Letter from the Editor

published Jan 14, 2010 4:09pm

David Steer
by David Steer (University of Akron), Immediate Past President

NAGT Represents You

This column focuses on a lesser known function of NAGT officers – acting as your representative to various other societies and the larger education community. In that role, we routinely send officers to GSA, AAPG, AGU, NSTA and AIG education-related meetings. There we discuss NAGT's position on relevant geoscience education issues, build and strengthen collaborations, seek new opportunities to foster geoscience education at all levels and gather information important to you. We rely on our strong section leadership to do the same at the regional level. We encourage you to act as an informal NAGT representative should you find yourself at a similar such local meeting. When possible, we disseminate the most relevant information from those meetings to you through this newsletter or directly by email if appropriate. We ask that you let NAGT leadership know if you become aware of a meeting or issue that merits attention by NAGT leadership.

Importantly, we represent you at on-site and other virtual meetings that often occur with less notice. This February for example, AGI is organizing an NSF-sponsored K-12 Earth System Science (ESS) Education Summit in Houston Texas. Topics discussed at that meeting will include US participation in the International Earth Science Olympiad, the status of ESS teacher preparation, challenges to K-12 ESS education and the perception of ESS by state boards of education, school districts and institutions of higher learning. Various experts from across the country will present their views and panels will discuss potential collaborations and courses of action to strengthen ESS at the K-12 level. Clearly, the future strength of our profession is linked to excellence in geoscience education. Across the country, earth system science is being marginalized, particularly at the high school level. Likewise, concepts fundamental to our science are constantly under attack. We anticipate this timely summit will result in a viable action plan to promote ESS science at the K-12 level. Please let me know if you have a particular viewpoint or expertise in one of the areas mentioned above and I will be happy to carry that information to this summit.