Projects and Collaborations

This page describes the various projects on which SERC is a leader or collaborator and provides links to project websites where appropriate. See those websites for more information about what role SERC staff play in each case. You may also use the site-wide search and Site Guides to discover projects working on particular topics.

Jump Down To: Climate and Sustainability Projects | Diversity, Equity, and Ethics Projects | Two-Year College Projects | Quantitative Reasoning, Literacy, and Skills | Geoscience Projects | Carleton Collaborations | Evaluation Projects | Higher Ed and Institutional Change Projects | Other Projects

QuickJump to project websites:

Climate and Sustainability Projects

  • Business And Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability (BASICS)
    The Business And Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability (BASICS) team is developing transdisciplinary curriculum modules for undergraduate students that combine STEM and business, with a focus on the wicked problems of sustainability in a global economy. The project team features faculty experts in STEM and business disciplines from multiple institutions that will form Local Learning Communities to collaboratively and iteratively create and assess these curriculum modules. Through this model, BASICS will build a strategic network of partnerships that can help catalyze faculty learning and change across the broader academic community, leading to a 21st century education that prepares all students, STEM and business alike, to better address complex problems of sustainability in a global economy.
  • Climate Change Collection
    The Climate Change Collection is a suite of science education web resources developed primarily for middle school science teachers and their students relating to the causes and effects of natural climate variations as well as human impacts on the climate system.
  • Climate Education in an Age of Media (CAM)
    The CAM project is developing approaches to bring student media production into climate change education in ways that are engaging, empowering, and can be readily adopted in a wide range of instructional environments. Student media-making can be used to overcome many of the challenges that climate change education presents and is an excellent way to bring active, social, and effective learning to one of the most important and most complex problems facing human society today.
  • Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Pathway
    The CLEAN Pathway provides a reviewed collection of classroom materials for teaching climate literacy and energy awareness for students in grades 6-16. Hallmarks of the project include the collection of educational materials, a set of pedagogic strategies for teaching these topics, and an ongoing series of professional development events for teachers and faculty.
  • Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, and E-Learning (CAMEL Climate Change Education)
    A collection of interdisciplinary resources for teaching climate change causes, consequences, solutions and actions.
  • Cows, Colleges, and Curriculum Sustainability Workshop 
    This workshop was a cooperative effort by the two liberal arts colleges in Northfield, MN: St. Olaf College and Carleton College. The workshop will be looking at activities on both campuses as they both strive to integrate sustainability issues across their curricula.
  • Curriculum for the Bioregion 
    Curriculum for the Bioregion is a network of educators in Washington State who are integrating sustainability and place-based content in a broad array of undergraduate courses. Often, faculty learning communities meet over time to share approaches to curriculum integration and engaging pedagogies for both classroom- and community-based learning. Read more about this project.
  • Human Set Fires in New Zealand 
    This project seeks to develop an understanding of landscape transformation through paleoecological analyses. SERC's involvement with this project involves assisting in the development of educational materials at the secondary and college level on the topics of human- environmental interactions, sustainability, and scientific discovery. The project specifically coordinates these efforts with New Zealand Maori communities and educators and brings to bear special expertise in effective pedagogies, geoscience education, community organization, website development and evaluation to develop culturally-sensitive curricular materials that meet national standards.
  • InTeGrate 
    InTeGrate is a 5-year, NSF-funded community effort to improve geoscience literacy and build a workforce that is prepared to tackle societal issues. The project will run from 2012 through 2016 and will involve 3 program elements: 1) developing teaching materials and evaluation of new teaching resources and instructional strategies; 2) implementation programs to incorporate geoscience throughout the curriculum, and 3) professional development and dissemination strategies to promote widespread adoption of these new approaches. There are many avenues for faculty to get involved in the project.
  • Oceans in the News
    Interpreting scientific data is one of the most challenging skills students face today. Students are overloaded with information from various media sources, and often lack both the technical skills to analyze data and the ability to recognize the overarching story the data support. The Oceans in the News course uses polar science examples to address these technical and narrative challenges. Students will develop proficiency in data visualization and its application to the analysis of news stories about polar regions.
  • Sustainability Improves Student Learning (SISL)
    SISL is an alliance of disciplinary societies working to leverage their membership to improve teaching and prepare undergraduates to address real-world sustainability challenges.

