NAGT > News > May 2015

NAGTNews - Vol 14 - No 5 - May 2015

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1. In Memoriam - Janis Treworgy

Janis Treworgy, a member of NAGT's Executive Committee, passed away peacefully on April 7, 2015 at her home in Grafton, Illinois. Janis's involvement with NAGT began in the mid-1990s when she was asked by the Illinois State Geological Survey to develop curriculum materials and workshops for middle school teachers to address new Earth science standards that had been approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. Janis subsequently became very active in NAGT's Central Section serving as its secretary/treasurer, 1st vice president, 2nd vice president, and president. It was after Janis joined the faculty of Principia College in 2000 that she became active in NAGT at the national level. During her term as NAGT president, the Journal of Geoscience Education transitioned into an online publication, the Geo2YC division was established, and NAGT began publishing In the Trenches. Following her year as past-president, Janis was elected to serve as NAGT secretary/treasurer. Read more...

2. Earth Educators' Rendezvous Update

There are some great themes shaping up in the program of the upcoming Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Boulder, CO, July 13-17. Here are just three examples of great opportunities for the science education community to tackle important issues together.

Incorporate Sustainability into your Curriculum
With eight billion people inhabiting a finite planet, living sustainability is a human imperative in the 21st century. Students understand this, and many come to their study of the Earth seeking authentic engagement with sustainability while also increasing the connection of their knowledge to societal needs.
Several workshops, poster and oral sessions, and plenary sessions address ways to increase the focus on sustainability and system thinking in courses and programs.

Incorporate InTeGrate Materials into your Curriculum
Two-year college faculty and instructors who want to adopt new materials into their courses are often concerned about the lack of sufficient time. This includes time for them to learn the new materials and class time where they will "fit" new activities into their current course syllabi. InTeGrate (Interdisciplinary Teaching about the Earth for a Sustainable Future) supports the teaching of geoscience in the context of societal issues both within geoscience courses and across the undergraduate curriculum. To this end, InTeGrate classroom modules align with high-impact practices that enhance Earth literacy among college students.

Increase Diversity in the Sciences
Join us at the upcoming Earth Educators' Rendezvous this summer in Boulder, CO for important opportunities to learn about increasing diversity in the sciences including a workshop and plenary by Professor John Matsui, Director and Co-Founder of The Biology Scholars Program (BSP) at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, there are also other morning and afternoon workshops, and oral and poster sessions devoted to this important topic.

The 2015 first annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous will bring together researchers and practitioners working in all aspects of undergraduate Earth education. We welcome faculty from all disciplines who are interested in improving their teaching about the Earth, administrators from geoscience departments and interdisciplinary programs that want to become stronger, and education researchers of all types. Join the Rendezvous for 2 or 3 days or stay the whole week. To learn more and to register, visit:

3. Upcoming NAGT Award Program Deadlines

Several of NAGT's programs have deadlines coming up soon. Check them out and apply or nominate someone.

Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award

This award is given to precollege teachers who have made exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth sciences and who are outstanding teachers. Each NAGT section selects a section winner and sets their own nomination deadlines. There are a several sections with May 15 or May 31 nomination deadlines.

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards

NAGT recognizes outstanding teaching assistants in geoscience education with up to 30 awards annually. Both undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants are eligible for the award. Award winners receive a one year membership in NAGT. Nominations must be submitted by the department chair or faculty member coordinating teaching assistants and describe the activities and qualities that make this teaching assistant outstanding. Nominations are due by June 15.

4. NAGT/USGS Cooperative Field Training Program Celebrates 50 Years

Started in 1965, the NAGT-USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program is the longest continuously running internship program in the earth sciences. The program recently announced the 50th class of interns that will work in NAGT research offices around the country this summer. Over the last half-century, more than 1800 students have participated in this program with an significant number of these individuals going on to become full-time employees of the USGS.

5. News from InTeGrate

New Teaching Module: Living on the Edge: Building Resilient Societies on Active Plate Margins

Developed by Laurel Goodell, Princeton University, Professor Peter Selkin, University of Washington, Tacoma, and Professor Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico. In this two-week teaching module, students use real earthquake and volcano monitoring data to draw conclusions about risks to plate boundary communities, and to communicate and plan for those risks. In doing so, students integrate scientific data with societal scenarios, making use of authentic data, funded by government agencies to mitigate issues faced by communities. Particularly timely given the recent tragedy in Nepal, Living on the Edge: Building Resilient Societies on Active Plate Margins is a great fit for courses in physical geology, environmental science, physical geography, geohazards, and environmental geology.

