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.
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12:05 PT / 1:05 MT / 2:05 CT / 3:05 ET
Evidence for Reformed Teaching in Undergraduate Geoscience Course Syllabi
Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Karen Viskupic, Boise State University
Doug Czajka, Utah Valley University
Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico
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A syllabus introduces students to information about a course, is one of the first ways students and instructors interact, and sets the tone of the course. We reviewed course syllabi of instructors who we observed using the RTOP (Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol). This was done to determine if the teaching practices observed in the classroom correlate with the description of the course in the syllabus. A team of trained observers categorized 321 US introductory and upper-level geoscience classes based on total RTOP score as: Teacher-Centered (TC, ≤30), Transitional (TR, 31–49), or Student-Centered (SC, ≥50). Syllabi were randomly sampled from introductory and majors courses in the TC and SC categories (n=40). Learning Objectives (LO) are conveyed more frequently in SC introductory courses (100%) and majors courses (80%) than for TC courses (50% introductory and majors). TC courses have higher proportions of LO that use low level Bloom's Taxonomy (89% for introductory and 76% for majors) than SC courses, which have a range of low-medium- and high-level Bloom's Taxonomy language. A higher proportion of student grades come from high stakes summative assessments (exams) in TC courses. For example, exam grades are weighted more heavily in TC introductory courses (66% of final grades) than SC introductory courses (21% of final grades). SC course grades more frequently come from additional activities, including participation (23% of SC grades vs. 5% of TC grades). Syllabi for some SC courses indicate students have some choice in the activities on which they are graded, but there is no evidence of this opportunity in TC course syllabi. Preliminary analysis suggests that syllabi generally reflect the instructional category determined by direct observations. As instructors reform their teaching, syllabi should be clearly aligned with the in-class experience and the instructor's approach to the course.
12:20 PT / 1:20 MT / 2:20 CT / 3:20 ET
Interactive Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Curriculum for REU Programs: Results from Pilots and Expert Reviews
Michael Hubenthal, EarthScope
Daphne LaDue, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Martin Snow, University of Colorado at Boulder
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In support of the geoscience community's desire to develop an inclusive culture resistant to harassment and discrimination, a collaborative effort to develop an anti-harassment/discrimination curriculum is underway. This 2-hour curriculum targets Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites where participants may have little formal training in the terminology and concepts surrounding such topics, are likely to be unaware of policies and reporting procedures regarding harassment and discrimination, and may not know how to respond if they witness or experience an incident. This curriculum was developed by defining what undergraduates should know, understand, and be able to do after instruction. Activities, aligned with these outcomes, were selected or developed as needed, and connected through a learning cycle to create a cohesive instructional package. Expert reviewers (e.g. REU experience and/or expertise with policies/trainings regarding harassment and discrimination in academia) unanimously perceived a need for the curriculum, appreciated its active learning, would use it in their own REU, and would recommend it to colleagues. Initial pilots at two REU sites found that the instruction connects with students. - 100% found the curriculum "Extremely" (23%) or "Very" (77%) engaging. - 92% felt the amount of time spent on discussions and activities was "Just Right" - 100% perceived the overall quality to be "Very Good" (77%) or "Good" (23%) - 100% felt it "Very Important" (54%) or "Important" (46%) for other geoscience undergrads to participate in the training These pilots also found evidence that the curriculum achieves targeted learning objectives, especially those dealing with what to do should students experience or witness an incident, and how to report an incident. A revised curriculum will be piloted at additional REU sites, early in summer 2020. We will share results, including impacts on students' behavior, attitude, skills, knowledge, and perceptions as well as implementation fidelity and instructor perceptions.
12:35 PT / 1:35 MT / 2:35 CT / 3:35 ET
Teaching Geo-Science to Future Science Teacher using the Micro-Spiral Method
Dr. Edith Davis, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
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The Micro-Spiral approach helps strengthens institutional programmatic, support capacity for geoscience curricula targeting preservice and in-service teachers at HBCU's. Using the Micro-Spiral Method, has proven to be an effective tool toward increasing students test scores. This is a critical aspect for HBCU's toward broadening participation and expanding Geoscience Education programs. Geoscience education responds to the need for literate citizens who have an understanding of factors related to Earth Science issues, decisions and policies (Geological Society of America, 2012, Mosher et al.2014). Despite continued public/private efforts, there is a shortage of geoscientists for the future workforce. Few students take geoscience in middle or high school, which is the most viable place to instill interest in careers and contribute to the development of a scientifically literate society (Mosher et al. 2014). The climate and other related decisions that society will confront over the coming decades require both an informed and engaged public in the Geoscience (NRC). Currently, there is both a deficit in the number of teachers and scholars able to impart this knowledge, particularly among minorities, and African Americans who are the most underrepresented in geosciences (ACT 2015, Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2016, NCES 2017). The geoscience profession is one of the least diverse as a result of a low percentage of African Americans entering and persisting through relevant undergraduate programs (ACT 2015). The overall impact will be trained educators that can use the concept in teaching middle and high-school students key science skills that will ultimately improve their scores as well as provide an interest to pursue Geoscience careers.