Diversity, Equity, and Ethics Projects

  • ADVANCEGeo Partnership
    The ADVANCEGeo project is a collaboration between Earth Science Women's Network, Association for Women Geoscientists, and the American Geophysical Union to address the problem of sexual harassment in the earth, space, and environmental sciences. A primary goal of the project is to improve workplace climate (on campus and in the field) by developing bystander intervention workshops for department heads, chairs, faculty, and graduate students to appropriately respond to and prevent sexual and other types of harassment. SERC is a partner in developing, implementing and hosting the project website for dissemination and sustainability.
  • Broadening Access to the Sciences 
    This site is a collection of materials to assist faculty members, administrators and institutions in improving success in STEM education with domestic students of color and women. Materials have been developed via a number of workshops which brought faculty and administrators together from across the Melon 23/AALAC schools to work on particular issues of interest to liberal arts colleges and broadening access to the sciences.
  • EarthConnections
    The EarthConnections collective impact alliance is developing regionally focused, Earth education pathways that support and guide students from engagement in relevant, Earth-related science at an early age through the many steps and transitions to geoscience-related careers. By intertwining Earth education with local community service EarthConnections aspires to increase the resilience of communities in the face of environmental hazards and limited Earth resources.
  • GeoEthics
    The GeoEthics module was developed to meet the need of introducing ethics education into the geoscience curriculum. Find resources that address what geoethics is, why geoethics is an important part of the curriculum, and how to integrate it into the geoscience curriculum.
  • GeoNeeds
    Geo-Needs is an NSF-funded project that seeks to explore barriers and opportunities for enhancing geoscience instruction at 2YC and MSI institutions so that these student have greater opportunities for employment in the geosciences.
    The mission of this project is to develop a model for Midwest colleges and universities to attract the states' growing under-represented minority (URMs) population into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields and to attract students from other regions to STEM education opportunities in Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska. SERC staff are involved in supporting workshops for program participants, developing the program's pedagogic website, and providing evaluation expertise.
  • National Institute for Faculty Equity 
    Minorities and women, minority women in particular, are underrepresented in academia, even more so in the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Members of these underrepresented groups represent an untapped resource. The National Institute for Faculty Equity seeks to address this persistent problem, in part by institutionalizing the professional development and career success of women and minorities in STEM. This website offers resources for underrepresented faculty in engineering, including presentations and from the Minority Faculty Development workshops and the Cross-Disciplinary Initiative for Minority Women Faculty conference.
  • NorthStar STEM Alliance
    SERC is partnering with the North Star STEM Alliance to increase understanding and programming to foster successful transfer between two-year and four-year institutions across the North Star Alliance. The North Star STEM Alliance partnership has set a goal in its current funding cycle to focus on improving retention among minority STEM students who have transferred to universities to complete their bachelor's degree.

Two-Year College Projects

  • Economics at Two-Year Colleges
    This project runs workshops and webinars to help two-year college faculty connect with each other and stay current on important topics in economics and teaching. There is also a significant investment in learning from how education in other disciplines is conducted in two-year colleges.
  • Role of Two-Year Colleges in Geoscience Education and in Broadening Participation in the Geosciences
    A planning workshop was held June 24-27, 2010 at Northern Virginia Community College. The workshop brought together faculty from two-year colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and representatives from professional societies and organizations to learn more about geoscience in 2YC and their potential for increasing diversity in the geosciences and to discuss how to best support this important community. This project contributes to the Geoscience in Two-Year Colleges portal.
  • Supporting Community College Faculty Across the Disciplines
    This interdisciplinary project provides information about the various efforts to solve 2YC issues that are going on across the curriculum. There is a suite of pages highlighting what has worked in different disciplines as well as materials developed by participants in interdisciplinary workshops. This effort grew out of the 2011 workshop Economics at Two-Year Colleges and contributes to the Geoscience in Two-Year Colleges portal.
  • Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-Year Colleges (SAGE2YC)
    By engaging 2YC geoscience faculty in professional development, the SAGE2YC project disseminates advances in STEM education to improve teaching, support students in geoscience technical training, and help prepare geoscience majors and pre-service teachers for college transfer. This program shares successful strategies for teaching students with a range of abilities, experiences, and goals, and for preparing 2YC students for the geoscience workforce. This project contributes to the Geoscience in Two-Year Colleges portal.

