Past Projects

Listed in alphabetical order.

2017 Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017 was the first eclipse to cross the US in 99 years! 99 years may not be a long time in geological terms but just short of a century is more than a lifetime for most of us.

The total eclipse—where the moon is completely blocking the sun—was visible from the US starting in Oregon on a nearly linear path ending in South Carolina. Most states were able to see at least a partial eclipse.

Distinguished Speakers Series

The NAGT Distinguished Speaker Series was one of the most visible and direct services of the Association. Members at colleges, universities and other academic institutions were able to apply to have one of our featured researchers on the cutting edge of geoscience education research and teaching visit their institution to deliver seminars, workshops, and in-person consultation with researchers and geoscience departments. Speakers and their topics were as diverse as our membership, and the offerings were updated every year to reflect the latest developments in the field and the concerns of our membership.

Filling the Expectation Gap: Paleontologists as Teaching Professors

Most graduate students in vertebrate paleontology are trained to be employed in museums or as tenure-track faculty at research-intensive universities. However, because these positions are rare in the best of times, paleontologists often work in teaching-intensive positions, and the realities of those positions do not necessarily match personal expectations and formal training in graduate school. The goal of this workshop was to identify the variety of challenges encountered by paleontologists at institutions other than "R1s" and provide resources, strategies, and support for successfully navigating those challenges. This workshop was oriented toward things that aspiring professors can be doing now—integrated course design (with an increased emphasis on online teaching) as well as developing the elements of self-image, professionalism, and work-life balance at teaching-intensive institutions.

Geoscience Literacies

Over the last several years, a number of efforts have been undertaken to define key aspects of the geosciences in terms of the big ideas that need to be grasped by students, the public, and policy makers. This work has led to the development of literacy documents which summarize the most important principles and concepts across different parts of the geosciences. Originally envisioned as a way of helping educators implement the National Science Education Standards, the literacies have also proven to be valuable to other individuals and communities which need to understand science that affects their lives.

Each literacy document is the product of a wide-ranging collaboration between federal agency scientists, formal and informal educators, interested individuals and representatives from non-governmental organizations and other institutions which included extensive review and comment periods. The literacies have been reviewed by leading scientists in each discipline and feedback was sought from geoscience and geoscience education professional societies as well.

Geoscience Teachers in Parks

The Geoscience Teachers in Parks (GTIP) program was a collaborative effort between NAGT and the National Park Service to provide professional development for K12 teachers of geoscience. Elementary, middle school, and high school teachers of geoscience, as well as recent graduates who are prospective geoscience teachers were eligible to take part in this program.

Inquiry-Based, Hands-On Educational Activities

These activities were submitted by participants in sessions at the2005 North Central GSA meeting and at the 2005 AGU Fall Meeting on Inquiry-Based, Hands-On Classroom Exercises, Lab Demonstrations, and Field Investigations in Geoscience Education. The sessions were sponsored by the Central Section of the NAGT.

March for Science

NAGT was proud to announce its 2018 partnership with the national March for Science movement. The March for Science, an emphatically nonpartisan event, calls for science that upholds the common good, and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest. As stated in its Mission, the March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.

By endorsing the march, NAGT affirms these principles, recognizes the importance of science and science education to our citizens, and stands up for diversity, inclusion and equality in science. We encourage our members to march in support.

Teaching in the Field

Field experiences are an important part of the life of the geoscience student and professional. We take our students to the field to see fundamental relationships and to learn to observe, collect and interpret data. This website exists to facilitate interactions and sharing that will:

  • enable NAGT sections to learn from one another in order to elevate the quality of their field offerings around the country,
  • promote models for effective educational field trips to geoscientists around the world,
  • and provide an archive of field guides furthering the ability of K-12 teachers, faculty, community groups, and others to lead scientifically accurate, pedagogically effective field trips.

Volcano Exploration Project: Puʻu ʻŌʻō (VEPP)

The goal of VEPP was to develop curriculum for a variety of course types (from large lecture courses for non-majors to graduate-level seminars) that utilizes the resources provided via the VEPP Web site. Applications were invited from college and university Earth Science instructors to take part in a week-long workshop to be held at the summit of Kilauea Volcano, on the Big Island of Hawaii, in July 2010 . The workshop included discussions about the data and monitoring methods used on the website, best practices for the classroom, breakout sessions for curriculum development, field excursions, a tour of HVO (founded in 1912), and interactions with HVO volcanologists.