Portals and Thematic Collections Designed for Faculty Teaching Undergraduate Geoscience
These sites bring together resources that address broad issues in geoscience education.
- Teach the Earth
This portal offers access to all the teaching activities, pedagogical modules, and workshop products generated by the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College. These resources span most topics in the Geosciences and also provide coverage of several interdisciplinary areas.
- Bringing Research on Learning to the Geosciences
Research on learning has many important lessons that can improve teaching in the geosciences. This site brings together resources for faculty, teachers and curriculum developers working in the geosciences based on the latest education research.
- Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET)
The Earth Exploration Toolbook is a collection of computer-based Earth science activities. Each activity, or chapter, introduces one or more data sets and an analysis tool that enables users to explore some aspect of the Earth system.
- NASA Education Program
This is the homepage of NASA's Office of Education. There are educational resources for several different levels of learner as well as education news and updates on NASA programs.
- NCAR/UCAR Education and Outreach
This site from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is the portal to their many educational sites like Windows on the Universe, The COMET Program, MetEd, and The GLOBE Program among others.
- On the Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
The On the Cutting Edge project helps geoscience faculty stay up-to-date with both geoscience research and teaching methods. The workshop series and website combine to provide professional development opportunities, resources, and opportunities for faculty to interact on-line and in person with colleagues around the world who are focused on improving their teaching. Collections include materials for teaching upper division courses, designing web resources, teaching with visualizations and more.
- Starting Point: Teaching Introductory Geoscience This site is designed for faculty and graduate students teaching undergraduate entry-level geoscience, environmental science, or related courses. Each section describes a teaching method, why/when it is useful, how it can be implemented, and a set of examples spanning the Earth system that can be used in your class.
- Virtual Geography Department ( This site may be offline. )
The Virtual Geography Department is an ongoing project that hopes to interlink geography department curricula both nationally and internationally using the web. The goal is to offer high-quality curricular materials and classroom and laboratory modules that can be used by students and faculty at any university in the world.
Using On-line Resources in the Classroom and Beyond
These examples demonstrate ways in which individual or groups in the geosciences can develop portals and thematic collections to address challenges facing undergraduate geoscience education.
- Integrating Research and Education
This site explores ways to bring modern research results into undergraduate courses. Examples include All Things Cretaceous, Exploring the Yellowstone Ecosystem, Geoscience Education in the New Cyberinfrastructure, Teaching Mineralogy with Crystal Structure Databases and Visualization Software, Impacts of Resource Development on Native American Lands. The site also provides general guidance for expanding the broader impact of geoscience research.
- Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences
This site brings together resources from mathematics education with examples for teaching quantitative skills in the geosciences. Addressing both quantitative literacy in introductory courses and development of the sophisticated quantitative skills needed for graduate study and entry into the geoscience workforce, the site includes discussions of methods, teaching activities, and a special section of resources for students.
- Using Data in the Classroom Portal
Responding to increasing interest in using on-line data to teach about the Earth, this portal is testing new ways to discover on-line data and teaching activities that use data. It also provides a discussion of teaching methods and information about other projects addressing teaching with data.
Developing New Data Rich Teaching Materials
Numerous community discussions have indicated that the key to developing on-line data resources that maximize their potential to enhance geoscience education is the co-development of these resources by teams that include geoscientists, educators, and data providers. To facilitate this development, AccessData hosts workshops to create modules using available Earth science datasets and data access and analysis tools.
A Place for Discussion
The Geo-ed list-server provides an on-line forum for announcements and discussions of issues in undergraduate educators. The list grew out of an AGU Chapman conference "Scrutiny of Undergraduate Geoscience Education". The list is not moderated, but is a closed list- any subscriptions to the list go through approval by the list administrator (Bryan Tapp, University of Tulsa, firstname.lastname@example.org). To subscribe, send the message subscribe geo-ed [your e-mail address] to email@example.com
Discussions on the list should be sent to: Geofirstname.lastname@example.org
Finding More About What's Going On in Undergraduate Geoscience Education
- Council on Undergraduate Research (more info) : The Council on Undergraduate Research supports and promotes high-quality, collaborative undergraduate student-faculty research and scholarship.
- National Association of Geoscience Teachers: What's Going On: The NAGT fosters improvement in the teaching of earth sciences at all levels of formal and informal instruction.