Sponsored Programs

NAGT is proud to sponsor programs and activities in support of the mission of the organization. Sponsorship typically means endorsement of the program. Members may also approach the Executive Committee to request access to NAGT resources.

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Current Programs

Polar ENgagement through GUided INquiry (PENGUIN)

Project PIs: Penny Rowe (NorthWest Research Associates), Steven Neshyba (University of Puget Sound), and Lea Fortmann (University of Puget Sound)
NSF# 1712354 and 1712282

Our program seeks to bring polar research into undergraduate courses in a variety of courses. The goal is to meet existing course disciplinary objectives using polar data, while improving climate and computational literacy. For example, in an economics class, students learn about economic valuation by computing the total economic valuation of the Arctic. Students conduct inquiry during class, with the instructor guiding, using an Excel spreadsheet for analysis, calculations, and preparation of graphs. Similarly, in a physics class, students work through a Jupyter Notebook (Python code) to determine heat transfer through permafrost. Modules typically take several class periods or lab sessions. Expected outcomes include meeting course disciplinary learning goals, as well as improved familiarity with polar regions and research, improved climate literacy, and enhanced interest in polar regions and climate change. Expected products include Computational Guided Inquiry (CGI) modules and publications. To date, seven CGI modules are available and have been taught by 11 professors to approximately 200 students per year, since 2017, in a variety of undergraduate classes at private liberal arts colleges, a community college, and a state university. We have published three articles and made a number of conference presentations related to module development and implementation.

Geoscience Career Ambassador Training (GeoCAT)

Project PIs: Aida Farough, Pamela Kempton, and Jackie Spears (Kansas State University)
NSF# 1911590

Of all the STEM majors at all levels of higher education, geosciences have the lowest ethnic and racial diversity (NCSES, 2015). The nature of the diversity problem in geosciences is complex, and a solution has been elusive. One of the main hurdles to geoscience student recruitment is lack of awareness of geoscience career options. The GeoCAT project has partnered with K-State Geology Advisory board, to introduce and familiarize educators with geoscience careers, to increase interest and enrollment of diverse student populations in geosciences across the state of Kansas.

Currently, the outlook for geoscience careers is promising within the U.S., the BLS projects employment of geoscientists to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The emphasis on recruiting and supporting under-represented students from populations in STEM fields to major in geosciences is important to building a strong geosciences workforce in the future, particularly in Kansas, with industries that depend heavily on environmental and energy resources and their effective management.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant ICER-1911590 IUSE-GP-IMPACT: GeoCAT Workshop: Geoscience Careers Ambassador Training Workshop

On-Ramps to more effective teaching in tectonics

Project PIs: Phillip Resor (Wesleyan University), Barbara Tewksbury (Hamilton College), Jennifer Wenner (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh)

On-Ramps a set of quick-start guides to help geoscience faculty get up to speed in effective strategies for actively engaging students in the classroom to improve learning in courses from intro to the graduate level. Each On-Ramp focuses on a particular teaching strategy and has tips for implementation, catalyst examples in the broad field of tectonics, and links to help you navigate relevant online resources. Initial On-Ramps cover interactive lecture, brainstorming, concept sketches, jigsaws, discussions, quantitative skill-building, just-in-time approaches, and case studies.

On-Ramps are available both as 2-page pdfs and as web pages on Teach the Earth.

The On-Ramps originated from a recommendation in the 2018 tectonics community vision report to the National Science Foundation on Challenges and Opportunities for Research in Tectonics. NSF provided grant support for writing the On-Ramps, and the authoring team* is a group of geoscientists at a variety of career levels with specialties across the range of subdisciplines that regularly address tectonic problems. Team members come from a wide range of institutions in the US, Canada, and Europe.


Project PIs: Nicole LaDue (Northern Illinois University), Thomas Shipley (Temple University)
NSF# 1835950

GeoClick is an NSF-funded effort to uncover new spatial misconceptions, test the value of multiple-choice versus open-ended diagram-based questions, and engage geoscience instructors in improving spatial conceptions in geology. The project team is currently soliciting instructors that are interested in being involved in data collection during the next two academic years. We are particularly interested in working with instructors that teach using the Top Hat classroom response platform. For more information, please check out the publication on early project findings and contact Nicole LaDue at nladue at niu dot edu

EDDIE Earth and Ecosystems

Project PI: Catherine O'Reilly (Illinois State University)
NSF# 1821567

In Project EDDIE we will develop curricular material that improves quantitative reasoning and to develop a self-sustaining community of practice (sensu Lave and Wegner, 1991). We will focus on topics related to the environmental and Earth sciences, allowing the greatest potential for adoption across a wide range of STEM courses, from physical to life sciences.

