Oral Session II

Wednesday 12-2:30pm PT / 1-3:30pm MT / 2-4:30pm CT / 3-5:30pm ET Online
Oral Session

Session Chairs

Hugo Gutierrez, University of Texas at El Paso
Kim Kastens, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Each oral session will run over a 2.5 hour period. Each talk will be 15 minutes in length, and there will be a 25 minute break halfway through the session. The schedule for this session is posted below.

Session Connection Info

Note: All talks in Oral Session II take place in the same room.

This session has already taken place.

12:05 PT / 1:05 MT / 2:05 CT / 3:05 ET
Using Models, Local Data and Hands-on Science to Develop Sophisticated Student Understanding of how and why Watersheds Flood
Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Bess Caplan, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Chelsea McClure, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

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Comp Hydro is an NSF-funded education research and curriculum development project exploring the integration of models and data into teaching about hydrologic phenomena of local concern. It is based on the idea that there can be a synergy between computational thinking, data sense-making and science concept learning, especially when applied to engaging issues such as groundwater contamination or stream flooding. In Comp Hydro, we: 1) developed and refined 2-3 week instructional units that integrate direct exploration in the field, data from local watersheds and student-led investigation with physical, mathematical and computational models; 2) engaged teachers as partners in development and dissemination; 3) studied student interest and learning; and 4) explored supports and constraints for implementation. The Baltimore region has been the site of several high profile floods in the past five years, receiving intense media attention and raising community-wide questions about what can be done to prevent floods in the future. The Comp Hydro curriculum in Baltimore addresses the question, Why do our local watersheds flood so frequently and violently? The curriculum guides students through key scientific practices including analyzing, interpreting and representing data on precipitation and stream flow; developing and using physical, mathematical and computer models; and constructing scientific explanations and predictions about flooding in local watersheds. We developed three NetLogo computer models for the curriculum to help students simulate and visualize water flow pathways and resultant discharge both in planar and cross-section views. To accommodate teachers with limited access to computers, we developed floor and table-top versions of these models that still allow for experimentation and help visualize watersheds and hydrographs. This session will highlight the successes and challenges of developing and implementing the Comp Hydro Baltimore curriculum. Join us to learn about this new, innovative, and engaging curriculum.
12:20 PT / 1:20 MT / 2:20 CT / 3:20 ET
Engaging your faculty colleagues in evidence-based practices using SAGE 2YC resources: Book clubs, journal clubs, and implementation groups
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
Norlene Emerson, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Jan Hodder, University of Oregon
John McDaris, Carleton College
Kristin O'Connell, Carleton College

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SAGE 2YC is a national network of 2YC geoscience faculty who use evidence-based strategies to improve students' academic success, broaden participation in STEM, and facilitate students' professional pathways into the STEM workforce. Members in the SAGE 2YC community engage in learning about evidence-based strategies and discussing these ideas with their colleagues via book clubs, journal clubs, and implementation groups. Faculty have explored supporting student academic success via book clubs and implementation groups. Book clubs read Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning, by James Lang, and Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation, by Saundra McGuire. Implementation groups focused on implementing active learning strategies; using the lens of Bloom's taxonomy to align course learning goals, assignments, and assessments; revising a Historical Geology course to make it more engaging, relevant, and inclusive; and teaching geoscience in an online or hybrid format. Faculty have reviewed the research on broadening participation in STEM via a book club and journal clubs. The book club read Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, by Claude Steele. Journal clubs discussed the research literature on fostering a sense of belonging and on developing students' science identity. Journal clubs have also explored the research literature on supporting 2YC-4YCU transfer and on working for change at the program and institutional level. All of these discussion group activities were designed and delivered using principles for effective faculty professional development. Descriptions of these discussion group activities, including reference lists and suggestions for structuring conversations, are available on the SAGE 2YC project website for use in developing evidence-based professional development experiences for you and your colleagues.
12:35 PT / 1:35 MT / 2:35 CT / 3:35 ET
Community Science
Melissa Goodwin, AGU
Kelly McCarthy, American Geophysical Union
Natasha Udu-gama, AGU
Rajul Pandya, AGU

