Monday Oral Session B
Monday 1:30pm-3:30pm E Building 220
Oral Session Part of Monday Oral Session B
Sharon Cooper, Columbia University in the City of New York
Field trips as multidimensional and transformative educational opportunities
ling O'Connor, Pasadena City College
Field trips, in the arms of nature of the great outdoors, provide a golden opportunity for facilitating multi-dimensional educational experiences, that address some of the current challenges we face in the technol world. The term nature deficit disorder was coined by Richard Louv in 2005 with the publication of his book "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder." Since then, much research has shown that lack of time in nature can lead to behavioral changes, attention deficit disorder, aggression, less ecologically literate .... There is even a 2020 article in the New York Times on nature deficit disorder, the effect of which had been heightened by the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.In addition, mindfulness has been shown to play an important role in personal development, mental health and education. The outdoors is a perfect setting for developing present moment awareness/mindfulness. We can make our field trips multi-dimensional and transformative by:- Choosing beautiful locations that also meet the subject criteria- Allowing free time to explore without supervision in a safe setting- Facilitating short periods of mindfulness/present moment awareness- Facilitating personal group sharing around the campfire
Place-based education for effective geoscience outreach: Caltech GO-Outdoors
Shaelyn Silverman, California Institute of Technology
Juliet Ryan-Davis, California Institute of Technology
Caltech GO-Outdoors 2020-2023, California Institute of Technology
Hannah Dion-Kirschner, California Institute of Technology
Caltech is situated in Pasadena, where the public school district does not offer any dedicated geoscience courses. Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) serves a racially diverse student population, 71% of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged . Caltech students formed Geological and Planetary Sciences Outreach-Outdoors (GO-Outdoors) to provide inclusive geoscience educational opportunities for PUSD students, a need that has been expressed by PUSD teachers and administrators. GO-Outdoors provides lesson plans and field trips that apply place-based pedagogy, which improves access and belonging in geoscience courses for historically marginalized groups . In tandem, the program allows Caltech researchers to develop pedagogy skills and form their own sense of place in Pasadena. GO-Outdoors has designed templates, rubrics, feedback forms, and other functions that make the program self-sustaining. We have developed and led over 20 field trips and lessons since 2021, reaching over 475 PUSD students. We will present a case study of a field trip offered in 2023 to 130 7th-grade students. Students rotated among four science stations and a hike at a local watershed park, learning a variety of geoscience topics through inquiry- and placed-based approaches. Survey results from participants indicate that students achieved learning gains at each science station, felt welcomed and included in the activities, and enjoyed the experience. We intentionally structured our model of outreach to be centered around community needs. In addition, we have structured our program to maintain longevity. Building partnerships and frameworks for the program took effort and time over several months prior to beginning outreach activities. The program itself serves as an example and template for other outreach efforts to follow in order to develop sustainable, equity-minded place-based community outreach. PUSD Innovative Technology Services (2023). https://www.pusd.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=7592.  Semken et al. (2017) Journal of Geoscience Education, 65, 542–562.
Intro Geology Online????? With a field component??? Yes . Please.
Daina Hardisty, Mt. Hood Community College
I always have thought one should use the best textbook on Earth to teach Geology... and that is the Earth! Prior to COVID-19, I swore I would NEVER, EVER, NEVER teach Geology online because I could never imagine how to use the Earth as the textbook if I could not have students do a field trip. Application of learned concepts in the field is a fundamental aspect of my face-to-face classes. Yes, I know, they could do a field trip on their own, but then there is no interaction and ability to have a conversation about the Geology of a particular site. Online classes need interaction. Often discussion posts are supposed to add that interaction, but with lots of words, sometimes too many words for some of us. Field trip discussion posts not only allow engagement of interaction, but also low stakes hypothesizing one's personalized field trip. Additionally, it also allows for sharing of a field trip photo. Just a reminder, a picture is worth a thousand words, so one can add more words of geology to the photo by hypothesizing about geology of the photo and discussing this with classmates, similar to what one would do on a field trip. The feedback I've received from students is that they look forward to seeing what other classmates post for their field trips. I've watched some of their interactions, observations, questions and analyses about what was posted. Some students particularly enjoyed seeing the end field trip compilation that is the final part of the field trip portion of the course. For an introductory Geology course, I feel these personalized online field trips work as a substitute for my guided field trips, so that they get the field component of the course as well as use their local Earth as their textbook.