We are developing curricular material that improves quantitative reasoning and to develop a self-sustaining community of practice (sensu Lave and Wegner, 1991). We will focus on topics related to the environmental and Earth sciences, allowing the greatest potential for adoption across a wide range of STEM courses, from physical to life sciences. Our goals are to:

  1. Develop a suite of at least 30 flexible modular curricular materials, using large publicly available online datasets, that contribute to improved student quantitative reasoning.
  2. Develop a community of faculty members engaged with materials and professional development designed to foster pedagogical orientation favoring open inquiry with large datasets.
  3. Determine what mechanisms contribute to shifts in instructors' pedagogical orientation towards inquiry-based teaching.

Project EDDIE incorporates education research, internal and external program evaluation, and assessment to determine the success of the project and to generate new knowledge on how to structure community and individual interventions to improve teaching and learning of quantitative reasoning.

Research, evaluation, and assessment activities will help the project understand and align with community needs, inform the workshop structure, investigate student learning gains, and examine the efficacy of the project design. Incorporating the research and evaluation team as part of the project leadership enables the project to be nimble and responsive to findings throughout the project, resulting in strong and relevant materials.

The research and evaluation focuses on understanding: community needs; student learning gains; growth, reach, and impacts of the community; the influence of faculty pedagogical orientations; the influence of professional development; and overall project success.

ADVANCE Partnership: From the Classroom to the Field: Intervention Training to Address Sexual Harassment in the Geosciences

Project PI: Erica Marin-Spiotta (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
NSF# 1725879

Many factors play into the decisions of women to leave science, including overt and subtle forms of gender and racial discrimination (De Welde and Stepnick, 2015a; Holmes et al., 2015; Willness et al., 2007). The ADVANCEGeo Program addresses three related barriers to the retention of women in the geosciences: (1) Hostile climate due to the prevalence of sexual harassment (SH), especially in areas with field training and research (Clancy et al., 2014); (2) Perceptions that SH is infrequent and affects few individuals; and (3) Perceived and real lack of resources for responding to SH (e.g., Mogk, 2016).

We will raise awareness of the pervasiveness of SH through development of tested workshops for department heads, chairs, and faculty. Our work will address the culture of academic geoscience by empowering the earth and space science community to stop and prevent SH by developing strategies of bystander intervention and disseminating these through in-person and online workshops. We will enhance ethics training of current and future geoscientists by producing teaching modules that include SH. We will partner with professional societies for national dissemination and sustainability.

The aims of our research are to:

  1. Develop and test sexual harassment bystander intervention training programs with geoscience-relevant scenarios and that incorporate experiences of diverse women.
  2. Develop teaching modules on sexual harassment for geoscience faculty and instructors to use in research ethics training courses.
  3. Disseminate training workshops, webinars, and teaching modules via partnership with professional societies for sustainability.
  4. Develop a sustainable model that can be transferred to other STEM disciplines.

The CIRTL Network: 25 Research Universities Preparing a National Faculty to Advance STEM Undergraduate Learning

Project PI: Robert D. Mathieu (University of Wisconsin—Madison)
NSF# 1231286

Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at research universities will shape the future of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate education in the United States. These future faculty, trained at research universities, flow into the STEM faculties of more than 4,400 research universities, comprehensive universities, liberal arts colleges, and community and tribal colleges. The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) uses graduate education as the leverage point to develop a national STEM faculty with the capability and commitment to implement and improve effective teaching and learning practices for all students.

Research universities can and will prepare STEM future faculty to be both forefront researchers and excellent teachers. In 2011 nearly 1500 future faculty from across STEM participated in the learning communities of the six research universities in the prototype CIRTL Network. A decade of research and evaluation demonstrates that STEM future faulty in such CIRTL learning communities understand, employ, and can advance high-impact teaching practices.

