean? A review of commonly required courses
Annie Klyce, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia

Show Abstract »

Unlike other fields such as chemistry (ACS, 2019), engineering, physics (ABET, 2019) and biology (ASBMB, 2019), the geosciences have no greater accrediting body. In terms of the classes that are required, there is also no intentional uniformity throughout geology or geoscience programs across the country. Because of this, we tend to rely on folk understandings of what courses should be required of our majors. As a growing field, the geosciences are in need of an examination of what constitutes a degree in geology to ensure equal, or near equal, qualification that is not dependent on where one earned their degree. This project is a review that compiles common courses offered and required at universities by analyzing publicly available course bulletins and presenting trends in both types of courses, as well as their sequences. Programs were limited to those included in the American Geoscience Institure's Directory of Geoscience Departments. A frequency analysis was used to identify commonality of courses, followed by a factor analysis to identify common clusters of classes.

GeoEd Research: Broadnening Student Participation

Capturing the Dynamics of Non-Traditional Educational Settings: Lessons Learned in Developing Instrumentation for Use in Field-Based Career Development Research
Krystal Hinerman, Lamar University
Ennea Fairchild, University of Northern Colorado
Jessica McKay, Texas A & M University
Eric Riggs, Texas A & M University
Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder
Harmony Newman, University of Northern Colorado

Show Abstract »

While fieldwork is often a required element for undergraduate students in field science, little research has been conducted to determine how fieldwork impacts students' plans for further study and career aspirations. Because of the dynamic nature of non-traditional educational settings such as geology field stations, developing instrumentation to capture the full range of potential positive and negative impact factors related to career development can be challenging. Our mixed-method study focused on four multi-week field station programs for advanced undergraduates. Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) was used as the overarching theory to examine how contextual, personal, and behavioral factors relate to student outcomes such as academic and career choices. Structural elements related to the uniqueness of field settings were also considered. Our developed surveys and interview protocols measured and explored factors related to academic and career path development, allowing us to extend the application of SCCT to non-traditional educational spaces. Using both existing and original scales, our survey measured personal factors (i.e. identity, self-efficacy, interests), behavioral factors (transformative experience), contextual factors (i.e. social climate, sexist experiences), outcome factors (i.e. confidence in selecting and staying in a major, career intent, career paths), and structural factors (i.e. policy, logistics, operations). The follow-up interview protocol was designed for in-depth exploration of these factors. Pre/post survey and interview data from both students and instructors were analyzed to examine consistency among dual reporters and reporting methods, the interrelatedness of constructs, and comparisons across field sites. Results from the preliminary analysis were used to improve our instrumentation for future application of SCCT research in field settings. Our study includes several lessons learned regarding capturing the multifaceted aspects of non-traditional educational settings and calibrating instrumentation to capture nuances related to constructs such as normalized sexism, perceived inequalities, health and safety, social climate, reporting behaviors, and field station policies.
Exploring the Transformative Experience of Undergraduate Geologic Field Camps Through the Lens of Gender and Diversity
Eric Riggs, Texas A & M University
Jessica McKay, Texas A & M University
Ennea Fairchild, University of Northern Colorado
Krystal Hinerman, Lamar University
Harmony Newman, University of Northern Colorado
Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder

Show Abstract »

Geologic fieldwork is considered to be transformative for geology students in the development of expertise and confidence. Engagement in fieldwork can have positive outcomes on undergraduate students' cognitive and affective development. Fieldwork plays a critical role in developing students' science identity and influences career decisions and persistence in geology. Although there are many positive outcomes, negative experiences occurring during fieldwork may drive students, particularly women or diverse students, away from further study in geology. Our study is focused on multi-week, field-station based programs for advanced undergraduates. This is a mixed-methods study designed to measure both transformative experience and perception of bias of gendered/diversity-related experience in treatment, environment or student performance measures. Other items measured are related to geologic identity, value of the experience and career aspirations. Both students and instructional staff are invited to participate to triangulate their experience. Transformative Experience is a body of research describing changes in interest and identity that happen due to specific educational experiences. It is defined by three characteristics: motivated use of new knowledge, expansion of perception due to an experience, and the high personal value of an educational event. Our study employs a survey designed to measure constructs of science identity and a mastery mindset, both of which have been shown to be results of having a successful transformative experience. We are examining qualitative data derived from post-field interviews for additional constructs related to interest, emotions related to the field experience, the value of the experience, and changes in disposition to geologic science and careers. From this data we extract aspects of participants' experience that are reflective of surrender (i.e., the willingness to suspend critical reflection and to be carried away by the immediate learning experience) which we have determined to be a significant element of transformative experience occurring in geological field settings.
Contextual and cultural practices that normalize sexism in geology field programs
Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder
Ennea Fairchild, University of Northern Colorado
Harmony Newman, University of Northern Colorado
Krystal Hinerman, Lamar University
Eric Riggs, Texas A & M University

Show Abstract »

