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Implementation Programs: Incorporating Geoscience throughout the Curriculum

InTeGrate supports a series of implementation programs to incorporate geoscience into programs designed to reach a diverse array of students, including those from groups underrepresented in the geosciences and students whose dominant interest or field of study lies outside the geosciences.

Energy Systems Visualization
Staff and students looking at the class materials for the Power and Energy Engineering Practice School. The practice schools is a collaborative effort between NREL and the Schools of Mines. Image courtesy DOE/NREL. Credit: Dennis Schroeder.

These implementation programs are working to:

  • develop a new vision for how geoscience is positioned in higher education,
  • infuse geoscience throughout the curriculum,
  • leverage existing geoscience, environmental science, and engineering programs to address solutions for societal problems, and
  • engage younger students in the geosciences as a mechanism for increasing geoscience enrollment.

The implementation programs are developing at least 16 models of ways to bring geoscience to a diverse range of disciplines, institutions, and networks, as well as provide the documentation and resources necessary to help other groups implement similar programs. Additionally, the program is producing models for adopting and adapting InTeGrate materials in new settings.

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Grant-Funded Implementation Programs

Through a series of open solicitations in 2014 and 2015, teams from institutions or clusters of institutions were invited to apply for $50,000 grants from InTeGrate to develop new implementation programs. Solicitation guidelines encouraged applicants to:

  • make use of InTeGrate developed materials,
  • model innovative ways to increase the number of students developing geoscience literacy, and
  • contribute to the preparation of a workforce equipped to bring geosciences to bear in solving societal issues.

A steering committee of community members, established in association with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, reviewed the proposals and selected projects for funding based on the likely success of the program, potential to model a new and transferable approach, and ability to support a diversity of institutional settings and a diversity of students. Each of the selected projects involves leadership teams of at least five faculty members and administrators and takes a different approach to meeting the overarching program goals.

Building on workshops offered by the Building Strong Geoscience Departments program, InTeGrate workshops extend understanding the relationship between program offerings and the diverse workforce equipped to address the resource and environmental challenges faced by society. These workshops and the web resources they produce form a foundation for teams as they develop proposals for implementation programs. These program-level workshops began in 2012 and include:

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