Initial Publication Date: April 6, 2016

Teaching about Soils as a Critical Resource: Materials and Activities for your Classroom

Next Webinar

Working with Diverse Students on Societally Relevant Geoscience Issues

Wednesday, May 11
11:00 am Pacific | 12:00 pm Mountain | 1:00 pm Central | 2:00 pm Eastern

Thursday, April 21, 2016

12:00 pm Pacific | 1:00 pm Mountain | 2:00 pm Central | 3:00 pm Eastern
Presenters: Kathryn Baldwin (Eastern Washington University), Hannah Scherer (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Martha Murphy (Santa Rosa Junior College)

This webinar is part of a series supporting teaching with InTeGrate principles, using InTeGrate-developed and curated materials as tools.


This webinar will demonstrate how soils can be used to broaden students' understanding of the Earth system and human impacts on this system. Kathryn Baldwin is the author of the InTeGrate module Soils, Systems, and Society. Hannah Scherer and Martha Murphy are authors of the InTeGrate module A Growing Concern: Sustaining Soil Resources through Local Decision Making. Drawing from these two InTeGrate modules, the presenters will discuss how soils, soil health and soil sustainability provide unique opportunities for engaging students and developing their systems thinking. Examples from the modules show how local data can be used to elucidate abstract concepts and how systems thinking can be applied to real problems. The webinar will include 30 minutes of presentation and 25 minutes for discussion. Participants are encouraged to both ask questions of the presenters and discuss their own experiences of teaching about soils in the context of Earth systems.


At the end of this webinar, participants will have

  • motivation for teaching about soils in a societal context
  • examples of using local data to understand soil health and soil sustainability
  • strategies for developing systems thinking by connecting mathematical expressions and diagrams to observations and predictions
  • greater familiarity with InTeGrate principles and resources
  • new colleagues engaged in this work


Time - 12:00 pm Pacific | 1:00 pm Mountain | 2:00 pm Central | 3:00 pm Eastern
Duration - 1 hour
Format - Online web presentation via Adobe Connect web conference software with questions and discussion. To join the webinar, please visit: and follow the prompts.
Registration - Registration for this webinar has closed.
Preparation - There is no advance preparation required for this webinar.

Please email Alice Newman (anewman AT if you have any questions about this event.


Kathryn Baldwin, Education, Eastern Washington University

Hannah Scherer, Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Martha Murphy, Earth & Space Sciences, Santa Rosa Junior College


1) Welcome and introductory remarks - Alice Newman, SERC

2) Opening discussion about soils and society and questions - Kathryn

3) A Growing Concern Module – Martha

  • SoilWeb activity demonstration

4) Soils, Systems and Society Module - Kathryn 

  • Mapping patterns activity demonstration

5) Systems thinking – Kathryn and Hannah

  • Earth systems concept mapping - Kathryn
  • A Growing Concern module, Unit 5 – Hannah

6) Reflection by participants

  • Prompt: What opportunities do you see in your situation: your class, department, or college/university?

After reflecting for a moment, please use the chat to share something about where you are in your teaching, how you would move forward, and why this is a strong move. You can also enter questions for discussion into the chat at this time.

7) Synthetic remarks

The conveners will reflect on the chat and each provide a synthetic remark.

8) Thank you and opportunities for further interaction

9) Webinar evaluation


Click to watch the webinar screencast (MP4 Video 567MB Apr21 16).

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