Fieldwork is a required element for most undergraduate geology students. Research suggests that undergraduate female students may experience sexism and a hostile social climate in field settings, which can be a barrier to their future academic and career success. We conducted a mixed methods study to examine how sexism and hostile social climate are manifested in field programs and the contextual and cultural characteristics that enable sexism and hostile social climate to occur. We collected interview and survey data from instructors and students in four geology field programs that occurred over multiple weeks in the summer and were designed for advanced undergraduates. Participants in all four programs encountered sexist experiences including sexist jokes, comments, and unwanted sexual attention. Participants described these experiences as typical and accepted them as "just how students are" at geology field camps, even if the behaviors were perceived as offensive. Such normalization of sexism may reflect the ways in which efforts to promote gender equity have stalled. Preliminary analysis suggests unawareness by students and instructors of what sexism is and its impact, isolation from the university, and unclear boundaries (e.g., distinguishing official class/university time and space from student personal time and space) are contextual and cultural characteristics that may enable the normalization of sexism in the field camps. Our results align with the concept of STEMinism, an individualistic mentality that places the onus of change on the individual student rather than on institutions and systems to disrupt patterns of inequality (Myers et al. 2019). The persistence of these sexist experiences highlight the need for geoscience educators to be attentive to systematic and structural changes to promote inclusive environments and reduce exclusive practices. Reference Myers, Kristin, Courtney Gallaher & Shannon McCarragher (2019) STEMinism, Journal of Gender Studies, 28:6, 648-660, DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2019.1584744

Geoscience Education Research

Fostering Undergraduate Students' Water Literacy: Discipline-Based Education Research in a Transdisciplinary Water Course
Cory Forbes, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Diane Lally, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Destini Petitt, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Trenton Franz, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Show Abstract »

Societies today face an array of global, water-related challenges with significant scientific dimensions within the Food-Energy-Water-Nexus. To prepare students to become tomorrow's global citizens, undergraduate course must provide them with opportunities to learn and reason about socio-hydrological issues that include both natural and human dimensions, such as agricultural water use, water quality, and water security. However, prior research has illustrated limitations in undergraduate students' disciplinary knowledge and little research has been conducted to understand how they use this knowledge to solve problems and make decisions about socio-hydrological systems (i.e., water literacy). Here, we report on discipline-based education research from an innovative, interdisciplinary course in which we – a team of faculty and graduate students with expertise in hydrology, economics, and science education - engage a diverse population of students – both STEM and non-STEM majors – from a variety of backgrounds. Principles of effective undergraduate STEM instruction underlying the course include and emphasis on active learning, socio-hydrological systems, student engagement with authentic hydrological data, and computer-based modeling tools (Author, 2018). Over the past four years, we have investigated undergraduate students' model-based reasoning about socio-hydrological systems, leveraging theoretical perspectives on model-based teaching and learning, science-informed decision-making, and socio-hydrologic systems. Our research has provided evidence for growth in students' conceptual understanding of water-related phenomena and model-based reasoning about socio-hydrological systems. They also provide insight into how students leverage modeling tools grounded in authentic hydrologic datasets to problem-solve real-world, water-related challenges. Gain scores for pre-/post-course assessments of students' content knowledge have shown to be predictive of their socio-hydrological reasoning. Research findings also document the evolution of the course from a traditionally-structured, classroom-based course to a 'flipped'-style course structure, which we hypothesize to have positively impacted students' overall experience in the course, as well as targeted outcomes for student learning.
Analyzing pedagogical practices in Geoscience Programs
Denise Bacci, Universidade de Sao Paulo

Show Abstract »

The present research addressed the theoretical references of pedagogy and geosciences education, analyzing teacher´s practices in five undergraduate programs in two São Paulo State universities in Brazil. It presents an initial qualitative and quantitative approach, through a case study. Classrooms observations using reformed teaching protocol were made in three programs in Geology, one in Geosciences and Environmental Education Teaching Degree and another one in Natural Sciences Teaching Degree. Thirty separate observations of introductory and high levels courses classrooms (including 25 instructors) were collected and selected in three different categories: teacher-centered, traditional lecture-dominated classrooms (RTOP from 20 to 29), transitional classrooms (RTOP from 24 to 45) and student-centered classrooms (RTOP from 50 to 84). Time for instructor´s experiences varied between 3 and 44 years. The data were collected by more than one observer, and the results pointed that, in all programs classes are predominantly teacher-centered. Pedagogical knowledge is not part of Geoscience instructor formation which reflects in the planning and organization of classes with some deficiencies. These deficiencies were observed especially considering the preparation and implementation of the class, procedural knowledge and classroom communication. A common feature observed in classes is the division between theory and practice (lab classes), by using samples of minerals and rocks, drilling testimonies and computational exercises. The practices come after the lectures that are usually at the beginning of the class which are an application of theoretical knowledge. There is, however, a movement and concern among of instructors to promote more integrated classes and to encourage students to be more active. The classes with the highest score are those in which students present seminars, discussions of book chapters or scientific articles previously read (flipped classroom) and that contribute with their ideas, reflecting about specific content and themes.
A Synthesis of Current Literature in Atmospheric Science Education
Peggy McNeal, Towson University
Wendilyn Flynn, University of Northern Colorado
Cody Kirkpatrick, Indiana University-Bloomington
Dawn Kopacz, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Daphne LaDue, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Lindsay Maudlin, North Carolina State University