EarthConnections: Community Pathways to Geoscience Careers

Projects PIs: Cathy Manduca (SERC), Donna Charlevoix (UNAVCO), Barbara Nagle (SEPUP), Raj Pandya (TEX) and John Taber (IRIS)
NSF# 1649367

EarthConnections shared vision is to develop a diverse geoscience workforce, the EarthConnections collective impact alliance is developing regionally focused, Earth education pathways. These pathways support and guide students from engagement in relevant, Earth-related science at an early age through the many steps and transitions to geoscience-related careers. Rooted in existing regional activities, pathways are developed using a process that engages regional stakeholders and community members with EarthConnections partners. Together they connect, sequence, and create multiple learning opportunities that link geoscience education and community service to address one or more local geoscience issues. By intertwining Earth education with local community service we aspire to increase the resilience of communities in the face of environmental hazards and limited Earth resources.

RAPID--EclipseMob - Crowdsourcing a Spatial Temporal Study of Low Frequency Propagation Effects Due to a Total Solar Eclipse

Project PIs: Jill Nelson and Laura Lukes George Mason Univerity
NSF# 1638685

EclipseMob is a crowdsourced effort to conduct the largest-ever low-frequency radio wave propagation experiment during the 2017 solar eclipse. You can build your own radio receiver and participate in the measurement!

GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI)

Project PIs: Meghan Miller, Beth Pratt-Sitaula, Donna Charlevoix (UNAVCO); Bruce Douglas (Indiana University); Becca Walker (Mt San Antonio College)
NSF# 1245025, 1612248, 1725347

The GETSI teaching materials feature geodetic data and quantitative skills applied to societally important issues (climate change, natural hazards, water resources, etc.). These materials are designed and developed by teams of faculty and content experts, undergo rigorous review and classroom testing, and are ready for use in your classroom. Partner project with the InTeGrate Project, Geodetic methods featured include GPS, InSAR, lidar, structure from motion photogrammetry, altimetry, gravity, and more.

Geoscience Education Research (GER) Community Synthesis and Planning

PIs: Kristen St. John, James Madison University; Kim Kastens, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary; Karen McNeal, North Carolina State University
NSF# 1708228

The NSF-funded Geoscience Education Research (GER) Community Synthesis and Planning Project aims to advance a synthesis of GER and prioritize geoscience education research needs via community input. Activities of the project during 2015-16 include digitization of past issues of the Journal of Geoscience Education, a GER workshop at the 2016 Earth Educators' Rendezvous, a survey of GER community needs, a webinar to share and discuss survey findings, and development of online resources on GER methods.

Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences (GEES)

The GEES Subject Centre has been in existence since May 2000. Its purpose is to promote and support high quality learning and teaching across the disciplines of geography, earth and environmental sciences in UK higher education (including HE in FE). Based at the University of Plymouth, the GEES Subject Centre is a national and international hub for the exchange of knowledge on learning and teaching across the three disciplines. It provides a voice for the discipline communities, contributing to government consultations and policy developments. The Centre has a UK-wide brief and this is reflected in the locations of its activities and events.

InTeGrate: Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a sustainable future

Project Team

This Center focuses on the contribution of geoscience to the grand challenges facing society, particularly resource issues (minerals,water, food) and environmental issues (climate change, hazards, waste disposal, environmental degradation). Work is focused at two levels: lower division courses designed to build a broad based understanding of the challenges and the role of geoscience, science and social science in the solutions; and upper division courses and degree programs designed to develop a geoscience workforce prepared to work collaboratively with experts from STEM, social science, business and industry. Inter-institutional curriculum development teams are developing and testing course materials in the full spectrum of institutional settings. These will be published on line and available in print with a full set of materials for faculty supporting implementation on the SERC website. A set of pilot programs will demonstrate department, institutional and multi-campus approaches to curriculum and program structures that enroll general education, STEM and Social Science majors, future teachers, and geoscience students in these courses. An integrated assessment program will measure the impact of new course materials and programs on students a) Earth science literacy including their understanding of the role of geoscience in addressing the grand challenges facing society, b) ability to address interdisciplinary open ended problems, and c) understanding of the process of science. A professional development program integrated with On the Cutting Edge and Building Strong Geoscience Departments programs will support widespread adaption and adoption of course materials and program structures. An overarching evaluation will research the impact of the program at the course, departmental and institutional levels focused on understanding how the program is influencing changes in instruction and program design, and the subsequent impact on enrollment and learning in courses addressing the role of geoscience in solving societal grand challenges.

