Workshop 2015: Using the Neotoma Database in the Classroom

Biotic Response to Climate Change: Viewing the Future through the Past

The use of real data in teaching is a powerful way to engage students in scientific thinking and learning. A two-day workshop designed to develop teaching activities for the undergraduate classroom, making use of the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, was held at Carleton College in the fall of 2015. This workshop was by invitation only for the project PIs, paleoecology experts, and educators with expertise in the pedagogy of teaching with online datasets. The NSF-funded Neotoma database has North American pollen and fossil mammal data for the past 5 million years.

This was a hands-on workshop with a pre-workshop webinar introducing the Neotoma database and demonstrating its use. Time at the workshop focused on exploring the database in depth, incorporating best practices in teaching with data, and the development of specific teaching activities that incorporate those best practices. Activities are for use in undergraduate courses, such as ecology, biology, global change, environmental science, geology, or geography, and focus on data that reveal changes since the end of the last Ice Age and biotic responses to those changes.

Workshop Conveners

Allan Ashworth, Geosciences, North Dakota State University
Russell Graham, Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University
Eric Grimm, Illinois State Museum
Jack Williams, Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Alison Smith, Geology, Kent State University
Carol Ormand, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College

This workshop is supported by the Neotoma Database project. Funding is provided by the National Science Foundation - Division of Earth Sciences (grants #0947459 and 0948652). Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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