12:50 PT / 1:50 MT / 2:50 CT / 3:50 ET
A Retrospective Study of Geoscience Early Career Workshop Participants: Understanding the Lasting Influences on Faculty Professional Lives
Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
Kristin O'Connell, Carleton College
Kathryn Sheriff, Mercer University
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We investigated the influence of The NAGT Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty: Teaching, Research, and Managing One's Career on past participants through a retrospective interview and survey study. The Early Career workshop has been offered annually since 1999 involving more than 1000 faculty members. We conducted 27 interviews over video-conference drawn from a purposive heterogeneous sample stratified along four aspects: 1) workshop year 2) institutional type, 3) current appointment, and 4) demographic characteristics. The research questions for these 45 minute interviews centered on: What aspects of the workshop do faculty attribute to influencing their professional lives? How did participation in the workshop change their view of their own role in the geoscience community, if at all? And how have networks of colleagues gained through workshop participation persisted or influenced faculty professional lives in the years following the workshop? Findings from these interviews characterized the lasting influence and degree of attribution to the workshop for outcomes including changes in teaching, strategies for balancing academic priorities, development of collegial networks, and early guidance on scholarly work. Additionally, the interviews informed the design of a retrospective survey that was administered to all past Early Career participants from 1999-2018 with current contact information. The survey centered on understanding: What do faculty attribute as the most valuable aspects of the Early Career workshop to their professional life? What role has the Early Career network played in their success as a faculty member? What workshop additions would have been professionally valuable as Early Career faculty member? In aggregate, survey responses helped generalize the interview findings to the larger participant sample, situate this professional development experience within their other training, and identify additional workshop topics to consider in the future such as navigating conflict with colleagues or strategies to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
1:05 PT / 2:05 MT / 3:05 CT / 4:05 ET
1:30 PT / 2:30 MT / 3:30 CT / 4:30 ET
Mirroring minoritized students' cultures in the classroom and field can improve Geoscience diversity
Alissa Kotowski, McGill University
Vashan Wright, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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The incorporation of inquiry-based learning (IBL) in out-of-school time (OOST) Geoscience courses has not led to significant increases in the number of minoritized students that pursue Geoscience. Previous studies hypothesize that the number of minoritized students interested in pursuing Geoscience will increase if courses more closely resemble the students' cultures -- i.e., are taught using Collectivist ideals, which typically prioritize the needs of the group over the individual. We test this hypothesis by using pre-course, post-course, and activity-specific surveys to assess minoritized student engagement, perception, and interest in pursuing Geoscience during two OOST courses within the GeoFORCE Texas Program. These courses incorporate a curriculum of IBL activities that either emphasize individualism (individual-learning) or collectivism (group-learning). Activity-specific survey results show that minoritized students within the studied cohort (n = 68) prefer learning through group activities. Students rated group activities as more difficult and fun; they also felt they learned more during group-learning activities. The students' engagement and interest in the topics varied more widely during individual-learning activities. We interpret these results to mean that (1) teachers should preferably employ group-learning activities if they desire to increase the difficulty of a task without sacrificing student interest and engagement, and (2) individual-learning activities are less reliable ways of engaging minoritized students. Pre- and post-course surveys show that the number of students interested in pursuing STEM and Geoscience increased from 43 to 54 and 11 to 16, respectively. The students' perceptions of a geoscientist broadened to include a scientist who studies not only the earth but also its history and governing processes. The results from all survey types imply that incorporating group-learning activities in these courses -- thus mirroring students' cultural ideals -- is the most likely cause for the increase in the number of minoritized students interested in pursuing STEM and Geoscience.