NNCI: The Montana Nanotechnology Facility (MONT)

Project PIs: David Dickensheets,David Mogk,RecepAvci, and Phillip Stuart,(Montana State University, Bozeman)
NSF# 1542210

The Teaching Nanotechnology Across the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum website aims to meet the need of introducing nanotechnology education across the STEM curriculum. For faculty, resources, tutorials, course descriptions, and teaching activities are provided to facilitate instruction in nanotechnology within established STEM courses or in a dedicated course on nanotechnology. For students, resources are provided to introduce and expand student understanding of nanotechnology, and to prepare for potential careers in nanotechnology.

On the Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty

Project PIs: Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary), Cathy Manduca (Carleton College), David Mogk (University of Montana - Bozeman), and Barbara Tewksbury (Hamilton College)
NSF# 1022844

The NAGT/DLESE 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. An integral aspect of the project is development of an expanding community of geoscience educators with a strong and diverse leadership. Winner of a 2010 AAAS Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) Prize

Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education at Two-Year Colleges (SAGE 2YC): 2YC Faculty as Agents of Change

Project PIs: Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary), Eric Baer (Highline Community College), Jan Hodder (University of Oregon), and Norlene Emerson (University of Wisconsin-Richland)

Two-year colleges (2YCs) play crucial roles in meeting the nation's geoscience and STEM workforce needs and in increasing public scientific literacy. 2YCs enroll over 45% of all U.S. undergraduates and serve a large number of women, minority, and first-generation college students. In addition, the 2YC teaching environment is one of the most challenging as community colleges are primarily open-access intuitions that serve an extremely diverse student body; teaching loads are heavy; there is an increasing use of adjunct faculty; and there is limited support for participation in professional development activities, widely recognized as the source for many critical improvements for improving student learning. The SAGE 2YC project seeks to make an impact in this important area.

The SAGE 2YC: Faculty As Change Agents project will build a national network of self-sustaining local communities of 2YC geoscience faculty and administrators who use evidence-based strategies to improve all students' academic success, broaden participation, and facilitate students' professional pathways into the STEM workforce. A synergistic program of research and evaluation that is fully integrated in the project will advance knowledge and understanding of the effectiveness of a professional development model for full-time and adjunct geoscience and STEM faculty.

Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB

Project PIs: Lisa Kempler (Mathworks), Cathy Manduca (Carleton College), Cailin Huyck Orr (Carleton College)

To address the need to strengthen computational skills, this workshop will bring together faculty from the sciences who teach computation and are interested in strengthening their skills and developing MATLAB-based teaching resources. Working interactively with faculty peers and MathWorks representatives, participants will develop teaching activities and contribute to a collection of sharable teaching activities. By including educators from multiple disciplines – including Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience, Physics, Math, and allied fields – the workshop will encourage sharing of ideas and best practices and integration of themes and tools across areas.

Teach the Earth: A SERC Portal for Geoscience Faculty

Teach the Earth is a portal to all of the geoscience teaching materials and pedagogical information that has been collected through the many projects in which the Science Education Resource Center of Carleton College has been a participant.

Past Programs

Building Strong Geoscience Departments

Project PIs: Cathy Manduca (Carleton College, SERC), Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary), Geoff Feiss (College of William and Mary), Randy Richardson (University of Arizona)

Building Strong Geoscience Departments is a project focused on helping geoscience departments adapt and prosper in a changing and challenging environment. Through workshops, a website, and sessions at professional meetings, this project aims to stimulate discussions and disseminate community expertise on topics such as approaches to core content and curriculum, retaining and recruiting top faculty and students, and maintaining the department as a valued institutional partner.

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Pathway

Project PIs: Tamara Ledley (TERC), Frank Niepold (NOAA), Susan Buhr (CIRES), Cynthia Howell (NREL), Cathy Manduca (Carleton College, SERC)

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network or CLEAN Pathway project will build on the efforts of the Climate Literacy Network and the establishment of the US Global Change Research Program to steward a broad collection of educational resources that facilitate students teachers and citizens becoming climate literate and informed about the climates influence on you and society and your influence on climate. The focus of our efforts will be to integrate the effective use of the resources across all educational levels with a particular focus on the middle-school through undergraduate levels grades 6-16 as well as to citizens through formal and informal education venues and communities.