Quantitative Reasoning, Literacy, and Skills

  • Direct Measurement Videos
    The Direct Measurement Video project aims to improve physics education by engaging students with high-quality videos of real-world physics phenomena. The project team strives to produce useful, interesting videos and companion teaching materials for educators to use in the classroom, laboratory or as homework.
  • Expanding the Data Cycle: Empowering Middle Level teachers and students to Integrate Information Technology, Data Skills, and Science Content 
    This professional development program ran from 2006-2009, preparing middle and high school teachers to use scientific data and data analysis software with their students. It focused on developing strategies that promote student inquiry, analysis, and dialogue, processes that are key to working with data.
  • Exploring Genomics Data
    The Genomics Explorers provide an iterative way for students to choose strategies for asking and addressing biologically interesting questions using a range of genomics tools. The Genomics Explorer helps students become inspired about biology, develop an understanding of quantitative approaches, analyze and critically evaluate data, and develop and test a viable hypothesis by bringing together the literature, classroom knowledge, and analysis of data.
  • Integration of Strategies that Support Undergraduate Education in STEM (ISSUES)
    The ISSUES project seeks to build national linkages across faculty, societies, and journals in the STEM disciplines for sharing and disseminating research-based best practices and to foster national multi-disciplinary collaboration that supports campus-based communities and activities.
  • LACOL Q-bits
    The LACOL Quantitative Skills working group is collaborating to develop a shared library of online modules - Q-bits - that can be deployed for just-in-time review and skill-building across disciplines. The Q-bits will review quantitative topics and demonstrate the topics' applications in different disciplinary contexts.
  • The Math You Need, When You Need It
    Math You Need, When You Need It is a project that seeks to help remediate mathematics for introductory geoscience students through student-centered, online, asynchronous tutorials. Each topic is presented in a geoscience context with student pages that (1) introduce the concept and present an algorithm for solving problems, (2) a set of practice problems with worked answers, and (3) provide an opportunity for students to show what they learned with an online quiz. The tutorials are designed to give students quantitative knowledge they need, just before they will use it in a concurrent geoscience course.
  • The National Numeracy Network 
    The National Numeracy Network (NNN) is a network of individuals, institutions, and corporations united by the common goal of quantitative literacy for all citizens. The website provides access to information about the NNN, including teaching resources, workshops and the journal Numeracy: Advancing Education in Quantitative Literacy.
  • Numeracy Infusion Course for Higher Education (NICHE) 
    NICHE is a project of the City University of New York (CUNY) Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Alliance to foster the infusion of QR instruction and assessment into undergraduate courses in a broad range of disciplines. SERC provides a place for sharing information and materials about the project.
  • PENGUIN: Polar ENgagement through GUided INquiry
    PENGUIN modules provide a computational framework to allow students to work actively with polar research and data through conduct guided inquiry. Working through a Jupyter Notebook or Excel Sheet, students analyze polar research and data: creating figures, performing calculations, asking questions, and thinking critically about what the data shows. The modules are designed for courses in Economics, Computer Science, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Environmental Science Tools and Methods, from intro to advanced.
  • Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning Assessment (QLRA)
    The QLRA project aims to provide a professionally developed QLR assessment instrument and online resource for institutions grappling with providing QLR opportunities to their students and measuring outcomes. This project will develop, pilot test, and evaluate the reliability/validity of instrument. The project will also create an online resource portal for QLR assessment.
  • Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum: Bringing Quantitative Literacy to the Next Level 
    Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum was a three-year project to develop and test educational spreadsheet modules that enhance quantitative literacy wherever quantitative problems arise in the undergraduate curriculum. SERC provided the technical infrastructure and provided evaluation expertise for the project.
  • Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB
    Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB is a collaboration between MathWorks and SERC to provide resources to help educators incorporate computation into their classrooms and engage with a community of educators interested in improving the teaching of computational skills.

