Friday, January 24, 2014

Education Related Sessions at the Joint Cordilleran-Rocky Mountains GSA Meeting in Bozeman Montana May 19-21, 2014

From the GSA Education Section:

Please consider submitting an abstract to one of the four education sessions at the forthcoming joint meeting of the Rocky Mountain and Cordilleran Sections of the Geological Society of America. Many faculty teach geology using the iconic sites in the western United States and we welcome contributions with examples at all instructional levels. Place-based instruction is also a demonstrated instructional practice to help recruit students from underrepresented groups. We are also convening sessions on Field-Based Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Education and Outreach activities related to the EarthScope Program. Authors can submit abstracts for an education session in addition to another theme session.

The Rocky Mountain/Cordilleran Section meeting will be held on May 19-21 at Montana State University, Bozeman MT. There is also an extensive pre- and post-meeting field trip program. Abstract deadline is February 11, 2004. More details about this meeting can be found at:

Please forward this announcement to any interested contributors. We'll look forward to seeing you at springtime in the Rockies. Dave Mogk, Cathy Manduca, Basil Tickoff, Emily Geraghty Ward, Derek Sjostrom, Kim Hannula Education Session Conveners

T25. Teaching the Geology of Western North America. Cosponsored by National Association of Geoscience Teachers. David Mogk, Montana State University; Basil Tikoff, University of Wisconsin; Cathy Manduca, SERC at Carleton College

This session will feature teaching strategies that focus on the geology of western North America from introductory courses to “core” geoscience courses for majors. Examples and case studies that cover geoscience resources, hazards, geology of the national parks, use of geoscience databases, and EarthScope science are encouraged.

 T27. Field-Based Research Experiences for Undergraduates. Cosponsored by Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR); National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Emily Geraghty Ward, Rocky Mountain College; Derek Sjostrom, Rocky Mountain College; David Mogk, Montana State University; Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College

This session will highlight the variety of undergraduate research projects happening in the geosciences and how they are being implemented at different types of institutions. The session is open to students who would like to present their research findings and faculty mentors who can speak to the effectiveness of these research experiences on student learning.

 T28. Teaching Geoscience in the Context of Place and Culture for Sustainability and Diversity. Steven Semken, Arizona State University; David Mogk, Montana State University

 Our senses of place and cultural perspectives influence—and provide relevant context and meaning for—the ways that we teach about geoscience. Place-based and culturally informed geoscience teaching is that which intentionally leverages the diverse meanings people make in geologically illustrative places, the attachments students and instructors affix to such places, and the cultural knowledge of groups that reside in these places (whether indigenous, historically resident, or recent arrivals). These methods, applied in formal or free-choice learning contexts, are advocated to better engage underrepresented minority students, enrich the senses of place of all learners, and to promote environmental and cultural sustainability in places and regions. This session welcomes presentations that highlight current practices, theoretical models, and authentic assessment of place-based and culturally informed geoscience teaching.

 T24. EarthScope: Innovative Research, Education, and Outreach Activities. Steven Semken, Arizona State University

The EarthScope Program began its scientific journey in the western United States, then traversed eastward over the past decade, and will soon cover Alaska. Data from this unprecedented high-definition, continental-scale study of crust, mantle, and other Earth systems, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, have already led to new findings on the evolution and dynamics of the Cordillera and Rocky Mountains (including the overlying cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere). EarthScope education and outreach programs are sharing these findings with diverse stakeholders in the region. This session welcomes presentations by all geoscientists and geoscience educators who use EarthScope science and products in their work, in any and all ways.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Finest Science Center in the Great Valley Needs a Museum Director

Modesto Junior College recently occupied what we think may be the finest teaching facility of its kind in the Great Valley of California, and maybe in the entire state. The Science Community Center at Modesto Junior College is a monument to the importance of science education, with state-of-the-art labs and classrooms for biology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, and the earth sciences, as well as a fully equipped observatory, and the most technically advanced planetarium projector in the United States (seriously, it's the newest generation, and we were the first to have it installed). And very soon we will open the Great Valley Museum and Outdoor Education Laboratory. The museum will have exhibits emphasizing the unique biology, paleontology and geology of the Great Valley, and will include the unique teaching tool called Science on a Sphere.

And we need a museum director.

The position announcement was posted this morning, and can be found here: If you are a talented person who knows and loves science, but can also navigate the depths and passages of a college and state bureaucracy as well as excelling at fundraising, you may be the person we need to lead our school and our valley into a new era of science excellence. Contact me or the Human Resources office at Yosemite Community College District if you have questions.