Show Abstract »

Teaching and learning about the atmosphere is an integral part of Earth science education, yet the atmosphere is distinctly different from the geosphere, especially as it deals primarily with complex fluid processes. Thus, approaches to the development and evaluation of atmospheric science teaching innovations as well as the development of research questions into learning atmospheric science target different skills and competencies. Recognizing this, atmospheric science education research (ASER) is growing as a unique subset of geoscience education research (GER) with a complementary, but distinct research agenda. Atmospheric science education has produced a sizable publication record and advancement of ASER relies on understanding this work. While publications of atmospheric science education projects are often published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) and the Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE), a significant portion of these projects are published in non-discipline specific journals making it difficult to characterize the breadth of existing ASER efforts. Therefore, to support ASER momentum and synthesize the field, we completed a literature review of published ASER literature specifically to describe existing work, document strengths and weaknesses, and identify gaps. We used the Geoscience Education Research Strength of Evidence Pyramid to develop a rubric, which we applied and used to analyze existing ASER literature. This presentation highlights our process, provides examples of ASER studies at each level of strength, and presents a framework for characterizing future ASER work.

Geoscience Education Research, Professional Development for Undergrads, Grads and Faculty, Program Design, Student Learning, Place-based Learning

The nature of undergraduate field learning experiences: A framework to guide program design and research
Kari O'Connell, Oregon State University
Kelly Hoke, Oregon State University
Michael Giamellaro, Oregon State University-Cascades Campus
Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute

Show Abstract »

Undergraduate field learning experiences have a rich history of preparing students for careers in the earth sciences and other field-based sciences, yet what constitutes an effective field experience is not clearly defined. Field experiences vary from short field "labs" integrated into university courses, weeks or months-long courses at field stations and marine labs, traveling geology courses, to weeks-long research opportunities. The Undergraduate Field Experiences Research Network (UFERN) is building an interdisciplinary network of researchers and practitioners focused on improving undergraduate field learning experiences. Using results from a landscape study of field-based programs in the U.S., extensive input from the UFERN community, and the STEM education literature, we created the "UFERN framework" that can be empirically tested to characterize dimensions of undergraduate field learning experience program design. The framework highlights the suites of factors that influence student outcomes of field learning experiences, and can serve as a resource to help design learning experiences, guide research about field learning, or evaluate student outcomes. The poster will introduce the framework, and present a logic model that will guide the use of the framework for design of an undergraduate field program (e.g., research experience for undergraduates, field course, field trip) using the elements of the framework: Design Factors, Student Context Factors, and Student Outcomes. We invite EER participants to visit the poster to discuss potential research ideas related to field-based learning and learn how they can get involved in UFERN, including future professional development in field program design using the framework.

Place-based Education

"The World in a River": Lessons Learned While Redesigning and Researching an Introductory Earth Science Course for Preservice Elementary Teachers
Danielle Ford, University of Delaware
Susan McGeary, University of Delaware
Jennifer Gallo-Fox, University of Delaware
Cheryl Ackerman, University of Delaware

Show Abstract »

The authors discuss their efforts to transform a large introductory course for preservice early childhood and elementary teacher education majors and understand its impact on learners. The course was redesigned to align with the three-dimensional framework of the Next Generation Science Standards, emphasizing disciplinary content, cross-cutting concepts, and the practices of Earth science. Using a place-based storyline organized around a single stream watershed, each unit is tied to observations the students make in the field and online. A signature feature of the redesigned course is a student-driven investigation, in which groups plan and carry out their own study of our local watershed, then analyze and present their findings to their peers. Over three design cycles, we have refined the curriculum and collected data on student learning, motivation, and self-efficacy for science teaching using a combination of surveys, observation protocols, document analysis, and open-ended responses. We share our successes in reorganizing the introductory Earth science curriculum, integrating activity-based pedagogies into a large course, and increasing student science content understanding, as well as our difficulties impacting student motivation and self-efficacy for science teaching.
Workshops for Place-Based Earth Education
Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College
Lisa Phillips, Texas Tech University
Margie Turrin, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Show Abstract »

On October 14-16, 2019, a group of Earth educators participated in the Earth Education for Sustainable Societies Workshop held in Northfield, MN. At the workshop, we discussed ideas designed to strengthen Earth education and divided into subgroups based on shared interests. One subgroup focused on the idea of place-based education and several of us pursued the idea of creating a series of workshops to facilitate the development and distribution of place-based educational activities focused on the Earth and sustainability. As currently envisioned, the project will engage a core group of educators and content experts to identify a broadly applicable set of place-based education techniques useful for teaching Earth science concepts that lead to sustainable practices. The core group will then develop and lead a series of workshops to share those techniques. The workshops will be designed to help educators develop place-based learning activities which they can use in their communities and share with their peers. Though the context is rooted in Earth science, we hope to engage participants across disciplines and develop place-based educational activities that can be used in a wide range of educational, geographic, and cultural settings. We have several models (such as the SAGE 2YC Change Agents project and NAGT Traveling Workshops) on which the project structure will be based. As we develop the project, we seek input with respect to content and techniques to share as well as educators, researchers, and others interested in participating in the core group or as workshop participants.
International Research Experiences for Students and Place-Based Learning: Studying Faults in the Malawi Rift
Toni Ivey, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
Daniel Lao-Davila, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
Estella Atekwana, University of Delaware

