David Voorhees

Waubonsee Community College

David Voorhees is a SAGE 2YC local workshop leader and an Associate Professor of Earth Science/Geology at Waubonsee Community College. He co-convened the 2015 workshop Transfer Agreements and Best Practices to Improve Preparation of 2YC Students at Illinois Valley Community College and the 2013 workshop Preparing Students in Two-Year Colleges for Geoscience Degrees and Careers at Joliet Junior College.

Voorhees contributed The Oil Game: Problem-based Learning Exercise in an Environmental Geology Lecture-format Class to the Geo2YC activity collection. His essay "Supporting Student Success" describes some of his techniques for engaging students including using place-based instruction, "GeoScience Investigations," reading quizzes, and a syllabus questionnaire that includes questions to identify possible majors. In his essay "Identifying Geoscience 'majors' at Waubonsee" he describes his efforts in greater detail as well as other recruiting techniques. Voorhees was the first president of the Geo2YC Division of NAGT and continues to be very active in the Division. He is the PI on an NSF grant that awards scholarships to academically talented and financially needy STEM majors and has contributed a two-year college voice to the IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) Education and Public Outreach Standing Committee, various NSF review panels, including a Committee of Visitors, and the GSA Geoscience Education Committee. He organizes a series of lectures on science to Waubonsee Community College students, faculty, staff and community called "Asset Earth."


Voorhees teaches Survey of Earth Science (lecture, lab, face-to-face, online), Introduction to Astronomy (lecture, face-to-face, online), Introduction to Physical Geology (lecture, lab, face-to-face), Environmental Geology (lecture, face-to-face), Historical Geology (lecture/lab, face-to-face), and Geology of the National Parks (lecture, face-to-face).

Professional Interests

Voorhees's educational interests focus on how to engage students in the geosciences. To that end, he is interested in learning about how students learn (metacognition), and what he can do to make them better and more efficient learners. He teaches face-to-face and online, and uses many active engagement pedagogies in his classroom (e.g. group activities, 3 minute essays, 3 minute discussions, photo interpretations, map interpretations, comprehensive in-class assignments at the end of a unit prior to exam). He is interested in learning how to teach to his diverse students, which include millennials to baby boomers, texting students to super-engaged students, first generation college students to reverse transfers, Hispanic students, and future geoscientists. His geoscience interests include geoscience education, glacial geology and stratigraphy, seismology, astronomy, and geology of the Midwest US.


Waubonsee Community College is a two-year college with four campuses centered in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It serves north-central Illinois including southern Kane County and portions of Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle and Will counties from four campuses. It enrolls about 31,000 students, 58% of whom are women and 32% of whom are Hispanic or Latino. Five percent of the students receive services through the office of disability services.