Eric Riggs

College of Geosciences

Texas A & M University

Associate Professor of Geoscience Education, Department of Geology and Geophysics

I am a multidisciplinary education professional and geoscientist. My objectives in academic leadership are to expand pathways to scientific careers to the broadest possible range of people through innovative and responsive undergraduate and graduate education. As a scholar I am committed to understanding how people learn and think in the geosciences. 

My primary education research is on how to maximize the effectiveness of earth science education in critical areas for undergraduates, graduates and professionals, and for underrepresented groups and communities with specific geoscientific needs. I have designed and taught undergraduate and graduate geology courses, general earth science courses, teacher professional development and teacher education, and conducted research within earth science curriculum development. Recent activities involve professional programs and online education in the geosciences, and research into earth science expertise at the graduate and professional levels.  From 2011 to 2018 I served as Associate Dean for the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University overseeing Diversity and Climate from 2011-18 and also Graduate Affairs from 2014-16.

I am a Past President of NAGT and served as the President of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) for 2014-2015 

For my complete professional bio and most current CV, see

For information about the Texas A&M College of Geosciences, see

For information about the AGI, see

Workshop Leader, Website Contributor

Website Content Contributions

Essay (1)

Texas A&M Geosciences and the increasing role of transfer students part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Texas A&M University at College Station is the flagship university for the Texas A&M System, and as such is a major destination for transfer students, both from inside and outside the A&M system. The College of Geosciences consists of four academic departments and many organized research centers spanning the core geoscience disciplines of Geology & Geophysics, Geography, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences...

Conference Presentations (4)

DIG Texas Blueprints as Input to a New Online Dual Enrollment Course part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
The NSF-sponsored DIG Texas Instructional Blueprint Project supports the development of five online course blueprints for use in high school Earth Science classes. Each blueprint is an original curated geoscience ...

Gender in the Geosciences: Factors Supporting the Recruitment and Retention of Women in the Undergraduate Major part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
The proportion of women earning undergraduate geoscience degrees has remained about 40% for over 10 years. Little research has investigated why women select and persist in a geoscience major. In a three-year ...

Problem Solving and Workflow Strategies Employed In Seismic Interpretation part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Poster Sessions:Friday
This study was designed to advance understanding of the interactions, strategies, and techniques graduate geoscientists employ in the process of 2D seismic interpretation. This qualitative study was designed to ...

Types and Functions of Geologic Gestures part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Poster Sessions:Friday
Students commonly use gestures when describing geologic processes and features both in classroom and in field settings. Traditional gesture classification schemes lack the vocabulary to classify the diversity and ...

Other Contributions (6)

Research on Access and Success of Under-Represented Groups in the Geosciences part of NAGT:Geoscience Education Research:Community Framework for GER:Access and Success
Download a pdf of this chapterEric M. Riggs, Texas A & M University; Caitlin Callahan, Grand Valley State University; and Jim Brey, American Meteorological Society Introduction The geosciences as an allied ...

Spatial Reasoning in the Geosciences part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Morning Workshops:Spatial Reasoning
How can we improve students' spatial reasoning? This workshop will present an overview of research on spatial skills and how those research results can be applied to student learning in the classroom, lab, and ...

Synthesizing Geoscience Education Research: Where are we? What is the path forward? part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Workshops:Geo Ed Research
This workshop will explore and evaluate the current status of Geoscience Education Research within the greater geoscience community. Participants will prioritize needs and directions for future Geoscience Education ...

Applying Models of Diversity to Improve Geoscience Curricula and Programs part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2019:Program:Roundtable Discussions
Increasing diversity, access and success of students and faculty in the geosciences has been a sustained priority of the geoscience education community over recent decades. The collected experiences of these ...

Field Camp for a Technological World part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Panel Discussions
Incorporating cutting edge technologies in field camps and course experiences is highly rewarding for students and often very challenging for instructors. Geodetic tools such as GPS, terrestrial laser scanning, ...

Shaping the Future of Geoscience Education part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Plenary Sessions
We welcome all Rendezvous participants to this Town Hall. We'll start with an overview of just-in-time highlights from our workshop on Synthesizing Geoscience Education Research (GER), and then pose questions ...