Geoscience Projects

  • A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial 
    This project developed web-based curricular materials investigating the events in Woburn, MA that inspired the movie A Civil Action. Developed from a popular mock-trial course at Ohio State University, the site consists of a series of educational modules that students work through culminating in the presentation of a mock trial. Materials are presented in such as way that educators can use them all in sequence with the mock trial as the destination or pull out specific modules for use in other classes or without conducting the mock trial at the end.
  • AccessData 
    AccessData Workshops brought together a wide range of professionals who have a stake in getting data used in educational settings: Earth science data providers, data access and analysis tool experts,scientists, curriculum developers, and educators all worked together to explore and address issues regarding data use. Their shared work catalysed the development of a number of teaching activities in the Earth Exploration Toolbook.
  • Bringing Research on Learning to the Geosciences 
    This site brings together resources about advances in the science of teaching and learning, for faculty, teachers, and curriculum developers in the geosciences. It includes a Synthesis of Research on Teaching and Learning in the Geosciences, which focuses on existing knowledge and articulates unanswered questions in critical areas of research on cognition and learning relevant to the Geosciences: geological time, complex systems, spatial thinking, and field-based learning. Additional resources include essays, presentations, and recommended reading lists.
  • Building Strong Geoscience Departments 
    This project helps geoscience departments adapt and prosper in a changing and challenging environment by disseminating community expertise on topics such as geoscience curricula and programs, retaining and recruiting top faculty and students, program assessment, and maintaining the department as a valued institutional partner.
  • DLESE Community Services Center 
    This project created examples that demonstrate the power of DLESE in classrooms and for the geoscience education community.
    • Integrating Research and Education 
      This site explores ways to bring modern research results into undergraduate courses. This is a primary pathway for ensuring our courses reflect rapid advances in the discipline and serves as an exciting mechanism for engaging students.
    • Preparing Teachers to Teach Earth Science 
      This site examines the role of geoscience departments and faculty in preparing preservice teachers and supporting practicing teachers who teach Earth science at all pre-college levels.
    • Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences 
      Quantitative skills are an essential tool for both the geoscientist and the citizen. This site provides resources for faculty that include pedagogic methods, teaching resources, supporting materials for students and a discussion of the issues.
    • Using Data in the Classroom Portal 
      Engaging students in inquiry is increasingly important in teaching both the methodology and content of science. This interdisciplinary site includes information about why one might wish to use data in a course, examples of effective use, on-line access to data sets and tools, classroom activities, ideas for evaluation and assessment, and a discussion forum.
  • DIG Texas Blueprints 
    This project aims to strengthen earth science education in Texas by ensuring that the state's Earth and Space Science capstone course is taught at the appropriate level by teachers who are aided by online, well-defined and standards-aligned course roadmaps, including recommended high quality, research based learning activities and teacher resources. The project will expand the DIG TEXAS website to make earth science teaching resources tailored for use in Texas available online to teachers throughout Texas.
  • Earth and Space Science Boston 
    For three summers (2010, 2011, 2012), this project ran a one-week course for middle and high school teachers to help them develop an understanding of earth and space science and explore methods of inquiry-based teaching. Topics covered in the course included planetary accretion and evolution and the place of the Earth in the solar system. As a part of their work, the participants developed teaching activities which are available via the website. SERC provided the technical infrastructure for interaction between the course participants as well as the development of the teaching activities.
  • Earth Educators' Rendezvous
    The Earth Educators' Rendezvous is an annual week-long event for researchers and practitioners working in all aspects of undergraduate Earth education, including a mix of college faculty, graduate students, and K-12 teachers from all disciplines who are interested in improving their teaching about Earth. Participants can learn about new teaching approaches, discover opportunities to get involved in research programs, prepare for an academic career, or discuss how to approach teaching and learning challenges in their classroom.
  • Earth Exploration Toolbook 
    This site provides step-by-step instructions for using Earth science datasets and software tools for middle school through entry-level college classes. Each chapter of the EET walks through a case study in which the student accesses data and uses analysis tools to explore issues or concepts in Earth system science. More about this project
  • EarthLabs 
    EarthLabs provides a national model for rigorous and engaging Earth and environmental science labs. Multiple units illustrate sequences for learning science concepts through data analysis activities and hands-on experiments. In the activities, students use satellite imagery, numerical data, and computer visualization software to explore Earth system processes.
  • Earth Science Education and Outreach Provider Summit
    This project ran a workshop with the goal of Developing contacts and improving coordination among organizations that have a relationship to EarthScope education, public outreach, or science to promote effective development, dissemination, sharing, and usage of the resources of the EarthScope project and of the participating organizations. SERC staff surveyed the websites of all the participants to identify strengths and areas of potential collaboration.
  • EarthScope ANGLE
    EarthScope ANGLE (Alaska Native Geoscience Learning Experience) offers educator professional development workshops and helps teach student academies for the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP). EarthScope ANGLE contributes to increasing Alaskan resilience to geohazards through education and the development of an action-oriented statewide learning community.
  • Earthscope Chronicles
    The EarthScope Chronicles modules include compelling videos that feature interviews with scientists and footage of them conducting EarthScope research. The investigations incorporate EarthScope visualizations, data, data products, and geospatial technology to connect STEM classroom content to current real-world scientific research.
  • EarthScope in the Northern Rockies 
    EarthScope's network of multipurpose geophysical instruments and observatories is expanding capabilities to observe the structure and ongoing deformation of the North American continent. The goal of this workshop was to formulate an integrated research and education agenda to optimize the use of the Earthscope facility in the northern Rockies, to identify the "big" scientific questions of the region, and to engage the public through a variety of education and outreach activities.
  • Educating Skillful Visualizers
    The Educating Skillful Visualizers workshop, held in conjunction with the 2017 Gordon Research Conference on Visualization in Science and Education, focused on how to educate people to become more proficient visualization users. The workshop brought together a multi-disciplinary group working in a variety of fields where using scientific visualizations is a key competency. The product of the workshop is a website to disseminate ideas for how educators can help learners extract insights from visualizations and express their own ideas via visualizations, and can assess learners' progress towards visualization mastery.
  • Engaging the NAGT Membership in Creating Web Resources 
    This grant from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers aimed to tap into their members' expertise in teaching geoscience to create collections of teaching activities around particular themes. The pilot of this effort was the creation and population of the Teaching in the Field section of the NAGT website.
  • Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration (EDDIE)
    Project EDDIE is composed of three initiatives: EDDIE Environmental Data, EDDIE Macrosystems, and EDDIE Earth and Ecosystems. The objective of Project EDDIE is to develop flexible, stand-alone, and modular classroom activities for undergraduate students using long-term and high-frequency datasets to explore the core scientific concepts while developing quantitative literacy.
    The Environmental STEM (E-STEM) field experience reimagined the traditional undergraduate geology field course as a field and career preparation program for first- and second-year students interested in environmental careers. The project website includes field course teaching materials, frameworks for student professional development, and a system of badges for communicating the skills that students developed during work.
  • Eyes in the Sky 
    Eyes in the Sky provided eighteen months of professional development to 3 cohorts of high school STEM teachers around geospatial technologies from 2004 to 2007. The program included a 12-week distance learning course, a two-week summer institute, and a classroom implementation phase, culminating in a research showcase. Participating teachers used geospatial technologies to carry out community-based research projects with their students.