Show Abstract »

We present the findings from an NSF-International Research Experiences for Students grant that provided 11 undergraduate and 2 graduate students with a month-long, faculty-mentored, hands-on research experience in Malawi, Africa using an apprentice-type model. The diverse group of students was selected from Oklahoma State University and the University of Puerto Rico and participated in research training before traveling to the country. While focused on addressing specific research hypotheses and objectives related to fault mapping and characterization, students gained international field experience in which they increased their skills in geophysical and geological data acquisition and processing. Students learned with and from both domestic faculty and international mentors and students. Thus students were both immersed in international fieldwork and in a new international culture. Students gained professional skills such as resourcefulness, resilience, collaborative leadership, and cultural awareness. Students were interviewed prior to their departure to Malawi and upon their return to gain a better understanding of their perceptions of their personal gains from this extensive and intensive international field experience. In addition, students wrote daily journals about their experiences. Primarily, most students reported that they made gains regarding their knowledge of geology and their use of geological field methods for data collecting and interpretation. Students reported that this extensive field trip increased their confidence in conducting fieldwork and collecting data in the field. Other students reported that this experience provided them with a better "understanding for the nature of scientific research" from conducting field research to writing and submitting abstracts. The experience brought career awareness of how to refine their career path as some students discovered a preference for either geophysics or structural geology. Other students perceived gains from the trip that went beyond geology and geophysics as the experience expanded the students' global and cultural awareness.
Enhancing Active Learning in a Place-Based Geoscience Course with the ICAP Theory of Cognitive Engagement
Cathy Cullicott, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Steven Semken, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Michelene T. H. Chi, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Nicole Boucher, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus

Show Abstract »

We present a case study in which an experienced professor applied the ICAP (Interactive-Constructive-Active-Passive) theoretical framework, which models student active learning as cognitive engagement, to enhance an established place-based geoscience and sustainability course situated in the American Southwest. The goal of this proof-of-concept study was to increase the level and frequency of active learning without making drastic changes to curriculum or instruction. The two strategies employed were (1) scaffolding student note-taking and inquiry with designed handouts, and (2) deliberate use of ICAP verbs during interactive lecture and in-class activities, to elicit higher ICAP level engagement from the students. Preliminary results indicate that the course has become more active and constructive compared with previous years, and students in general respond positively to the changes.
Earth Science Place-Based Education at the American Museum of Natural History
Rondi Davies, CUNY Queensborough Community College
Jessica Wolk-Stanley, Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, Bronx, New York
Victoria Yuan, FDRHS, AMNH
Julie Contino, American Museum of Natural History

Show Abstract »

The Halls of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) are used to engage urban graduate, undergraduate, and secondary (7-12) Earth Science students in place-based learning activities. Place-based learning, which focuses on local and regional environments, has been shown to boost student engagement, be more relevant for students, and has the potential to attract underrepresented groups to science. Within the intrinsically awe- and emotion-inspiring, content-rich informal spaces of AMNH, each group of students conducted activities that drew on prior learning, and engaged in creative endeavors to meet learning objectives. Graduate students obtaining a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree used multiple Halls to argue for fossilization potential of a landscape, explore plate tectonics, and find locations on topographic maps. These engaging activities were done in small groups and shared with the whole cohort in order to increase motivation and higher-order thinking as well as to support these students in developing activities for their own secondary students. As part of a community college geology class, students were required to independently travel from Queens to Manhattan to visit the Hall of Planet Earth at AMNH. The students explored Earth evolution and processes as well as how the climate has changed. They often went with classmates or friends making it a fun and social outing. The MAT alumni teachers also traveled during school hours with their secondary students to investigate various AMNH Halls and complete museum activities. 
 The goals of these experiences were to increase Earth Science content knowledge and stimulate science interest using an inspirational local environment. Students participated in science inquiry and worked in groups in ways that were different from the typical classroom setting. These experiences helped students to develop an awareness of local cultural resources while increasing their knowledge and skills in an active and engaging manner.