1:45 PT / 2:45 MT / 3:45 CT / 4:45 ET
Scientist of the Week: Measuring the effects of diverse representation in STEM classrooms
Sarah Sheffield, Binghamton University
Victor Ricchezza, Georgia State University
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Seeing scientists who share similar backgrounds and identities (e.g., culture, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, veteran status, etc.) is vital for giving students an avenue to visualize themselves belonging in science. It is also vital for all students to see scientists that don't fit the stereotypes of who scientists "should be". In the geosciences, where recent data has shown that we have made nearly no progress in increasing the representation of any underrepresented group except for white women, we have a responsibility to build a more inclusive field. We have implemented a new segment into university-level geology courses, "Scientist of the Week". The segment introduces diverse scientists across any range of STEM careers; these scientists have ranged from Nobel laureates, avocational scientists, science writers, and more across every scientific subdiscipline and personal background. With this segment, the class discusses the scientist, their research, and their path through STEM, as well as have purposeful discussions about the historical systematic barriers that has made it difficult for underrepresented groups to participate in science throughout history and today. To understand how this intervention has affected students, we conducted semi-structured interviews with a population of students who had taken the course previously. Students were asked a series of questions about the "Scientist of the Week" segment about what they remembered and how they felt about the segment. Authors coded the data from these interview transcriptions and developed a common codebook in order to assess the effect this work has on students. Preliminary results indicate that students found their perception of who belongs in science broadened. Students also engaged with learning more about the 'human' aspects of scientists and some of the students indicated that this segment helped them to see that they could also be a scientist.
2:00 PT / 3:00 MT / 4:00 CT / 5:00 ET
Distinguish Yourself in Earth Science Teaching: The New Certified AMS Teacher (CAT) Program
Diane Ripollone, Cardinal Gibbons High School
Wendy Abshire, American Meteorological Society
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AMS has proudly offered certification programs for broadcasters and consulting meteorologists for decades. Now it is introducing its first new certification in to recognize K-12 educators who have demonstrated exceptional understanding of weather, water and climate science and have successfully implemented it in their classrooms. With the launch of the Certified AMS Teacher (CAT) program, the Society has created stronger ties for educators to engage in AMS activities, stay abreast of scientific advancements, and create a community of educators with a passion for educating students about the weather, ocean, and climate sciences. Details of the CAT program were co-developed by members of boards and committees under the Commissions of Professional Affairs and Education and Human Resources and included both former and current teachers as well as AMS staff. As the CAT program gains momentum, it will provide networking opportunities and meaningful engagement with the membership and activities of the American Meteorological Society including the teacher professional development activities offered by the Education Program. In this presentation, one of the first Certified AMS Teachers will share the program's vision and details on how one can become a Certified AMS Teacher. We will highlight the online DataStreme Courses and Summer courses available for Teachers through the AMS Education program. Completing just two of the five graduate credit courses are the underpinnings for teachers to earn the new AMS certification. Information on how to become involved with the program and AMS will be given to those who are interested.
2:15 PT / 3:15 MT / 4:15 CT / 5:15 ET
Integrating Chemistry and Local Earth Phenomena to Promote Environmental Literacy
Chelsea McClure, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Bess Caplan, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Jonathon Groom, George Washington University
Kevin Garner, Baltimore City Public School System
Kevin Fleming, George Washington University
Vonceil Anderson, Baltimore City Public School System
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Integrating Chemistry and Earth science (ICE) is an NSF-funded project of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Baltimore City Public Schools, George Washington University and scientists and educators from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES). ICE has developed innovative units that bring Earth science concepts and practices into the chemistry curriculum as a way of addressing NGSS expectations in the absence of Earth science courses at the high school level. ICE features three-dimensional teaching by addressing local phenomena with student-designed investigations in the schoolyard and labs, exploration of BES data sets and conceptual modeling. During this session, we will share what we've learned through developing and pilot testing two ICE Units district-wide in Baltimore. The Thermochemistry unit focuses on the phenomenon of the Urban Heat Island (UHI). Students explore temperature differences in the schoolyard with IR thermometers and develop preliminary conceptual models to explain the differences they observe. They then design investigations to compare the albedo and heat capacity of urban materials, analyze urban and suburban data from a heat wave, revise their conceptual heat budget models and conclude the sequence by proposing ways of decreasing UHI. The Earth chemistry unit focuses on how chemistry influences the life and death of Baltimore's mountains. We will highlight the lesson sequence where students experiment with physical and chemical weathering of urban materials, observe evidence of these processes in the schoolyard environment and through stream chemistry data, and then consider ways of slowing these processes based on their growing understanding of the chemical and physical processes involved. Results from 3-D teaching embedded and end-of-unit assessments reveal that students are able to make progress in moving towards mechanistic models and explanations. Interviews with teachers and students suggest that there is a high level of interest among many in the integration of Earth science into chemistry.
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Great session. Would it be possible to get the link for the AMS courses that were mentioned?