  • Eyes in the Sky II 
    Eyes in the Sky II is a long-term professional development program that prepares high school science teachers to use NASA data and visualizations along with other geospatial information technologies. Throughout the program, teachers and students investigate both global and local environmental issues.
  • Field based professional development for Environmental-STEM (ESTEM) undergraduates
    STEM retention and diversity programs have recognized access to field and professional experiences as critical to helping students identify as scientists, form networks, and gain important skills necessary for employment in a variety of public and private sectors. The goal of this project is to engage a diverse cohort of Environmental-STEM (ESTEM) track undergraduates at 4-year colleges and universities (4YCUs) and community colleges (2YCs) in hands-on, career-applicable experiences that will launch students into the geoscience workforce.
  • GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI)
    GETSI, the sister project to InTeGrate, is developing a suite of ~2-week modules featuring geodetic data and quantitative skills applied to societally important issues (climate change, natural hazards, water resources). Modules are being developed for both introductory and majors-level courses. Adoption of the produced teaching materials is promoted via webinars and in-person short courses.
  • Geoinformatics Modules for Teaching Hydrology
    This collaborative project enhances hydrology education by creating a cyberinfrastructure for organized community efforts to develop, share, and publish data-driven curriculum for teaching undergraduate hydrogeology.
  • GeoMapApp Learning Activities 
    GeoMapApp Learning Activities are ready-to-use data-driven geoscience learning modules aimed at the K-12, community college and introductory university level instruction. They cover a number of geoscience concepts and inquiry-based learning requirements contained in the New York State PS:ES (Physical Science:Earth Science) core curriculum.
  • GeoPRISM 
    GeoPRISM (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) is an NSF funded initiative building on the highly successful MARGINS Program, which provided a community focal point for science with the goal of understanding the origin and evolution of the continents through the investigation of their active margins. SERC hosts the collection of activities and resources for bringing GeoPRISM research into the classroom, and provides program evaluation expertise.
  • GET Spatial Learning Network 
    Through the collaboration of cognitive psychologists, education researchers, and geoscience educators, the Geoscience Education Transdisciplinary Spatial Learning Network aims to develop educational tools that can help students, across classroom and field settings, to better understand and build upon historically difficult geoscience concepts.
  • Hawaiian Volcanos and Hazards Education
    The Hawaiian Volcanos and Hazards Education project is a set of education modules on Hawaiian geology, volcanology, and hazards that uses fun, highly interactive methods of learning to engage students in science. Each module is an in-depth, multi-hour activity that involves using large maps and other hands-on materials.
  • Mars for Earthlings 
    This project offers teaching materials such as learning modules and interviews with scientists that promote undergraduate students' study of Mars, including remote sensing data and Earth-based analogs. These collections of teaching materials are hosted by the SERC site.
  • Teaching Nanoscience Across the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum
    A collaboration between NNCI and sponsored by the Montana Nanotechnology Facility (MONT) at Montana State University, this website has been developed as an onramp to meet the need of introducing nanotechnology education across the STEM curriculum: For faculty, the website provides resources and tutorials to facilitate instruction in nanotechnology within established STEM courses or in a dedicated course on nanotechnology; For students, resources are provided to introduce and expand student understanding of nanotechnology, and to prepare for potential careers in nanotechnology.
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers 
    The National Association of Geoscience Teachers works to raise the quality of and emphasis on teaching the geosciences at all levels. The NAGT website provides users with membership information, opportunities to become involved in programs and initiatives, teaching resources developed by the organization and it's sponsored projects, and information on the association's governance.
  • Neotoma: Using the Neotoma Paleoecology Database in the Classroom 
    The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is an online hub for data, research, education, and discussion about paleoenvironments. The database is designed to make it easier for community members to discover, explore, and share datasets that illustrate paleoenvironmental conditions. SERC supports workshops and hosts curricular materials using this database.
    The National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) facilitates and advances excellence in K-12 Earth and Space Science education, serving a diverse population of learners in formal and informal settings.
  • On the Cutting Edge 
    The NAGT-sponsored On the Cutting Edge project helps geoscience faculty stay up-to-date with research and teaching methods through a series of workshops and associated online resources. Check the project website for a schedule of upcoming workshops.
  • Research and Education in Brazil and the U.S. (REBUS) 
    This is a four-year project between the partner colleges of the ACM Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) program, University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), and the Universidade de Brasilia (UnB). The exchange program is distinctive in its focus on "tropical to temperate" curriculum and in its collaboration, providing science students an opportunity for first-hand field experience in a comparative and inter-disciplinary context, and in its geographic focus defined by specific environmental zones to develop region-to-region expertise.
  • Spatial Intelligence Learning Center 
    SILC is engaged in a comprehensive study of spatial intelligence and learning. Geoscience is a primary case study at the undergraduate level. SERC provides geoscience expertise for these studies and is engaged in conducting classroom research on the role of spatial skills in geoscience learning.
  • Spatial Thinking Workbook: Improving Spatial Skills in the Geosciences 
    This project is developing and testing teaching materials to improve the spatial thinking skills of geoscience undergraduates, using strategies supported by cognitive science and geoscience education research.
  • Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience 
    This site focuses on instructional methods that work with entry-level undergraduates. It describes the why/when/how of a variety of teaching methods reinforced with a set of classroom-ready examples spanning the Earth system.
  • Teaching with Augmented and Virtual Reality
    The goal of Teaching with Augmented and Virtual Reality is to enhance the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in earth science education. Virtual reality presents a new opportunity for engaging students in geoscience field experiences, which are known to support student learning. However, it is not clear how to design VR experiences that have comparable results as real-world field experiences. This website therefore aims to develop best practices for integrating VR into geoscience education and to support adoption of those practices in college classrooms.
  • Teaching with Chronos Data and Tools 
    This workshop at Iowa State University laid the groundwork for the development of complete, free-standing teaching and learning activities on stratigraphy and sedimentary geology that utilize data, tools, and other resources from the CHRONOS project. SERC helped convene the workshop and provided the technical infrastructure for developing and sharing the resulting teaching materials.
  • The Textbook Reconsidered - Creating the Shortbook of Geomorphology 
    This project aims to develop a new undergraduate-level textbook for Geomorphology that takes advantage of the flexibility of the internet. A physical text covering generic process information will be combined with web-based vignettes or case stories on specific topics in specific locations.
  • Transforming Geoscience Preparation for K-8 Pre-Service Teachers
    The goal of the project is to produce the next generation of K-8 educators who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about teaching math and science. The project combined semester-long courses in physical geology and educational science methods into a year-long course, co-taught by Geology and Education faculty, integrating the learning of earth-science content with the methodology of how to teach it. The results of the project are disseminated to a national audience through web resources and a workshop in April, 2016.
  • TREX Tree Ring Expeditions
    This project is developing undergraduate science and mathematical modules based on applications of tree rings to age dating, climate and environmental change, volcanic hazards, statistical modeling, and forensic science.
  • Web-based Interactive Landform Simulation Model-Grand Canyon 
    WILSIM-GC is an inquiry-based educational tool designed to help undergraduate students understand and visualize the geologic processes that interacted to form the Grand Canyon over the past 6 million years. This site focuses on teaching effectively with WILSIM-GC.