Climate Outreach in Undergraduate Programs: A Student Perspective
Gabrielle Brown, Northern Vermont University - Lyndon
Janel Hanrahan, Northern Vermont University
Many students desire to become better communicators on anthropogenic climate change but are easily intimidated by the topic and how it is discussed in society. This has increased the importance of having outlets for undergraduate students with similar passions and interests to gather, discuss, and practice. Students, faculty, and staff on the Northern Vermont University – Lyndon campus began navigating climate change communication and community engagement back in 2014 with campus and community-based activities such as student-led school visits, workshops, and climate strikes. This has since grown into a multi-institution network consisting of undergraduate and graduate student and faculty representation. Through climate outreach, not only do students get the opportunity to engage in conversations regarding climate change, but they also develop the confidence and communication skills needed to be an effective scientist. Closing the "consensus gap" on human-caused climate change, motivating real action, and empowering the next generation of scientists to engage in climate outreach starts with building a welcoming community. This presentation will discuss how climate outreach in undergraduate programs can benefit, attract, and support students.
Creating connections at sea - HBCUs and STEMSEAS
Sharon Cooper, Columbia University in the City of New York
Jon Lewis, Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus
Lisa White, University of California Museum of Paleontology
Shondricka Burrell, Morgan State University
Emmanuel Atta-Obeng, Coppin State University
Mintesinot Jiru, Coppin State University
Loretta Williams Gurnell, SUPERGirls SHINE Foundation
Dwight Ebanks, Savannah State University
Justin Ballenger, Morehouse College
Dawn Lewis, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Reginald Archer, Tennessee State University
The STEMSEAS project aims to increase the number and diversity of undergraduate students who participate in scientific expeditions and enter the fields of Earth and ocean sciences. The STEMSEAS leadership team (Sharon Cooper at LDEO, Jon Lewis at IUP, Lisa White at UCMP, Shondricka Burrell at Morgan State) has a goal to meaningfully deepen relationships with HBCUs by building partnerships that enable more of their students to go to sea with support for faculty serving as expedition mentors. Toward this goal, we utilized NSF INCLUDES funding to implement a 9-day expedition on the R/V Neil Armstrong from Woods Hole, MA to Pensacola, FL January 2-11, 2023. During the expedition, the goals were to facilitate faculty experiencing the kinds of things students do aboard STEMSEAS expeditions, and to spend time collaborating with each other toward our greater goal of increasing diversity in the Earth and ocean sciences. The cruise aimed to strengthen connections between HBCUs and STEMSEAS, and the SuperGirls Shine Foundation (SGSF), which encourages minority girls in STEM fields in the Houston area. The goals including generate new opportunities to recruit students and faculty mentors for future STEMSEAS expeditions and related programs, as well as identify potential research and education collaborations amongst the group.Overall, the cruise was most impactful in terms of enriching individual experiences and opening immersive and potentially transformative opportunities for HBCU students and faculty. These newly- forged collaborations will serve as a stepping-stone for the development of future projects. The team is committed to strengthening the HBCU-SGSF-STEMSEAS partnership by exploring funding opportunities from foundations and federal agencies, and working together. This presentation will share the collaborations and results to date, including additional opportunities for participants to become involved in these initiatives.
Enhancing Computational Pathways in Undergraduate Environmental Majors
Lisa Doner, Plymouth State University
Bhuwan Thapa, Appalachian State University
Simon Pendleton, Plymouth State University
Digital and computational literacy, including the understanding, implementation and application of computer, software, and programming are increasingly important criteria for positions within the environmental workforce. Surveys about careers in environment repeatedly note requirements related to work with computers, and use of computers and computer systems to program, write software, set up functions, enter data or process information.At the same time, higher education instructors increasingly encounter and share concerns about alarming gaps in student preparedness around computer and basic math skills needed for the completion of course assignments. These student knowledge deficits are noted in naming, saving and organizing files, sorting data, using formulas, and reporting data outcomes. As a concurrent issue, students seem often confused about the use and manipulation of units in calculations. These multiple, unanticipated skill-development needs take time away from content instruction, which, in turn, creates a growing and frustrating deficit in discipline-specific training.This project identifies some of the need for digital literacy and computational preparation in environmental majors, including interdisciplinary majors like geography and environmental policy. It takes a pro-active approach in addressing the increasing time instructors spend on this training in basic computational skills, such as introduction to data management and software programs like Excel and Word, currently taught as add-ons to course content.To accomplish this, the work leverages the concept of the Networked Improvement Community within higher education institutions through partnerships of environmental and computer science and/or library data or information science faculty. The knowledge contributed and shared by faculty teams provides opportunity for a wide breadth of discovery about challenges and barriers facing students and instructors, and sensitivity to differing demographic viewpoints. Ultimately we anticipate it will drive curricular change that alters how environmental programs address and students perceive computer science preparation for entry-level environmental workforce jobs.