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This session is intended for scientists, science educators, graduate students and anyone who has the opportunity to integrate community voice into their practice of science. The goal of the session is to demonstrate, with concrete examples, local action plans that enable community science partnerships, result in tangible impacts that advance local priorities, skills and networks that attendees can take with them to include in their teaching and in their practice. Community science is an approach to 'doing science' by which communities and scientists work together to advance one or more local priorities by codesigning a project that builds on community knowledge and expertise. By including the idea and philosophy behind community science in our teaching practice and in our day-to-day work in the field, in the lab, and in the classroom we can model an approach that makes the power of the intersection of science and society exceedingly clear. It welcomes communities, particularly historically marginalized and oppressed communities, to guide, participate in, learn from, and benefit from science. Community Science is designed to make a tangible local impact. When done well, it can enhance community capacity, advance equity, enrich scientific practices, diversify the sciences, address global challenges, and build public trust and support for science. This session will introduce the concept of community science with concrete examples and will align with a series of companion proposed teaching demonstrations to integrate the community science approach into k-12 and undergraduate classrooms. This oral session will not only initiate a conversation around strategies to integrate this approach into Earth science education, but also help to enable a 'community of practice' around community science.
12:50 PT / 1:50 MT / 2:50 CT / 3:50 ET
Team-based experiential learning in the Geosciences: lessons from an Ecohydrology course with a diverse student group
Hugo Gutierrez, University of Texas at El Paso

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A team-based experiential learning oriented class using ecohydrologic theory and research as the main topic was pilot-tested at a cross-listed graduate/undergraduate class. The class was based on a research project serving as a vehicle to convey the students the opportunity to develop new skills such as applying basic principles of programming for managing large amounts of data in both the temporal and spatial domains. Throughout the class the students learned how to work with and manipulate large 3D matrices and to perform a series of related geospatial transformations to the data in order to be able to generate maps and more complex spatio-temporal analyses. All the while, they were gaining insights on important ecologic and hydrologic concepts by learning from their own projects results. For example, the concept of mass and energy conservation was ubiquitous throughout the class, and the students got strongly familiarized with the continuity equation as applied to water and energy transfers between land, ecosystems and atmosphere. The class final grade is weighted on the performance of the students in developing, a research project, presenting their continuous progress and final results in oral and written form. For the projects teams of 2 or 3 students with different levels of abilities for quantitative work were formed. The class was divided into three parts: 1) an introduction to the main concepts and theories of the topics addressed; 2) an introduction and training in data gathering, processing and analysis using object-oriented programming languages, and; 3) hands-on sessions by groups in which the students would work on their projects and present progress every week. This new format allowed a higher degree of interaction between the students and the instructor but also, among the different group of students working on different projects.
1:05 PT / 2:05 MT / 3:05 CT / 4:05 ET
Break

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Twenty-five minute break.
1:30 PT / 2:30 MT / 3:30 CT / 4:30 ET
Graduate Course-based Research Experiences: Lessons Learned from Mississippi State University
Larry Collins, Delta State University
Brenda Kirkland, Mississippi State University
Kathy Sherman-Morris, Mississippi State University
karen mcneal, Auburn University Main Campus
Nina Baghai Riding, Delta State University
Amanda Lawrence, Mississippi State University

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Course-based Research Experiences are a growing area of interest, because they allow learning and engagement to take place by involving students in real, broadly applicable research. At Mississippi State University, a research-based course for both undergraduate and graduate students was initially developed as part of an NSF-sponsored diversity enhancement initiative to create a sense of community and belonging among minority students and participants from Delta State University with the hope of exposing them to graduate study and career options while also building scientific self-confidence. Subsequently, the course was offered to graduate students in distance learning programs as an option for a capstone course required to complete either of two largely non-thesis master's degree programs, Teachers in Geosciences and Environmental Geoscience. The course is set up as a week-long research project in geomicrobiology and is based on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. In this course, students develop objectives, form hypotheses to test, and carry out background research. The following days are devoted to a field trip, sample processing, sample imaging and analysis, followed by preparation of a poster to be presented at the GSA Annual Meeting and a paper for publication. The course has been highly successful on multiple levels. It has provided students with a real geoscience research experience in a short period including field work and sample processing. Students are exposed to aspects of high-tech data acquisition and all participate in the art of presenting and discussing results as a poster, abstract, and paper. The peer-reviewed posters (N=7), abstracts (N=7), and papers (N=2) document the level of student engagement, understanding, and learning about microbially induced precipitates in outcrops in Mississippi. Our poster will describe how this course was developed along with implications for teacher education and the broader Geoscience Education community.
1:45 PT / 2:45 MT / 3:45 CT / 4:45 ET
Seeking Feedback on Proposed Geoscience Teacher Leaders Criteria
Suzanne Traub-Metlay, Western Governors University
Laura Rowan Hollister, Pitman High School
Kathy Ellins, The University of Texas at Austin