Announcing the publication of "Integrating geoscience into undergraduate education about environment, society, and sustainability using place-based learning"

InTeGrate congratulates David Gosselin, Steven Burian, Tim Lutz, and Julia Maxson on their recent article on linking place-based learning to geoscience concepts and societal issues in the current issue of the Journal of Environmental Studies and Science.

6. AGU/AGI Heads and Chairs Webinar: Findings of the 2014 Geoscience Exit Survey

AGU/AGI Heads and Chairs Webinar for May 8, 2015 on Findings of the 2014 Geoscience Exit Survey is now available.

You can view the recording and a list of all of the upcoming webinars at:

7. AGI Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct, 2015

To: AGI Member Society Representatives, Presidents, and Executive Directors
From: Eric M. Riggs, AGI President

Geoscientists study earth and planetary processes. The knowledge that we generate illuminates peoples' understanding of the Earth—the foundation for human existence—and can have profound effects on society. We should critically examine our common responsibilities and obligations as geoscientists and geo-professionals, and behave ethically in all our professional endeavors.

I am very pleased to share these revised Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct with our member societies. The Guidelines represent a significant update to the original Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct, which were adopted by AGI in 1999. The Guidelines and a document outlining the history, context, and intended use of the Guidelines are attached. We invite member societies to endorse the Guidelines as an expression of shared values for the profession. Please email Maeve Boland ( by September 30, 2015, if you would like to add your organization as a signatory to the Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct.

The Guidelines provide an aspirational framework to identify the ethical principles that should inform the professional conduct of geoscientists regardless of their particular area of study. They do not delve into discipline-specific topics, nor do they contain any regulatory or enforcement provisions. The Guidelines are not binding on any AGI member organization or its members. Some member societies already have codes of conduct that are specific to their interests; other societies may wish to adopt these Guidelines; some societies may address issues related to enforcement of their codes with appropriate disciplinary actions—the decision on how to use the Guidelines is left to each organization.

The impetus to develop this document stemmed from a Consensus Statement on Ethics and the Geosciences signed by 27 AGI member societies following the 2013 AGI Leadership Forum. We are extremely grateful to the members of an ad hoc committee who took up the challenge of developing a common code of ethics, one of the action items in the Consensus Statement. David Mogk from Montana State University, representing the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, chaired the committee which comprised David Abbott (AIPG), Robert Finkelman (IMGA), Joe Gillman (AASG), Linda Gundersen (AGU), Denise Hills (AWG), Murray Hitzman (SEG), Edmund Nickless (GSL), Lee Phillips (CUR), Monica Ramirez (AWG), Robert Tepel (AEG), and Douglas Walker (GSA).

AGI is pleased to have been able to support the geoscience community in developing the revised Guidelines for Professional Ethical Conduct and we look forward to working with member societies on the other action items in the Consensus Statement: promoting informed understanding of the role of ethics in the geosciences; raising standards of professional practice among geoscientists; and promoting this common code of ethics for geoscientists.

To read more about the guidelines as well as their history, context, and intended use, go to the AGI Website.

8. New Children's Book on Climate Change

How do we know the climate is changing? For more than 200 years, scientists have been observing, measuring, and analyzing information about our planet's climate. Studies from the Antarctic, the Amazon, the Great Barrier Reef, and beyond show that the earth is in constant transition and that humans have an effect on what happens.

In Climate Change: Discover How It Impacts Spaceship Earth, young readers (ages 9-12) examine real studies concerning planetary science, Arctic ice bubbles, carbon measurements, and more. Kids explore the history of human impact from the Industrial Revolution to today, as well as the science and engineering innovations underway around the world to address global climate change.

Focused on a pro-active approach to environmental education, Climate Change: Discover How It Impacts Spaceship Earth engages readers through hands-on activities, such as building a solar pizza oven and observing the changing forms of matter, along with the deconstruction of myths, hypotheses, and communications. Kids are directed to digital supplemental materials that enhance the discussion of climate change and make complex concepts easier to understand through visual representation. Climate Change offers a way to think of our Spaceship Earth as the singular resource it is.

The idea of climate change can be scary, but every one of us has the ability to make a difference. Climate Change encourages kids to become responsible caretakers of a sustainable planet.

About the Authors:

Joshua Sneideman is an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow with 10 years experience as a middle school science teacher. He founded ECO International, an intercollegiate Environmental Congress to help Costa Rican high schools develop environmental community action plans. Joshua lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Erin Twamley is a professional adult educator and education specialist with over five years of experience providing research and communications support in education. Erin lives in Washington, DC.

For more information about this book, please contact Rachel Benoit at Nomad Press at 802.649.1995 or Pub date April 2015, size 8 by 10 inches, 128 pages. ISBN 13: 9781619302730 / 9781619302693

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