FROM THE EDITORS: The Changing of the Guard
Welcome to the new year and our new issue, which is my last issue as editor-in-chief. When I started this role three years ago, I couldn't possibly know what interesting articles would come through my inbox. We've had themed issues on advocacy, seismology, economic geology, science and religion — just to name a few. In this issue, our authors introduce us to Geoconclave with student teamwork and networking during friendly competition; an earth and environmental science department teaching math to non-science majors; and a different sort of piece for us, an essay reflecting on what it means to "do geology." I hope in this issue, and every issue, you find something to enjoy and insightful ideas for your own classrooms.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and getting to know more of you through both the process of editing and as an ex-officio member of NAGT's Executive Committee. I look forward to new opportunities while serving in the NAGT presidential line and as we work together to advance geoscience literacy and education. I invite any interested members to become more involved in NAGT this year — there are so many ways to serve, grow, and make new friends and professional connections. And I thank you so much for everything you already do for this wonderful community of geoscience educators. I am grateful to be a part of it. Taking the helm of In The Trenches is Dr. Redina Finch, a professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Geographic Information Sciences at Western Illinois University. Dr. Finch is an experienced editor with a number of great ideas to grow ITT. I look forward to reading future issues under her leadership. A warm welcome to Dr. Finch! — MARGARET CROWDER, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.
Redina Finch (left) with students. [Photo credit: WIU Visual Productions]
I'm very excited to be a part of In The Trenches as the new editor-in-chief. Margaret Crowder has done an amazing job over the past three years and I'm looking forward to carrying on her good work. I see ITT as the feet-on-the-ground geoscience education publication. To be a part of this wonderful venture is an honor. I started in physics because it was the closest I could get to studying everything. While doing my graduate work in atmospheric sciences, I helped with a knowledge-retention research project—which had nothing to do with my dissertation. That project and simliar ones really clarified my passion for teaching. I regularly tell my students they are "guinea pigs" as we try something new. There is nothing better than seeing a struggling student finally "get it"! Their whole demeanor changes and this new-found confidence sometimes takes them in directions they never would have tried. I'm now teaching meteorology courses (of course!), natural hazards and an integrated sciences course for pre-service high school teachers. I'm also co-author of The Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology (with Lutgens and Tarbuck). I've given 22 science education-related presentations, written numerous articles and problem sets for textbooks, and mentored 18 student projects personally and over 150 student projects as the Senior Thesis instructor. As educators, we all have a thirst for knowledge and drive to make a difference. I can't wait to read about all of the amazing things that you're doing in the realm of geoscience education! I'd also like to increase interaction between readers a bit because we all have education-related issues that we are trying to solve. I'll be introducing a "How do you..." feature where educators discuss how they've solved a problem. Some answers will be in the print version and the rest will be online. Send me topics you'd like to see discussed so we can help each other! — REDINA FINCH, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL.
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