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National recognition for excellence in K-12 Earth Sciences education is under development by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Teacher Education Division (TED) and other organizations. Teachers and informal educators should have the opportunity to comment on proposed criteria. While teacher leader standards are well established in K-12 education, none provide guidance specifically for geosciences teachers. Specifically, we are interested in exploring (1) how educators would use these standards to support their personal goals, professional growth, and career advancement; (2) how the these criteria could be used to help guide teacher preparation and professional development; and (3) how they fit into the broader objectives of the Earth & space sciences education community. This session will focus on participant feedback of the proposed Geoscience Teacher Leaders Criteria. Participants will use most of this session time to discuss practical utility of these potential standards. This builds on the work of Ellins & Stocks [1], [2], and Metlay & Ellins [3]. Ultimately NAGT hopes to establish an awards framework for national recognition, ideally with vendor underwriting and partnership with related professional development organizations. References: 1. Ellins, Katherine K., and Eric Stocks (2017). Creating Earth Science Teacher Leaders Within and Beyond the Classroom: Examples from Texas. Paper No. 138-11, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, September 21-25, Seattle, Washington. 2. Ellins, Katherine K., Susan Lynds and Eric Stocks (date pending). Creating a Climate for Teachers to Excel as Leaders in Earth Science Education Within and Beyond the Classroom: Examples from Texas (in preparation for Journal of Geoscience Education). 3. Metlay, Suzanne T. and Katherine K. Ellins (2018), Geoscience Teacher Leader Criteria: Developing a New Standard for Pedagogical Excellence, Abstract ED34A, Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Washington DC, 10-14 December 2018.
2:00 PT / 3:00 MT / 4:00 CT / 5:00 ET
Why is teaching and learning about feedback loops hard?
Kim Kastens, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Tim Shipley, Temple University
C. Rebekah Banerjee, Temple University
Alexandra Davatzes, Temple University

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Feedback loops provide a powerful explanatory framework for analyzing important Earth and environmental processes, such as climate change and predatory/prey balance. Our pilot research and review of the literature indicate that many students find the feedback loop concept difficult to understand and apply, and the term and concept are often misused in the media. Perhaps as a consequence, only a third of respondents to the 2016 NAGT faculty survey stated that their most recently taught course had students analyze feedback loops. Why is this so hard? Thinking about and with feedback loops challenges the human cognitive system in several ways. The phenomena classified as (for example) positive feedback loops bear little resemblance to each other at the superficial level; the attributes that are used to classify them as such are invisible, structural attributes that have to be inferred rather than perceived. People have a strong expectation (at least in western cultures) that time advances in one direction, and that causality is tightly coupled to time (if A happened before B, then A can have caused or influenced B, but not vice versa). However, a feedback loop requires connecting a series of cause-effect relationships into a sequence where some downstream effect loops back around and influences an upstream element, which may violate deep-seated expectations. What can we do? Our concrete suggestions for introducing feedback loops include: Consider using the terms "reinforcing" and "balancing" instead of "positive" and "negative." Experiment with kinesthetic learning, so students can feel the dynamics of equilibrium, growth, and decay. Have students create causal loop diagrams from written narratives, and then sketch behavior over time graphs, to connect structure and behavior. Instead of using a single analogy (e.g. "it's like a thermostat"), use multiple analogies from which students can extract the shared schema by aligning the elements.
2:15 PT / 3:15 MT / 4:15 CT / 5:15 ET
Teaching experimental design in a sophomore-level lab class
Allison Luengen, University of San Francisco
Amalia Kokkinaki, University of San Francisco

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Air and Water lecture and lab is a required second-year course in our environmental science undergraduate degree. The course is an introductory environmental chemistry course. To revamp the labs, we asked, "What do students need to learn between their first-year introductory course and their fourth-year capstone, Environmental Monitoring? How do they apply knowledge from basic science (e.g., chemistry, statistics) to environmental research?" A missing component was experimental design. The Air and Water labs included both guided laboratory work and a group research project, which we revamped to emphasize experimental design. To focus on experimental design, we constrained some of the project choices and adjusted the labs leading up to the project. We only allowed students to use instrumentation and techniques which we had previously introduced. Accordingly, student projects looked at water quality or particulate concentrations in air. Students selected their own field sites and tests. Our goal was for students to generate enough data to conduct a t-test. We updated the labs preceding the project by adding instrumental analysis techniques, such as replication and matrix spikes. We also created new sections in the lab manual on statistics and quality assurance and quality control. Students presented their final projects in a poster session attended by peers and faculty. They gained experience in original data collection and analysis, group work and collaboration, and formal presentation of results. Students reflected that the projects were their favorite part of the course. They enjoyed the open-ended, hands-on nature of the project, and felt they had the skills needed to perform their analyses, but were challenged when it came to sampling design and statistical analyses. Based on this information, we recommended a revision to the environmental science curriculum, so that students will take statistics prior to these labs. That change will start in academic year 2021-2022.