Carleton Collaborations More information on Carleton Collaborations

  • The Carleton Interdisciplinary Science and Math Initiative (CISMI) 
    The mission of the CISMI program is to promote and expand the inquiry-based study of complex and integrated systems, drawing on the power of disciplinary perspectives. As part of the project,Carleton faculty and staff have been working together intensively since 2004 to create integrated programs and curricular experiences that help all students transition from high school learning into the inquiry-based learning of science and math at Carleton. The broadening access cohort programs aims to improve assistance to and programming for students who are under-represented in science and math at Carleton: students of color, women (in certain fields), first-generation college students, and students from under-resourced high schools.
  • Carleton on Camera
    This project began as an effort to capture actual classroom teaching at Carleton and pair it with faculty reflection on what they were trying to accomplish in their classrooms. The resulting short video presentations became a platform for established, successful teachers to reflect on how they think about the classroom, from small details to broad themes.
  • Carleton's Energy Future 
    This three-day workshop brought together a learning community that studied Carleton College's energy future from different perspectives and disciplines. Work was done in small interdisciplinary teams in order to share and probe disciplinary/specialty perspectives, moving toward creation of a "blended" inquiry in the Carleton's energy future.
  • Carleton's Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching 
    The Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching (the LTC) coordinates programs for new and experienced faculty, circulates new information about teaching theories and strategies, and helps to identify problems and suggest solutions for classroom practice at Carleton College. SERC collaborates with the LTC to maintain the Teaching Resources section of the LTC website and document teaching activities developed by Carleton faculty.
  • Carleton's Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge (QuIRK) Initiative 
    QuIRK is an innovative project intended to help Carleton and other institutions of higher education better prepare students to evaluate and use quantitative evidence in their future roles as citizens,consumers, professionals, business people, and government leaders. The focus of the project is on how quantitative reasoning (QR) is used in the development, evaluation, and presentation of principled argument.
  • Tracing the Effects of Faculty Development into Student Learning Outcomes 
    The TRACER project seeks to understand the impact of professional development opportunities at Carleton, particularly those supporting Writing-Across-the-Curriculum and Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge (QuIRK). The project traces the impact of professional development on faculty teaching and the subsequent impact on student learning.
  • Visualizing the Liberal Arts 
    Visualizing the Liberal Arts (Viz) is a project of the Visuality Working Group at Carleton College. The project has held workshops for Carleton faculty on how to engage students visually across the curriculum and offers summer grants for Carleton faculty to use in the development of curricular materials. SERC has helped host the workshops and provides a place for sharing teaching materials created by the project and faculty members.