Student Development

Improving Career Readiness and Student Retention in Earth System Science: A Comparison Across BA and BS Majors
Elizabeth Crook, University of California-Irvine
Julie Ferguson, University of California-Irvine

Show Abstract »

The Earth System Science (ESS) department at the University of California, Irvine, aims to improve undergraduate recruitment and retention in a strategic and data-driven way. The department goals are to increase the overall recruitment of students into our majors, increase the retention of students within our majors, and improve the applicability of the curriculum for students within the department. ESS offers two majors: a BS in Earth System Science and a BA in Environmental Science and Policy, both focused on different aspects of the climate system and sustainability. Our department therefore provides a unique opportunity to study the population of students that chooses a BS degree over a BA, as well as to track the success of individuals that choose each degree type. In doing so, we hope to better understand the population of students that comprise the ESS department, develop courses and major requirements based on our student's interests and future career goals, and increase the accessibility of our major to students traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields. In this work we present analyses of the influence of demographic factors, such as gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and first-generation status, on major choice and retention We also present research on career-self efficacy and address specific changes to curriculum and career readiness training, aimed to improve the accessibility and relevance of our majors to all students, with particular emphasis on those who are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields.
Geoscience Success Lessons: Short interventions to improve student success in introductory geology labs
Curtis HopeHill, University of Northern Colorado
Molly Jameson, University of Northern Colorado
Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder
Dina London, University of Northern Colorado
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Dina London, University of Northern Colorado

Show Abstract »

Geoscience students report math skills and attitudes as a barrier to their interest and success in geoscience. Yet, few studies have examined whether math serves as a barrier to student success and persistence because students lack math skills and/or because students have negative math attitudes. To address this gap in the literature and to help remove math as a barrier for students, we developed instructional interventions that address math skills and affective domain (e.g., math anxiety, math self-efficacy, goal-setting, metacognition, stereotype threat, and interest). For this project, we adapted existing math interventions from "The Math You Need, When You Need It." We also developed novel affective interventions modeled after "The Math You Need, When You Need It." The math and affective domain interventions have a flipped teaching model with self-paced online pre lab work and a structured 8- to 12- minute in-lab activity related to the pre lab work. Each intervention had six separate lessons. We taught the interventions in introductory geology labs at the same university--about 25 students completed the math lessons and 25 completed the affective domain lessons. To measure pre- to post-intervention changes in students' affective domain variables (i.e., math anxiety, math efficacy, math stereotypes, geoscience efficacy, geoscience interest, and intent to major in geosciences), we administered surveys before and after participation in the interventions. The results suggest that these short interventions are impactful for improving all students', and particularly female students', math affect. While additional data are necessary to make broad claims about the impact of these interventions, particularly in the longer term regarding geoscience career interests, preliminary evidence suggests that they are a useful tool to removing a barrier for students in geoscience.
Geoscience Success Lessons: Instructional Intervention to Help Introductory Geology Students Increase their Interest in Geology
Dina London, University of Northern Colorado
Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder
Molly Jameson, University of Northern Colorado
Curtis HopeHill, University of Northern Colorado
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Show Abstract »

Interest in geology topics does not necessarily occur spontaneously, particularly for students in introductory geology classes. If students' level of interest in geology topics increases, they can also experience an increase in their learning, motivation, engagement, and success in class. This is particularly important for first generation and underrepresented students. Instructors can foster student interest in geology topics using a variety of teaching strategies. We developed a short instructional intervention to promote student interest in introductory geology labs and conducted a mixed methods study to examine how student interest developed. The intervention was one of six affective domain interventions developed as part of a larger project. The interest intervention was created to be a two-part flipped teaching strategy. First, students learned about interest and how it affects their learning in an online prelab. As part of the prelab, students read about interest, learned strategies for increasing their interest, and completed a low-stakes assessment of their learning. Next, during the first 10 minutes of their geology lab, students practiced the strategies for increasing their interest. This practice had them write short narrative stories describing their interest in geology topics and connecting the geology class to their academic goals. We collected pre and post survey data to measure their change in interest levels. We also analyzed their narrative stories. We describe the types of topics students were interested in, what role they see the introductory geoscience class having in their larger academic goals, and how their interest changed over time.
Developing a New Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Geophysics and Hydrology Field Camp
Marianne Karplus, University of Texas at El Paso
Hugo Gutierrez, University of Texas at El Paso
Lin Ma, University of Texas at El Paso
Aaron Velasco, University of Texas at El Paso

Show Abstract »

A team of faculty at The University of Texas at El Paso developed and taught a new, three-week interdisciplinary undergraduate Geophysics and Hydrology Field Camp in Valles Caldera National Preserve during May 2019. During the first week, the senior undergraduate students learned basic geophysics and hydrology and then proposed their own experiments using shallow hammer seismic imaging, electrical resistivity tomography, ground-penetrating radar, gravity, magnetics, basic water chemistry, and hydrology measurement techniques. During the second week, students collected data in the field at Valles Caldera and wrote field reports detailing the data collection methods and locations. Finally, during the third week, students processed the geophysics and hydrology data and wrote final reports summarizing their results including subsurface models and interpretation. We present lessons learned from the field camp including recommendations for teaching geophysics and hydrology in the field from an interdisciplinary perspective to a broad group of geology and environmental science majors (mostly with little background in geophysics and hydrology). The University of Texas at El Paso has an enrollment of more than 25,000 undergraduates and is the largest institution within the continental United States having a Hispanic student body majority (~80%). We will discuss thoughts on inclusivity and accessibility in field teaching in light of our experience and unique student population.
Enhancing Student Learning in Introductory Physics Through Funds of Knowledge
Liang Zeng, UTRGV
Guang Zeng, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi

Show Abstract »

Researchers have reported funds of knowledge (FK) pedagogical approach effective in engaging minority students in learning. However, there is a lack of studies connecting FK to introductory college physics or physical science classes. By using examples from regional Mexican-American lived experiences at an Hispanic-serving institution located along the recently politicized U.S.-Mexico border, this paper provides evidence to show how physics educators can use FK to engage students in learning introductory college physics concepts.
Geoscience Success Lessons: Creating a Psychologically Wise Intervention for Introductory Geoscience Students to Change Their Working Hypotheses on Learning
Molly Jameson, University of Northern Colorado
Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Dina London, University of Northern Colorado
Curtis HopeHill, University of Northern Colorado
Dina London, University of Northern Colorado

Show Abstract »

Careers in geoscience are increasing in demand, but the discipline struggles to attract majors. Additionally, women continue to be underrepresented in geoscience. Teaching interventions that address self-regulatory processes for students in introductory geoscience courses could increase student success and interest, with a particular impact on female students. These teaching interventions should 1) address students' meaning of learning, 2) alter their inaccurate working hypotheses through brief exercises, and 3) attempt to lead to lasting personal change. Teaching interventions that do these three things are called psychologically wise interventions. We developed a psychologically wise intervention to improve female student success in introductory geology classes. Psychologically wise interventions aim to impact ubiquitous societal problems and are characterized by five principles. We will explain our development of a new affective domain intervention to specifically increase female geoscience students' success that follows the five principles of wise interventions: 1) Alter students' specific meaning of learning to include affective and self-regulatory skills, and thus promote change in their thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors around learning; 2) Align with an understanding that students' meaning of learning operates within complex systems; 3)Stimulate students to change their behaviors in regards to affective self-regulatory processes; 4) Are methodologically rigorous; and 5) Are ethically sound. We will describe barriers, successes, and lessons learned through the process (e.g., the challenge of word usage in two fields with similar terminology for very different intents; female student improvement in affective domain areas related to learning in geology) and provide implications and suggestions for developing psychologically wise affective domain interventions for improving student self-regulatory processes and subsequent success in geoscience.

Student Learning (Cognitive Domain)

To Highlight or Summarize? The Benefits of Constructive Learning in Geology.
Rachel Wong, Washington State University-Vancouver
Larry Collins, Delta State University
Olusola Adesope, Washington State University- Pullman
Catherine Cooper, Washington State University- Pullman

Show Abstract »

Chi and Wylie's (2014) ICAP framework identifies four modes of cognitive engagement in learning – passive, active, constructive, and interactive, defined by the overt learning activities that learners participate in and the product of the activities. As engagement increases, a deeper understanding of the information is achieved. Unfortunately, students often do not often participate in learning activities that promote higher engagement. To assess the effectiveness of active versus constructive engagement, the present study was conducted with undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory geology course. Seventy-one students were assigned to either an active (highlighting) or constructive (summarizing) condition to learn about the carbon cycle which was presented as six individual paragraphs. Students in the highlighting condition (n = 36) were prompted to highlight key words while students in the summarizing condition (n = 35) had to provide a summary of each paragraph after reading. All students completed an immediate posttest that consisted of 11 multiple-choice retention questions and 3 open-ended transfer questions. One week later, students completed a delayed posttest of 8 multiple-choice retention questions and 3 open-ended transfer questions. A one-way ANOVA was conducted with condition as the independent variable, and the respective learning outcomes as the dependent variables. Results from the analysis indicated that the summarizing condition outperformed the highlighting condition on immediate retention (d = 0.52) and delayed transfer (d = 0.54). The findings from this study provide empirical support for the ICAP framework, indicating that a constructive mode of engagement is more beneficial than an active mode of engagement. Furthermore, this study was conducted in an ecologically valid learning environment, making the findings even more impactful for educators and students who are interested in strategies to improve learning. Specific implications for the Geoscience Education community will also be discussed.
Exploring methods for teaching 3D introductory geology content: Analyzing the influence of 3D teaching methods and virtual learning environments
Gillian Goldhagen, University of California-Riverside
Kinnari Atit, University of California-Riverside
Heather Ford, University of California-Riverside

Show Abstract »

