Integrating Research and Education > Cyberinfrastructure

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Cyberinfrastructure: An Opportunity for Enhanced Education in the Geosciences

cyberinfrastructure - infrastructure based upon distributed computer, information and communication technology (Atkins et al., 2003) (more info)


The publication of earth science data in electronic format and the archiving of that information in large web-accessible relational databases are some of the more significant and consequential changes to have occurred within the geoscience community during the last decade. The development and rapid expansion of cyberinfrastructure has produced increasingly data-rich, linked networks which open up new possibilities and challenges for using data in geoscience education. The possibilities are as large as the global scale of some of the databases.

While the use of data in geoscience education is gaining widespread support, educators seem to be somewhat divided on the utility of using large online databases. In the course of contacting college instructors about this project, the writer of this website heard a common response: "I'd love to use these databases more in my teaching, but...". Other instructors have invested considerable time and energy in designing ways to integrate these resources into their teaching, but these advances have not been widely disseminated to the larger educational community. For these and a variety of other reasons, cyberinformatic databases are not being widely used by instructors or by students, especially in the form of active learning experiences, in higher education.

What is the purpose of this site?

This site will help college-level educators This site will enable undergraduate and graduate students Finally, this site will motivate database developers

This site was written by Kent Ratajeski (Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia) as part of the DLESE Community Services Project.

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