An interactive walk into the future of applied geosciences education

Round Table Discussion


Ellen Metzger, San Jose State University
Morgan Monz, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Gregory Wessel, Geology in the Public Interest (nonprofit)

The pivotal role of the geosciences in addressing problems stemming from our interactions with the natural world is reflected in recent discussions of the future of geoscience education and how it could be a much larger part of primary education. Specifically, there is an increasing number of students looking for practical ways to apply their education, which is creating a critical need to refine teaching practices to incorporate an applied approach. Too often, students do not understand the breadth of the geosciences, and therefore the practicality of geoscience education. We need to better prepare students to apply their skills and knowledge of the Earth system in interdisciplinary collaboration with others to help solve challenges to sustainability including climate change, environmental degradation, and resource depletion. Community-based applications will help attract more students and encourage broader participation in the discipline of geosciences, which ultimately will be the foundation for solving these greatest challenges. For this roundtable session, we propose an interactive gallery-style activity to help stimulate a guided discussion about best practices for developing and instituting applied geosciences in our teaching and outreach efforts. We'll also learn about organizations that can help provide geoscience resources beyond those already available, including mentors and curricula-specific assistance. These organizations, including the Global Network for Geoscience and Society, seek to strengthen cooperation and catalyze actions to support the global geoscience community in working with others around the world to foster resilience and sustainability. This all requires improved geoscience education.