DWEL: Digital Water Education Library

Project PIs: Ed Geary (UCAR), Bryan Aivazian (Natrona School District), Tammy Sumner (University of Colorado - Boulder), and Shirley Ireton (Silver Spring, MD)

DWEL provides easy access to high quality digital resources related to the science, policy and economics of water. Experienced, practicing K-12 teachers who know the needs of their students and their peers are reviewing and selecting these exemplary resources, which best support teaching along core science concepts. The discovery tool allows users to search the library catalog by content area, grade level, resource type and by national science standards. Resources in the collection include high quality graphics, animations, visualizations, databases, simulations, and text resources.

EarthCube Education End-Users Workshop

Project PIs: Kim Kastens (Education Development Center), Ruth Krumhansl (Education Development Center), Cheryl Peach (UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography)

The workshop will bring together educators experienced in teaching with geoscience data, curriculum developers, students, and servers of large geoscience data sets who have education as one of their intended audiences, along with technologists and learning scientists. Sessions will address learning goals and learning performances for the data-savvy college graduate, obstacles to teaching and learning with geoscience data, instructional sequences that foster learning from data, interface design for making data more accessible to student users, and how EarthCube can support students in comparing model output with empirical data. At the end of the project, we will provide a report to the NSF and the EarthCube community addressing the education drivers impacting the design of EarthCube and current challenges in teaching and learning with data that EarthCube could help overcome, with recommendations for the design of EarthCube's cyberinfrastructure and associated social structures.

EET: Earth Exploration Toolbook

Project PIs: Tamara Shapiro Ledley (Center for Science Teaching and Learning, TERC) and Cathy Manduca (Carleton College)

EET provides step-by-step instructions for using Earth science datasets and scientific tools in educational settings. Chapters walk users through case studies in which they use data and analysis tools to explore important issues and concepts in Earth system science. Chapters are designed for use by K-12 teachers, undergraduate faculty, and their students. Each chapter features specific datasets and analysis or visualization tools, and provides enough experience and in-depth knowledge of the resource to enable an educator to use it, apply it to other teaching contexts, or help students use the resource to explore and investigate aspects of the Earth system. Winner of a 2011 AAAS Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) Prize

Earth Learning Idea

Project PIs: Chris King (Keele University), Peter Kennett (Keele University), and Elizabeth Devon (University of Bath)

Earth Learning Idea will publish a new idea for teaching Earth science every week during 2008—the International Year of Planet Earth. The ideas are specifically designed for classrooms with minimal resources - anywhere on Earth, while encouraging interactive teaching and the development of thinking and investigational skills in pupils. The ideas are aimed primarily at pre-service teacher trainers, as they will reach the widest teacher audience, but also welcomes interested teachers to subscribe. Each Earth Learning Idea will be accompanied by a blog, to encourage the development of a global discussion network of those interested in Earth science education. The Earth Learning Ideas will appear one per month during September—December and one per week thereafter and are being produced by voluntary effort with no funding.

Geoscience in Two-Year Colleges

Project PIs: Bob Filson (Green River Community College), Laura Guertin (Penn State Brandywine), Kaatje Kraft (Mesa Community College), Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary)

Two-year colleges (2YC) play an important role in the science and mathematics education of undergraduate students, enrolling approximately 45% of all undergraduate students in the country. With their diverse student populations, 2YC also have an important role in broadening participation in STEM fields including the geosciences. They also play an important role in contributing to the geoscience workforce, teaching science to pre-service K-12 teachers, and producing earth-science literate citizens. A planning workshop in the summer of 2010 will bring together faculty from two-year colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and representatives from professional societies and organizations to learn more about geoscience in TYC and their potential for increasing diversity in the geosciences and to discuss how to best support this important community.

Faculty Development to Support High Impact Activities that Transform Undergraduate Geoscience Education

Project PIs: Jill Singer (Buffalo State College) and Jeff Ryan (University of South Florida)

The objective of this project is to provide professional development (workshops) and online resources to help faculty prepare and submit competitive proposals to NSF-EHR educational funding programs (TUES, ATE) and related disciplinary funding programs (GeoEd, OEDG). The target audiences are all teaching faculty qualified to submit proposals to these programs, which a special emphasis on reaching faculty teaching at 2-year colleges and minority-serving institutions, critical classes of institutions for the geosciences from which proposal submissions have for a long time been frustratingly poor, in terms of both quality and quantity.