Evaluation Projects

  • Exploring Genomics Data 
    This project developed two 'genomics explorers': interfaces that provide web-based guided exploration environments for genomics data for two organisms: Chamaecrista, and Aptasia . These tools scaffold students in choosing productive strategies for exploring the data sets and framing biologically relevant questions. They serve as a model for helping student navigate and make sense of the diverse set of genomics tools and datasets.
  • Faculty Participation in the NSDL 
    This project explores the use of digital libraries by higher education faculty. Research was conducted to examine factors that encourage use of and contribution to these collections. Of equal importance was assessing why faculty do not use materials from digital libraries with a particular focus on why faculty, who are aware of digital libraries, are not active users.
  • Geoscience Affective Research NETwork (GARNET)
    GARNET is a research project to better understand geoscience student experiences in introductory courses and how faculty can improve students attitudes and motivations toward learning. The project aims to investigate and disseminate findings related to three overarching questions: (1) Who are the students enrolling in introductory geology classrooms? (2) What, if any, relationship is there between learning environments and learning outcomes? (3) What, if any, relationship is there between learning environments and students' motivation?
  • Geology of National Parks 
    This project funded a new section of the Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum website devoted to activities that use National Parks as vehicles for teaching quantitative geoscience using spreadsheets. SERC hosts the collection of these activities as well as provided assessment for the implementation of these modules in a pilot study.
  • Increasing Production in the NSDL: Transforming a Nation-wide Evaluation Instrument for Use by NSDL Pathways, Projects, and Collections 
    This project used nationally-used survey instrument and adapted it for use with digital library pathway projects. The survey instrument identified faculty attitudes and practices towards digital resources.
  • Keck Geology Consortium
    The Keck Geology Consortium is a multi-college collaboration focused on enriching undergraduate education through development of high-quality research experiences. The Consortium has been a fundamental component of the undergraduate-research landscape since its inaugural projects in 1987.
  • Landscape Change Program 
    SERC staff conducted an evaluation of the Landscape Change Program website. The evaluation included site usability as well as consulting with that program on the use of imagery in undergraduate geomorphology classes.
  • MAA Convergence Online Magazine 
    In support of the Mathematics Association of America, SERC staff conducted a survey and interviews of users of the Online Magazine, Convergence. The goals for the project were to identify roles and use of different material types in the classroom, characterize barriers for discovery and use, and affirm users willingness for site usage.
  • Minnesota Math and Science Teacher Academies 
    SERC evaluated a program for the professional development of 8th grade mathematics teachers in southeastern Minnesota run by the MMSTA. This effort involved conducting evaluations of several workshops for the teachers as well as several learning group activities.
  • Quantitative Social Science Digital Library Pathway 
    This NSDL pathway seeks to better understand how social science faculty address quantitative skills in undergraduate courses and to promote teaching and learning of quantitative skills through digital resources. SERC is involved in this project as the primary evaluator. This project also plans to develop pedagogic modules that address teaching quantitative skills.

Higher Education and Institutional Change Projects

  • Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN)
    ASCN is a network of individuals and institutions with the goal of advancing STEM education programs. ASCN's approach is to bring together systemic change researchers with those who are making systemic change happen at their individual institutions. By closing the loop between researchers and change agents, ASCN aims to accelerate programmatic and institutional change, and to improve STEM education nationally.
  • Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)
    ACM and SERC have an ongoing collaboration which allows ACM to capitalize on SERC tools that support collaborative work for workshops, management, and planning. SERC provides public and private workspaces as well as support in their use across the full spectrum of ACM activities. In addition to developing an overarching presence for hosted ACM projects, SERC has helped implement strategies to document and capture the activities of several individual ACM programs: Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE), ACM-Teagle Collegium on Student Learning, and Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL).
  • CUREnet
    CUREnet is a network of people and programs creating course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in biology as a means of helping students understand core concepts in biology, develop core scientific competencies, and become active members of the scientific community. Through a series of in-person meetings, workshops, and other activities, CUREnet is assembling individuals with diverse expertise (instructors, researchers, information technology specialists, faculty development/curriculum specialists, education researchers) who represent diverse institutions and varied CURE projects in terms of data type (genomic, phenotypic, ecological).
  • Evaluate UR
    The aim of the Evaluate UR (Undergraduate Research) project is to test, refine, and disseminate an evidence-based model for improving student outcomes by incorporating evaluation directly into undergraduate research experiences. The project will create and provide the resources needed to support successful implementation at any undergraduate institution. The project also intends to foster national communities of STEM scholars who are trained and motivated to sustain and expand this model.
  • State Your Case! Developing and Supporting a Point of View 
    State Your Case! was a three-year inter-institutional project focused on helping students learn how to develop and support a point of view in any disciplinary or interdisciplinary field. It was an initiative of the Collaborative Assessment for Liberal Learning (CALL) consortium, currently including St. Olaf College, Carleton College, and Macalester College.
  • STEM Education Centers: A National Conversation
    The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) launched a national discussion on university-based STEM Education Centers in September 2013, through a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The goal of the project is to foster communication and interaction among STEM Education Centers nationwide to enhance their capacity to support effective undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
  • Supporting STEM Success in a Liberal Arts Context
    The Supporting STEM in a Liberal Arts Context website synthesizes the experiences of 11 institutions striving to strengthen the undergraduate experiences in science and mathematics for all of their students. These predominantly undergraduate institutions were selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as 'Capstone Programs' for the maturity of their programming. The website describes these programs as well as the lessons learned on the way, with the aim of helping others to adopt, adapt, or create similar programs.

