Initial Publication Date: September 21, 2012

Professional Development and Dissemination: Building Expertise

The InTeGrate project engages a broad community of geoscientists, environmental scientists, social scientists and others to collectively improve our ability to:

  • teach about the connections between the Earth and the grand challenges faced by our society,
  • foster Earth literacy across a broad spectrum of the population,
  • offer programs that engage a diverse population of students in studying about the Earth,
  • produce graduates who are prepared to bring an understanding of the Earth to bear in addressing challenges facing our society.

The InTeGrate workshops and project website document current practices, allowing workshop participants and website users to learn about the range of strategies in use in different educational situations and to obtain associated teaching materials. As our library of effective strategies grows, the project will move towards disseminating materials, program models, and lessons learned throughout the project.

Overview of the InTeGrate Workshop Program

Over the five years of the InTeGrate project, we will hold face-to-face workshops accommodating a total of 520 participants, a series of virtual events, and a traveling workshop program. The workshop program has several facets and will evolve over the course of the project in order to support building the community expertise described above.

The six workshops offered by the project to date and the two collaborative Cutting Edge workshops have involved more than 300 educators. Participants have come from more than 17 different disciplines including biology, business, chemistry, economics, education, engineering, English, environmental studies, geography, geoscience, history, math, natural resources, political science, philosophy, physics, and sociology. This broad reach has developed a new understanding of the ways in which issues of sustainability, resources, hazards, and the environment are addressed in courses and programs across the curriculum. As a result, participants and project leaders have learned from a wide variety of experiences and have identified new opportunities for collaboration and cooperation. A synthesis of important findings from each workshop is available on each workshop website.

Course level workshops support the ability of faculty to teach courses connecting geoscience to societal grand challenges. Topical course-level workshops bring together faculty with a strong background in teaching geoscience in the context of societal challenges to share their expertise and experiences; dissemination course-level workshops focus on sharing best practices identified in those topical workshops with faculty who are seeking to expand and strengthen their teaching in this area. Topical workshops are designed to bring together interdisciplinary groups of faculty to identify areas in which materials development is needed to support infusion of geoscience into other disciplines.

Program level workshops support the development of programs that increase the number and diversity of students developing geoscience literacy and developing the ability to address societal grand challenges. Topical program-level workshops bring together faculty with a strong background in teaching about societal grand challenges to share their expertise and experiences. A major goal of these workshops is to develop a strong foundation for implementation programs beginning in 2014. Dissemination program-level workshops will focus on sharing the best practices identified in those topical workshops.

Traveling workshops will bring project expertise onto 24 campuses around the country, representing all different types of institutions. These workshops will be held from 2014 through 2016.

See the full listing of InTeGrate workshops.

Opportunities to participate in workshops will be available to a wide range of college faculty. Learn more about ways to get involved.

Website Products

In addition to supporting community involvement in the InTeGrate project, the website is a primary vehicle for documenting and disseminating information about interdisciplinary teaching of geoscience for a sustainable future and programs that support the development of a workforce that can make use of geoscience to address the environmental and resources issues we face.

Each workshop produces website products, including:

  • a synthesis of important findings from each workshop,
  • informational web pages built from participant discussions and presentations from each workshop,
  • collections of community-contributed activities, course and program descriptions, essays, and recommended resources.
View Project Products »