New 2015 Geo2YC Officers

published Aug 4, 2015 12:00am

Vice President

I (Brett Dooley) began my teaching career in 1997 teaching third grade, and over the subsequent 10 years taught science at nearly every K-12 level. I eventually found myself teaching biology as an adjunct at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), and convinced a sympathetic dean to allow me to offer a single section each of physical and historical geology. Eight years later geology is an established part of the campus catalog and runs multiple sections every semester.

As I see it, my role primarily as educating people in the community about the importance and relevance of the geosciences in their lives, and involving students as authentically as possible with the content is the best way for them to make meaning of what they learn. Geology students at PHCC go on field trips to local outcrops so they literally see how the classwork is pertinent. They go to the state natural history museum, which is conveniently located in our community, and take part in lessons I created from the permanent exhibits to highlight aspects of class. The paleontology curator at the museum and I collaborated to create teaching kits based on fossil casts as well as to create virtual field trips (VFT) of locations too distant to visit. Since implementing the use of the VFT I have been collecting data on the affective impact of them and the value students place on them educationally as a substitute for place-based trips of distant venues.

NAGT, the 2YC Division, and SAGE 2YC have provided me with multiple lines of support for professional development through the years. Training through The Math You Need, When You Need It, Teaching About Time, and multiple sessions of Support for Geoscience Education in 2YCs has provided me with new techniques for helping my students, new ideas for supporting my transferring students, and opportunities to network. As I am a department of one, this type of support has been especially important. For the last two years I have served on the committee for the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award, but now would like to step up my commitment to help the division that has helped me through the years.