Other Projects

  • Chemical Education Digital Library (ChemEd DL)
    The ChemEd DL worked with the Pedagogy in Action portal to create a pedagogic portal for showcasing chemistry teaching activities developed by their members.
  • CS in Parallel: Parallel Computing in the Computer Science Curriculum 
    The shift to parallel computing - including multi-core computer architectures, cloud distributed computing, and general-purpose GPU programming - leads to fundamental changes in the design of software and systems. As a result, computer science (CS) students now need to learn parallel computing techniques that allow software to take advantage of the shift toward parallelism. To this end, CSinParallel (supported by a grant from NSF-CCLI) provides a resource for CS educators to find, share, and discuss modular teaching materials and computational platform supports. This website provides a resource for computer science educators to find, share, and discuss teaching modules and platform packages needed to use them.
  • The MERLOT Faculty Project - Faculty Development Centers and Online Repositories Collaborating to Share Exemplary Practices 
    SERC staff worked with the MERLOT Elixr project to create videos of faculty using particular pedagogic methods in the classroom along with interviews about why and how they came to use them. These videos were then integrated into the Starting Point and Pedagogy in Action web modules relevant to those pedagogies and their impact was evaluated by interviewing part of the user population. (See ConcepTests and Just in Time Teaching for examples of the videos.)
  • Microbial Life - Educational Resources 
    MLER aimed to provide a contemporary resource of expert information about the ecology, diversity and evolution of micro-organisms for students, K-12 teachers, university faculty, as well as for the general public. It was a collaborative project of the Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, and Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.
  • Pathways to Progress 
    The aim of this project is to produce an online document that reflects back on what we've learned about our community and how what we've learned can inform the next generation of collaborative projects such as the NSDL, digital libraries in general, and future projects that focus on e-learning, cyber-learning and dissemination of STEM innovations.
  • Pedagogy in Action 
    This pedagogic service capitalizes on the successful model of the Starting Point: Teaching Entry-Level Geosciences portal by allowing institutions and digital libraries partners to integrate information about effective pedagogy into their websites.
  • Reconsidering the Textbook 
    This invitation-only workshop reconsidered the textbook by bringing together NSF DTS (Distinguished Teaching Scholars) and CAREER awardees, other leaders in education and technology, and NSF program officers. Participants assessed the state of the textbook and other learning resources, identified the pertinent questions, produced a white paper to encourage future thinking on this critical topic, and planed for widely disseminating their findings.
  • Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal 
    The mission of this journal is to explore constructive connections between science education and civic engagement that will enhance both experiences for our students. SERC is providing the technical infrastructure for publishing this online journal.
  • Science for Non-Scientists 
    This project shares a wealth of teaching materials from a general education course designed to introduce non-science majors to scientific ways of thinking. Students in the course developed remarkably strong critical thinking skills.
  • SENCER Digital Library 
    SENCER applies the science of learning to the learning of science, all to expand civic capacity. SENCER courses and programs connect science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content to critical local, national, and global challenges. SERC has collaborated with the SENCER project to develop a digital library supporting discovery of SENCER teaching materials.
  • Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics 
    Building on the success of the Starting Point: Teaching Introductory Geoscience project, SERC is a partner in developing this pedagogy-based resource for economics educators. This site introduces economists to innovative teaching strategies developed both within and beyond the discipline of economics. It provides instructors with the tools to begin integrating and assessing these teaching strategies in their own classrooms and promotes the sharing of teaching innovations among instructors.
  • Teaching Big Science at Small Colleges: A Genomics Collaboration
    This project brought together a cohort of faculty from liberal arts colleges in a series of workshops to share practices around teaching genomics and bioinformatics, develop new teaching materials and tools to evaluate the efficacy of their genomics curricular innovations. The project focused on the unique challenges in teaching this material in the small liberals arts college context.