Studies show that students' 3D spatial skills are correlated to their success in various scientific domains, including geology. In recent years, online classes are growing more popular in all STEM fields, making the connection between spatial skills and online classes in geology courses imperative. The purpose of our study is to explore the efficacy of the following instructional methods in online versus in person learning settings: static 3D models/representations versus dynamic demonstrations which show the movement of a 3D process. This study will take place in an introductory level dynamic geoscience course, Geology 004, Natural Hazards and Disasters, at the University of California, Riverside, a majority minority school. This course is geared towards non-science majors. We will be evaluating students' 3D spatial skills, how well students are able to take the perspective of a 2D object drawn in a 3D space, using a version of Guay's visualization of views test (Guay & McDaniels, 1976) We gage these spatial skills before and after a student undergoes three assigned lessons to see if these students improve as a result of their instructional condition. Students in six of the course sections were taught online while the other six were taught in person. 3D models, 3D demonstrations, and homework review will be compared across and within both environments. We will study the effects of student demographics, various teaching environments and strategies, how they affect spatial skills, and the overall performance of students in the geoscience course. The study was implemented with the help of online teaching tools; Google Earth, IRIS Earthquake Browser, Visible Geology, WebGIS and Zoom; along with 3D demonstrations, 3D prints, and handmade models. The end results will be analyzed to identify the most effective andragogy to teach these introductory geoscience courses.
Using Case Studies to Investigate the Socioeconomic and Ethical Dimensions of Sustainability
Ellen Metzger, San Jose State University
Randall Curren, University of Rochester

Show Abstract »

Challenges to sustainability arise from the interplay between interacting planetary and human systems and are inevitably embedded in social contexts. Addressing the complex, solution-resistant problems of sustainability thus requires both scientific understanding of the Earth system and consideration of the human values, norms and institutions that that drive unsustainable lifestyles. Geoscience educators who wish to address sustainability issues in their teaching may be comfortable with the scientific aspects of sustainability, but feel less prepared to engage students in exploration of its social, economic, and ethical dimensions. Case analysis is a commonly used cross-disciplinary method for ethics instruction that can provide opportunities for students to grapple with open ended problems, develop awareness of ethical dilemmas related to sustainability issues, consider multiple perspectives. and hone their critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving skills. In this presentation we will: 1) outline a way to conceptualize sustainability that synthesizes scientific, social, and ethical perspectives and 2) present case study analyses, focused on population growth and the climate school strike controversy, to help geoscience educators connect these cross-disciplinary concepts to their classroom practice.

Student Learning with New Curriculum and Technology

3D-printed models: tools for teaching 3D visualization of subsurface geology
Merilie Reynolds, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
John W.F. Waldron, University of Alberta

Show Abstract »

Much of basic structural geology involves projecting data from maps of the Earth's largely two-dimensional (2D) surface into the opaque, three-dimensional (3D) subsurface. An important part of Earth science education provides students with the skills needed to visualize these 3D relationships. Typically, this involves introducing students to the tools that are used by professionals: structure contours, stereographic projections, and computer simulations. All these techniques present students with challenges of scale, dimensionality, and abstraction. Challenges of scale involve the representation of macroscopic structures on printed pages at reduced scale. Challenges of dimensionality involve mentally or mathematically projecting the real, but invisible 3D subsurface world into 2D representations such as cross-sections and stereographic projections. Challenges of abstraction involve representing physical features, such as rock formations or dipping surfaces, with idealized representations such as map patterns or sets of structure contours. 3D-printed models offer the potential to ease some of these challenges. Models are designed to exactly match the scale and color of 2D maps introduced in lab exercises. Students will be able to directly observe otherwise hidden subsurface structural relationships by manually separating geologic domains. Write-on wipe-off surfaces allow students to draw structure contours directly on geologic structures. The impact of 3D-printed models on the students' ability to visualize subsurface geology will be assessed using established survey instruments that test 3D visualization skills, and with metacognitive evaluations that assess students' perceptions of what they have learned. Digital files for the 3D-printed models and associated geologic maps are publicly available such that any instructor will be able to print copies to incorporate in their teaching.
Applications of Photovoice: From Community Planning Initiatives to Water Literacy Studies
Meghan McCarroll, University of Denver

Show Abstract »

Inspired by feminist theory, empowerment education, and social constructivism, photovoice is a research methodology aimed at documenting the lived experiences of participants through the art of photography. Photovoice participants' document their thoughts and perceptions about their surroundings through cameras, and in doing so reflect on place-based strengths and issues, engage in constructive conversations, and share their voices with local policymakers. The methodology was originally developed within the public health field but has expanded to local planning initiatives, research, and education. A review of photovoice projects across the world also reveals reoccurring contributions to the water management field. Specific projects have highlighted the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) field, promoted community participation in water resources management, and deconstructed the hydrosocial cycle for planning purposes. The value emerges from the inherent experiential nature of water and its frequent association with space and place. The possibilities for using photovoice in environmental education and research are exciting. This poster shares how photovoice has been used in Denver, CO to represent youth opinions on neighborhood change and gentrification, addressing road safety along one of Denver's most dangerous streets, and providing community input into the development of neighborhood planning initiatives. Additionally, I highlight a proposed study to use photovoice in researching water literacy on a college campus. Water literacy, which refers to the application of one's water-related knowledge to create sustainable water behaviors, is influenced by associative learning processes that occur during life experiences. The project will reveal how young people, who are just starting to pay their own water bill, associate their experiences of water with their own water use. The results can then be used to shape not just how educators teach water topics aimed at increasing water literacy, but also how water managers communicate with their newest group of voters and decisionmakers.
Assessing the Efficacy of a Role-Playing Activity in a Post-Secondary Geoscience Course
Jennifer Cuthbertson, University of Calgary
Claire Paton, University of Calgary

