NAGTNews - Vol 15 - No 7 - July 2016

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1. GSA Abstract Deadline - July 12

Don't forget that the deadline for submitting abstracts for this year's Geological Society of America Annual Meeting is quite a bit earlier this year - July 12. The meeting is in Denver, CO, September 25-28.

You can see all the sessions and activities that NAGT is sponsoring this year on the website. So go find a session and submit an abstract to present your work!

2. Earth Educators' Rendezvous

We are very excited about the 2016 Earth Educators' Rendezvous in just over a week. If you are attending this year, we can't wait to see you in Madison! Be sure to familiarize yourself with the program of sessions. The week is jam packed with top notch workshops, posters, and presentations showcasing the incredible breadth and depth of geoscience education knowledge in this community. There are also evening activities like a special evening tour of the Wisconsin Geology Museum on Monday evening, an LGBTQ+Allies Meetup on Wednesday evening, and other varied cultural opportunities throughout the week.

Whether you are attending this year or not, you can save the date for EER 2017! Next year's Rendezvous is going to be held July 17-21. Details are still in motion, so we can't announce the location just yet. But start thinking about spending a week in the American Southwest with your friends and colleagues!

3. Member News: Awad Named 2016-17 Einstein Fellow

Member and former NAGT President Aida Awad has been named one of the thirteen 2016-2017 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows. The fellows are accomplished K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers from across the United States who will spend 11 months serving in a federal agency or U.S. Congressional office in Washington, D.C., engaged in national STEM education. The Albert Einstein Distinguished Education Fellowship (AEF) Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 STEM educators to apply their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to their host offices to inform federal STEM education efforts.

The 2016-2017 Einstein Fellows come from K-12 schools across the country and represent diverse teaching backgrounds—with expertise in robotics, computer science, engineering, science and mathematics. Federal agencies and U.S. Congressional Offices will benefit from fellows' real-world experience as educators. In return, Einstein Fellows will gain understanding of the role of the federal government in the U.S. education enterprise, knowledge of resources available to students and educators, and broader perspectives on national education issues that can be applied to the classroom or to leadership positions in their districts or elsewhere. Read the Press Release. For more information on the Einstein Fellows program, see the program website.

Congratulations, Aida!

4. Search for NSF DUE Division Director

The Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) of the National Science Foundation announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Division Director, Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE). The mission of EHR is to provide the research foundation to develop a diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-literate public and a workforce ready to advance the frontiers of science and engineering for society. To support this mission, the DUE embraces a comprehensive approach to strengthening STEM undergraduate education by investing in research, development, institutional capacity building and change, and financial and co-curricular support to students at two- and four-year colleges and universities.

The successful candidate will have managerial and oversight responsibilities for organizational goals and objectives by building teams and coalitions for the effective use of division staff expertise and resources within EHR and across NSF. This includes leading the activities of DUE, assessing emerging needs and trends in undergraduate education, developing breakthrough opportunities, implementing overall strategic planning, and policy setting.

At NAGT, we know that there are a number of geoscientists with strong qualifications for this position who can make valuable contributions to strengthening undergraduate education across the disciplines at the national level. For more information about the position and how to apply, see the Dear Colleague Letter on the NSF website.

5. Geo-Needs Focus Group Meetings Report Released

Broadening participation of students from underrepresented groups remains one of the great challenges in the Geosciences. We are pleased to announce the release of results from a series of meetings: Geo-Needs: Stakeholder Needs Assessment for Broadening Participation in the Geoscience Workforce. This report solicited input from key stakeholders (administrators, instructors, instructional resource providers, and geoscience education researchers) to develop an ideal model of the interactions needed to successfully and sustainably achieve the goal of increasing diversity in the geosciences.

The full report and the executive summary can be downloaded at the Geo-Needs website. The report and website include a rich collection of strategies, methods, references and related resources to facilitate efforts to recruit and support the training of a diverse cohort of next-generation geoscientists. We hope that you will find these ideas and resources useful in your own efforts to broaden participation in the geosciences. Please feel free to recommend additional resources you've developed or found useful for broader use by the community.

The Geo-Needs Project will be convening a workshop at the 2016 Earth Educators' Rendezvous. Outcomes of this workshop will be a new collection of institutional, departmental, or individual Action Plans based on the Geo-Needs recommendations. These Action Plans will provide numerous new approaches to increasing diversity in the geosciences. So stay tuned.

The Geo-Needs team would like to thank the numerous colleagues who contributed to this project. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under grants no. DUE-1445227 (Petcovic), DUE-1445228 (Turner & LaDue), DUE-1445182 (Cartwright), and DUE-1445210 (Mogk). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Geo-Needs Project Team:
Heather Petcovic, Sheldon Turner, Nicole LaDue, Tina Cartwright, David Mogk, Emily Geraghty Ward, Monica Bruckner, Xai Her, and Andrew Bentley

6. Survey: How Do You Find NGSS-Aligned Teaching Materials?

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Collection of reviewed educational resources has recently been aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). We would like to improve the search functionality to best serve the way teachers search for educational resources as they work to address the NGSS in their teaching.

We are collecting input from classroom teachers who are teaching NGSS aligned courses on how they search for appropriate materials. Please complete our short survey or forward the survey to other classroom educators who teach to the NGSS.