Instructional Approaches to Promote Access and Inclusion in the Geosciences

Project PI: Christopher Atchison (Georgia State University )

The design and presentation of this course will be informed by current research focused on students with disabilities and understanding not only the external, physical barriers to access and inclusion to the geoscience curriculum, but also the internal, personal, psychological and social challenges that these students face away from public view. This short course will be entirely facilitated by members of the International Advisory for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD). Student members of the IAGD with disabilities will offer examples of best instructional practices for accommodation and inclusion. These students will share insights on what barriers they have encountered and what has helped them overcome these barriers in the pursuit of degrees in the geosciences.

MARGINS Data in the Classroom

Project PIs: Geoff Abers (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory), Andy Goodliffe (University of Alabama), Andrew Goodwillie (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory), Rosemary Hickey-Vargas (Florida International University), Cathy Manduca (Carleton College), Jeff Ryan (University of South Florida), Don Reed (San Jose State University)

The MARGINS program has been granted a NSF-CCLI grant to develop web-based undergraduate classroom teaching modules in cooperation with the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College. As a part of this collaboration, a series of workshops for researchers and educators is underway. These workshops facilitate the creation of mini-lessons which are learning materials that repurpose data and resources developed through MARGINS for use in examining earth processes in undergraduate classrooms from a multidisciplinary perspective.

The Math You Need, When You Need It

Project PIs: Eric Baer (Highline Community College) and Jennifer Wenner (University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh)

The Math You Need, When You Need It modules cover quantitative topics that are important in introductory geoscience courses. Each topic includes a page for the instructor, quantitative information for the students, a set of practice problems and culminates in an on-line quiz that is automatically graded and submitted to the instructor. The project is designed to give students the quantitative knowledge that they need, just before they need to use it in their concurrent geoscience course. This program includes pre- and post-testing and self-paced modules.

Project EDDIE

Project PIs: Catherine O'Rielly (Illinois State University) and Dax Soule (University of Washington)

Project EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry & Exploration) is developing flexible classroom activity modules designed to (1) improve quantitative and reasoning skills; (2) develop the ability to engage in scientific discourse and argument; and (3) increase students' engagement in science. A team of interdisciplinary faculty from private and public research universities and undergraduate institutions have developed these modules to meet a series of pedagogical goals intended for a broad range of undergraduate class sizes and skill levels that include (1) developing skills required to manipulate large datasets at different scales to conduct inquiry-based investigations; (2) developing students' reasoning about statistical variation; and (3) fostering accurate student conceptions about the nature of environmental science. This project is funded by an NSF TUES grant (NSF DEB 1245707).

Shaping the Future of Geoscience Education Research: Synthesizing Results and Articulating Future Directions

Project PIs: Heather Macdonald, College of William & Mary; Anthony Feig, Central Michigan University; Laura Lukes, George Mason University; Karen McNeal, North Carolina State University; Eric Riggs,Texas A & M University; Kristen St. John, James Madison University; Nicole LaDue, Northern Illinois University

The 2014-15 project aimed to investigate the current status of geoscience education research (GER), building on recent reports on Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER). It supported a collaborative effort by the geoscience education research community to identify and synthesize the accomplishments, results, and claims of GER, to compile an annotated list of methods used in such research, and to recommend future research directions and ways to support such efforts.

We also explored how we could translate research results into practice and how we could use practitioner wisdom and experience to inform research. A workshop at the 2015 Earth Educator's Rendezvous, virtual opportunities before, during, and after the workshop, and the website supported community-wide engagement. The project provided a focus on the current status and future directions of GER and ultimately, as research translates into practice, in shaping undergraduate geoscience education at the individual, institutional, and national level.

Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience

Project PIs: Cathy Manduca (Carleton College), Mary Savina (Carleton College), and Dorothy Merritts (Franklin & Marshall College)

The Starting Point project is exploring the ability of on-line resources to catalyze improvements in undergraduate teaching. The goal is to develop a resource that intimately integrates pedagogy with teaching resources and fully supports a virtual community of educators.