Show Abstract »

The Sleeping Mountain is a role-playing scenario in which students play the roles of townspeople, politicians, land developers, and geoscientists in a town hall debate about the risks from a nearby volcano that is showing signs of unrest. The scenario was originally developed by Janice Cooper, and is posted on the SERC website with the permission of Glenn Jaecks (https://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/roleplaying/examples/slmtscen.html). This role-playing activity was incorporated into a senior level, post-secondary igneous petrology class in order to guide students to: 1) examine methods used to monitor volcanoes, 2) evaluate the risks of volcanic activity in a fictitious setting, and 3) experience the ways in which volcanoes affect the lives of people living near them. The activity is based on actual events that occurred at Mammoth Mountain in California in the early 1990's. The students were assigned roles prior to the activity, and were required to read several articles on the seismicity and gas emissions at Mammoth Mountain. The town hall was held during one class session (50 minutes), and all students were required to contribute at least one thoughtful comment or question (n = 40 students). The instructor moderated the debate and provided guidance when necessary. Following the activity, the students were surveyed anonymously online regarding their learning experience. Analysis of the feedback shows that most students felt they learned about volcano monitoring from the activity (18 out of 26 responses agree), and that most enjoyed participating in the activity (19 out of 26 responses agree). In addition, 84% of student respondents felt that the activity was memorable and/or unique compared to the ways that they have learned material in other classes. Results indicate that the Sleeping Mountain activity provided an engaging and different way for students to effectively learn about volcanoes and their impact on society.
Assessing the Impact of Department Climate and Redesigned Curriculum on Undergraduate Student Perceptions of Learning and Inclusion
Alexandra Snell, Texas A & M University
Julie Newman, Texas A & M University
David Sparks, Texas A & M University

Show Abstract »

The Department of Geology & Geophysics (G&G) at Texas A&M University recently underwent a curriculum redesign. This study assesses the effect of both departmental climate and redesigned curriculum on undergraduate students' perceptions of learning and inclusion. Undergraduate G&G students are surveyed twice during their college careers (via an early-college career survey and graduation survey). Surveys ask about the students' perceptions of their learning achievement and the department's climate and inclusivity. The goals of this study are to determine 1. evolution of students' perceptions of achieving learning outcomes, and inclusion within the department; 2. relationships (if any) between students' perceptions of learning and inclusion with independent measures of student success (retention, graduation rate); 3. differences in underrepresented student perceptions, and the causes of any differences. Results of this study to date include early career and graduation survey data from Fall 2018 (F18) to Spring 2020. Survey results do not include enough demographic data to break out students into categories beyond gender. Survey participants have only selected to identify as male or female (from options: female, male, non-binary, transgender, and other) thus we focus on these two gender identities. Initial analyses indicate that while all students reported a positive perception of inclusion, there are statistically significant differences in levels of inclusion. 60% of graduating women surveyed in Fall 2018 reported high to moderately positive perceptions of inclusion, compared to 86% of their male counterparts (p-value =1.10% to 2.71%). Spring 2019 surveys show no statistical difference in perceptions of inclusion between genders, primarily due to a significant decrease (p-value = 0.21% to 2.06%) in male students' perceived inclusion. Initial results indicate differences in student experiences based on gender and graduation period. This study continues until 2025, by which time trends within other demographic groups and long-term impacts of the curriculum will be discernible.
Model-Based Teaching and Learning about Earth's Climate in Secondary Science Classrooms
Devarati Bhattacharya, University of Minnesota-Morris
Kimberly Carroll Steward, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Cory Forbes, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Show Abstract »

Teaching and learning about Earth's climate and global climate change (GCC) is increasingly emphasized in secondary science classrooms in the US to help students develop understanding, communicate, and make informed decisions about Earth's climate and GCC. Guiding documents such as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) and Climate Literacy Principles (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2009) foreground the importance of climate literacy and science and engineering practices in science classrooms. Over the past 3 years, through a NSF-funded project, we have developed, implemented, and assessed the impact of a three-week, model-based curriculum module in secondary science classrooms. In alignment with NGSS, this curriculum engages students in authentic exploration of the Earth's climate and GCC through the use of a computer-based modeling tool grounded in authentic climate data. Through a comprehensive, mixed-methods, longitudinal research program, we have assessed 1) ways do teachers implement the project curriculum, 2) why they implement it in the ways that they do, and 3) the nature of and impacts on students' learning. Findings show that while the project curriculum was primarily built to highlight the practice of using climate models, teachers focus on describing model construction as well. They brought external resources than those written specifically for the curriculum. Students who experience the curriculum are able to use the modeling tool to make predictions, hypothesize, and explain phenomena related to Earth's climate and GCC, using embedded simulations within the model to identify, obtain, and process relevant data. They effectively create graphs and visualizations to reason about and construct explanations for the phenomenon of increase in surface temperatures. Findings from this research have important implications for our ongoing efforts to refine the curriculum module and support teachers, as well as the field's understanding of teaching and learning about Earth's climate system and GCC.