School of Earth and Space Exploration
Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Steven (Steve) Semken is Professor of Geology and Education in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, a Senior Global Futures Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Education through Exploration, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and Global Drylands Center, all at Arizona State University.
Steve is an ethnogeologist and geoscience education researcher whose work integrates geology, geography, ethnography, education, and technology. He investigates the influences of sense of place, of culture, and of affect on modes of teaching, learning, and doing research in the Earth sciences in the real and virtual realms. Before joining ASU in 2003, he taught for 15 years at the Tribal College of the DinÃ©Â (Navajo) Nation.Â Steve and his students work in the geologically and culturally diverse places of the American Southwest, Latin America, and the Caribbean;Â with particular attention to regional Indigenous and Hispanic/LatinxÂ communities.Â The goal of his research groupÂ is to apply place-based and culturally informed methods of geoscience teachingÂ to foster improved access to geoscience studies and careers for underrepresented people, environmental and cultural sustainability in underserved regions, and greater public Earth-science literacy.
Steve teaches ASU courses in regional geology and sustainability of the American Southwest, in field geology, in the history of the Earth and Solar System, and in research-based Earth and space science teaching methods. He regularly offers popular public geological talks, workshops, and field trips for outreach, education, and teacher professional development at National Parks, State Parks, and other public landsÂ across Arizona, and also online. SteveÂ teaches courses in Arizona and Southwest geology for the local community through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU.
Steve is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America,Â a former Traveling Speaker for the EarthScope Program,Â andÂ a Past-President and former Distinguished Speaker of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers.Â He was a Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy in 1998. He has a Ph.D. (1989) and S.B. (1980) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. (1984) from the University of California, Los Angeles. Steve has been recognized with theÂ highest awards forÂ undergraduate science teaching atÂ three different institutions where he has taught:Â Arizona State University, DineÂ College, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Keyah Math Project part of Keyah Math
The Keyah Math Project has developed a series of versatile online activities in mathematical geoscience, using the natural and cultural landscapes of the Southwest United States as context and setting.
Website Content Contributions
Power Source part of Energy:Energy Activities
In this lesson-opening activity, students or groups are tasked to make concept sketches that track the source of electrical power as far back as they can conceive. The concept sketches reveal students' prior ...
Learn more about this review process.
Multiple temporal scales of landscapes and landforms part of Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This exercise provides students with a timescale and list of geomorphic landforms and processes. The activity requires that students utilize their knowledge of process-driving mechanisms to place landforms and ...
Earth Science in Arizona and the Southwest part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Courses
ESAS is a place-based course in which students apply Earth system sciences to interpret the rocks, landscapes, geologic history, climate, resources, and natural hazards of Arizona and the surrounding ...
Copper Triangle Pilot Project: Enhancing Opportunities for Geoscience Studies and Careers in a Culturally Diverse, Underserved Rural Mining Area part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Broadening Access to the Earth and Environmental Sciences:Essays
Steven Semken, Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus The Copper Triangle Pilot Project (CTPP) is an NSF Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity grant project (GEO-1108044) ...
Conference Presentations (5)
Enhancing Active Learning in a Place-Based Geoscience Course with the ICAP Theory of Cognitive Engagement part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2020:Program:Poster Sessions:Posters
We present a case study in which an experienced professor applied the ICAP (Interactive-Constructive-Active-Passive) theoretical framework, which models student active learning as cognitive engagement, to enhance ...
Other Contributions (11)
Post-Rendezvous Saturday Field Trip: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Saturday Field Trip
× Join us on a post-Rendezvous field trip to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque to learn about the history, culture, and art of the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center ...
Southwest Section, Geoscience Education Research Division
July 2017 Earth Educators' Rendezvous Interest Group
NAGT Past Presidents
Earth Educators' Rendezvous 2016
Advocacy Interest Group
Humans' Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources Interest Group
Teaching Materials Interest Group
NAGT Webinar Series Interest
Ice Mass and Sea Level Change Change interest Group
Teach the Earth
Workshop Leader (5 workshops)
February 2014Teaching About Time Workshop 2012
February 2012Career Prep Workshop 2010
Workshop Participant (31 workshops)
July 2021 EER 2020 Art and Field Sketching
July 2020 EER 2020 Teaching Online
November 2020Climate and Energy Webinar April, 2011