Survey link:

We very much appreciate all input.


Tamara Shapiro Ledley, PhD
Senior Scientist, TERC

7. Invitation to the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB Workshop

We invite you to the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB workshop focused on building students' ability to solve problems with computation using MATLAB in their STEM courses. Participants will share their successes developing computational skills using MATLAB in the undergraduate classroom and discuss best practices for the community. By attending the workshop, you will be part of a community effort to bring together best practices and teaching materials that will be made freely available through the SERC website. MathWorks (makers of MATLAB®) is sponsoring the workshop.

Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB

Carleton College, Northfield, MN
October 23-25, 2016 (5PM Sunday – 2PM Tuesday)
Application Deadline: September 2, 2016

The Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB workshop will bring together faculty from the sciences, including Chemistry, Geoscience, Physics, Biology, and allied fields, who teach computation and quantitative thinking skills using MATLAB. Computation is broadly defined as using computers in scientific work to understand and solve problems, or formulating problems in ways that can be computed. Computational skills are critically important for students to understand complex systems, analyze data, and create numerical models and visualizations–all essential aspects of modern science. These skills require students to have comfort and skill with languages and tools such as MATLAB. To achieve comfort and skill, computation and quantitative thinking must build over a 4-year degree program across courses and disciplines. Participants will help build a collection of teaching activities that showcase computation, quantitative thinking, and applied math using MATLAB and design approaches to integrating these skills throughout science degree programs.

This workshop target is 30 college educators (by application). There is no registration fee to attend.

We hope to see you there!

Lisa Kempler
MATLAB Community Strategist, MathWorks

Cathryn A. Manduca
Director, Science Education Resource Center
Executive Director, National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Kristin Jenkins
Executive Director, BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

Kelly Roos
Professor, Department of Engineering Physics, Bradley University
PICUP Leadership Council

Frederik J. Simons
Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University

Wendy Thomas
Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington

8. News from AGU

Share Your Science at Exploration Station

Exploration Station is an annual event that takes place at the AGU Fall Meeting. It provides a venue for the local community and AGU members to come together to share the excitement of science. The event is an open house for San Francisco families, teachers, and children (as well as Fall Meeting attendees and their families) to learn about the exciting work currently occurring in the Earth and space sciences. During the event, participants have a chance to meet scientists, do hands-on science, and take home fun resources collected during their visit.

If you or your faculty are interested in presenting at Exploration Station, please read our FAQ and email to register. All costs for the event other than shipping and handling of materials are covered by AGU.

Opportunity to Share Your Work with K-12 Educators at the GIFT Workshop

We are now accepting proposals from teams of at least one scientist and one education specialist to present during the Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshop at the AGU Fall Meeting. This workshop enables scientists to work closely with an education specialist to develop and share material with K-12 teachers and informal educators. Each team of presenters will receive one free full-week registration to the AGU Fall Meeting. Note: This is in addition to the free registration to AGU for all K-12 educators. Applications are now open and due 31 August 2016.

Questions about the GIFT workshop? Contact us.

Two Remaining Virtual Poster Showcases in 2016

An exciting opportunity for your undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their research is now available. Although many college students conduct research with faculty in organized summer programs or as part of their course work or their degree work, they often face barriers to traveling to present that research, especially at national conferences. The Virtual Poster Showcase will allow participation by students who can't travel. The two remaining 2016 showcases for undergraduate and graduate students will open for abstracts in August. If you or any faculty members are interested in being judges for the showcases or in incorporating the showcases as part of a capstone experience for your students, contact Pranoti Asher.

9. Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series Passes One Million Views on YouTube

The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures at Foothill College, in Los Altos, California, just passed the milestone of one million views on its YouTube channel at:

The series of popular lectures, explaining the latest discoveries and ideas in astronomy in everyday language, features noted astronomers from around California and the country. Recent speakers have included Carolyn Porco, imaging team leader for the Cassini mission to Saturn; Robert Kirshner of Harvard and Alex Filippenko of Berkeley, both members of the teams that discovered, to everyone's surprise, that the expansion of the universe is accelerating; astronaut Ed Lu speaking about discovering asteroids that threaten the Earth; and NASA's Jeff Moore, from the New Horizons science team, explaining what we have discovered about Pluto.

The series will be starting its 17th year in October 2016. The lectures are jointly sponsored by NASA's Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Foothill College Astronomy Department. All four organizations work together in selecting speakers, doing publicity, and donating the labor and expense of running the lectures.

Between 400 and 900 people attend each lecture in person; the YouTube channel has over 11,000 subscribers and total world-wide viewing of the recorded lecture videos grows by thousands of viewers each month. The series is organized and moderated by Andrew Fraknoi, Chair of Astronomy at Foothill College. An anonymous donor makes it possible to record and professionally edit each lecture, recently in high definition.

The lectures are also available as audio podcasts at:

Rock and Mineral Exchange

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Graduate Assistantship in Water Resources Education/Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) - University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Posted: Mar 24 2016

12-month (renewable) graduate assistantship in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources. The position involves water resources education and education research through a new project (recommended for funding by the National Science Foundation) focused on fostering undergraduate students' science literacy about water.

Need help getting the word out about your position opening, event, or field trip? Advertise with NAGT!