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.

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Atmospheric Science Literacy

Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts of Atmospheric Science

PDF: Atmospheric Science Literacy (Acrobat (PDF) 4.4MB Feb8 17)

Related Resources:

UCAR: University Consortium for Atmospheric Research

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Climate Literacy

The Essential Principles of Climate Science

PDF: Climate Literacy (Acrobat (PDF) 15.1MB Feb8 17)

Related Resources:

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)
CLEAN Educational Resources, sortable by climate literacy principles
Teaching Climate Literacy from CLEAN
Climate Literacy Network
Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, and E-Learning (CAMEL)

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Earth Science Literacy Principles

The Big Ideas and Supporting Concepts of Earth Science

PDF: Earth Science Literacy Principles (Acrobat (PDF) 18.6MB Feb8 17)

Related Resources

National Science Education Standards (1995)
Science for All Americans: Education for a Changing Future

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Energy Literacy

Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education

PDF: Energy Literacy (Acrobat (PDF) 28.3MB Feb8 17)

Related Resources:

Teaching Energy Literacy from CLEAN
CLEAN Educational Resources, sortable by energy literacy principles
Cutting Edge: Teaching About Energy in Geoscience Courses

Ocean Science Litereacy Cover

Ocean Literacy

The Essential Principles of Ocean Sciences

PDF: Ocean Literacy (Acrobat (PDF) 695kB Feb8 17)

Related Resources:

Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE)
Cutting Edge: Teaching Oceanography