NAGT > Professional Development > GSA Sessions and Activities > 2014 GSA Activities and Sessions > Teaching Geoscience in Society > Workshop Synthesis

Workshop Navigation

Workshop Synthesis

Societal issues of interest to local communities (icebreaker topics):

  • North Carolina: Flooding - water in general - as a resource, as a hazard; water quality and contamination from fracking
  • Kansas City: Energy
  • Edmonton, Alberta, CA: students are familiar with the concept of energy resources, need more than gas
  • Edmonds, WA: Energy types, diversit
  • Arizona: Water resources (too much all at once/not enough in general)
  • Yucaipa, CA: Wind energy, water contamination
  • Arkansas: Flash floods, pre-disaster mitigation
  • Seattle: water (contamination, hydroelectric energy, salmon habitat); energy transport and export (coal trains, oil and gas pipelines)
  • Ohio: fracking, groundwater and surface water contamination
  • Pacific northwest: Natural Hazards (EQ, Tsunami's, Landslides, Lahars)
  • Minnesota: fracking, groundwater, minerals mining (Pt, Au) and sand mining for fracking
  • Oregon: legacy mining remediation
  • New Mexico: water resources, desalination, EQ, mining remediation, nuclear, land use, sinkholes, flash flooding (esp in burned areas)

Suggestions for current materials

Considerations for reaching broader audiences

  • Incorporate alt tags for all images in web pages, PPTs, and PDFs (all documents, not just web); this is good practice for all students, not just for students with disabilities
  • Assure that student materials can be easily read aloud by screen readers, or develop audio versions as appropriate.
  • Develop support for cultural adaptations for the way different students approach the classroom (Chinese, native American, etc.)
    • Some of this might be placing links to ELL resources developed through SAGE 2YC

Facilitating adoption and adaption

  • Pull out and highlight activities with rubrics from all modules that address particular skills (quantitative, etc.).
  • Add links or develop materials that support some of the basic skills and/or content knowledge (chemical bonds, Math you Need, etc.)
  • Provide alternatives for activities that have lots of physical materials needed

Suggestions for the future

Which societal issues would be of interest to you in future modules?

  • Seafloor mineral extraction
  • Space missions, mining other planets (ethics, economics, etc.)
  • Pollution and waste - dealing with all types of waste
    • Environmental justice and freshwater resources has an activity on Love Canal, but that's only one type of waster.
  • Mitigating the effects of climate change
  • Ocean acidification
  • Energy resources, including transportation of energy resources (pipelines and trains, distribution)
  • Advertising and marketing - behavioral change through campaigns
  • International environmental issues - what can the US learn from other countries?
  • Workforce preparation in intro courses - we have lots of materials at the program level, but ideas for incorporating into individual courses.
  • Differences between states; the role of politics in these Earth-related issues
  • Intro-level fracking
  • Groundwater contamination
  • A more quantitative approach to soil science
  • Adding upper level/more quantitative activities to intro modules

Which geoscience topics need to be better framed in terms of societal issues?

  • Biological oceanography - something that is hands-on for marine biology (especially in the continental interior)
    • Some resources exist
    • New module start might address this
  • Weather and climate - more interaction and hands-on rather than all maps and quantitative
    • Climate of Change is a good start
    • Weather instrumentation
  • Evolution through a geologic lens - how do we bridge the gap to biological evolution, teaching it conceptually without offending -- includes some professional development for instructors who are trained as geologists
  • Biodiversity and modern extinction
  • Geologic time and change through time
  • Forensic geology
  • Getting beyond the black and white of "good" and "bad" of extracting oil, etc. Consumer side of the equation
    • Carbon, Climate, and Energy Resources under development
Advertisement