Workshop on Atmospheric Science and Climate Literacy

Project PIs: Roberta Johnson (UCAR)

The goal of the workshop is to develop a consensus framework for enhancing atmospheric science and climate literacy in our nation that is informed by the participation of teachers, scientists, informal educators, policy makers, and parents. The workshop will build on the work of numerous organizations and subgroups that have sought to define standards and benchmarks for science education in general and, more specifically, to identify key concepts and linkages among weather, climate, and ocean literacy. A consensus framework will be drafted during the workshop and will be revised based upon further review and feedback from participants in meetings of the nation's leading goescience and science education societies, such as AGU, AMS, NSTA. As a result of broad community involvement, the framework will establish a foundation on which decision makers may more effectively shape the nation's priorities and strategies for research and education and prepare a diverse population of scientists to serve our atmospheric and climate endeavors for decades to come.

Mars For Earthlings (MFE)

Project PIs: Marjorie Chan (University of Utah)

Mars for Earthlings (MFE) is an integrated introductory geology with Mars planetary science course. Students will access, analyze and utilize Mars data to further understand geologic laws, principles, and processes. The target audiences are undergraduates seeking to fulfill their general science education requirements and/or STEM declared undergraduate majors. The goal, however, is to make all lesson modules accessible on the SERC website and NASA-SMD workspace for geoscience educators to use in their own courses. Content will leverage heavily on Mars-analog studies and lab/inquiry-style learning.

Web-based Interactive Landform Simulation (WILSIM)

Project PI: Wei Luo, Northern Illinois University

WILSIM is an educational tool that helps undergraduate students understand how landscapes evolve under different scenarios. The site includes a pre-test, post-test, and a user survey to evaluate how well the simulator achieve its goals.

Transforming Geoscience Preparation for K-8 Pre-Service Teachers

Project PI: Tim Flood (St. Norbert College)

This project is designed to synthesize content, process and pedagogy for K-8 pre-service teachers by integrating two existing courses, Introduction to Geology GEOL 105, and Science Methods EDUC 285. The two courses (4-credits each) will become a yearlong (8 credit course). A continuum of "learning earth science" and "how to teach earth science" will be the classroom focus. This same integration will occur in the laboratory portion. In addition to learning skills and problem solving techniques, students will develop methods of how to teach these concepts. Finally, a model, four-day intensive field course will be tested. If significant, it will become a required component to the education curriculum.

Geoscience Teachers in Parks

The Geoscience Teachers in Parks (GTIP) program program was a collaborative effort between NAGT and the National Park Service to provide professional development for K12 teachers of geoscience. The objective of the program was to provide teachers with new avenues of teaching. Elementary, middle school, and high school teachers of geoscience, as well as recent graduates who were prospective geoscience teachers were eligible to take part in the program. Interns completed 200 hours of work and submitted a report in exchange for a stipend. Interns worked alongside park scientists to monitor and determine the effects of climate change within the park. In the process, they strengthened their professional networks and enlarged the selection of resources available with which to teach their students. Examples of internship products and the intern photo gallery are still available to the public.

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL): Mobilizing Disciplinary Societies on Behalf of our Students ... and our Planet

Project PIs: Susan Elrod (AACU) and Cathy MIddlecamps (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

Project Kaleidoscope, Mobilizing STEM Education for a Sustainable Future, and the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS) are joining expertise on behalf of students to increase their learning in undergraduate STEM courses, and better prepare them for the real-world 21st century "Big Questions" that relate to real-world issues such as energy, air and water quality, and climate change.

Big Questions, as defined in the Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative of the AAC&U, are those of value, fundamental, and enduring, that have "vexed human beings down through the ages." Big Questions directly connect to sustainability, how we live our lives, the choices we make, and our obligations to other people and to the natural world. We are promoting undergraduate STEM courses that: 1) provide more knowledge about real-world issues (e.g. energy, water, air quality, climate change); 2) connect these real-world issues to the concepts of sustainability; 3) offer students opportunities to analyze and implement choices that can help solve societal problems so they are better able to act on their choices both immediately and as future citizens and professionals.

To accomplish this work, we will engage, support, and connect with a select group of disciplinary societies in strategic ways that leverage their membership, programs and influence.