Education Sessions and Activities at AGU Fall 2020 Meeting

NAGT is pleased to outline a variety of geoscience education sessions and activities planned for the Fall 2020 AGU Meeting held virtually from December 1-17, 2020.

NAGT-Sponsored Topical Sessions

ED020 - Inclusivity in Geosciences: A Conversation between Scientists and Educators

Isabella Gama, Brown University, Hannah Elaine Krueger, Appalachian State University, Sloane Garelick, Brown University

Science education has the potential to be a sustained collaboration between scientists and educators. Within its current structure, the relationship between experienced educators and scientists teaching in academia is often disjointed, partially due to a lack of pathways for communication. This session will function as a conversation between academics and educators to discuss their experience working with diverse populations of students. Through this discussion, educators can share their knowledge and skills for making learning inclusive to diverse audiences in lectures, laboratory activities, remote learning, and field trips. This collaboration has the potential to lead to more holistic outreach experiences within local communities as well as more inclusive classroom experiences in higher education.

ED021 - Informal Learning in the Virtual World: Best practices and lessons learned from virtual education

Lauren Neitzke Adamo, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Carrie Ferraro, Rutgers University, Ria Sarkar, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Julia Criscione, Rutgers University

As the reality of K-12 education quickly and dramatically shifted in the face of Covid-19, many science centers, museums, STEM educational facilities, and outreach centers were also faced with the massive loss of their visitors and audiences. To continue their missions, many developed virtual experiences, live-streaming events, and online programs that allowed STEM educators to engage the public in a variety of ways. This session will explore the range of these virtual endeavors that were either revamped, fast-tracked, or newly created in response to the necessity of virtual education because of the 2020 pandemic and how we can learn from these experiences to improve virtual informal education.

ED024 - Online Hydrology Education: Lessons Learned from Designed and Impromptu Remote Instruction

Anne Jefferson, Kent State University-Kent Campus, Bridget K Mulvey, Kent State University-Kent Campus, Adam S Ward, Indiana University, Jerad Bales, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrological Science

Courses with a focus on hydrology and water resources typically employ a mixture of field, laboratory, computational, and theoretical approaches. The combination of pedagogical approaches, and the multiple disciplinary perspectives from which hydrologic topics are taught, presents challenges for rapid, widespread adoption of online instruction. Nonetheless, efforts to develop and disseminate hydrology-related curriculum online have been ongoing, and in spring 2020, instructors of face-to-face classes found themselves rapidly converting to online course delivery. Such online initiatives have the potential to improve future hydrology education regardless of instructional format by creating new, inclusive educational resources and approaches.

This session will highlight innovative teaching approaches and curriculum resources appropriate for remote delivery, as well as foster a community of online hydrology educators and identify needs for future curriculum development. Contributions that discuss instructor and student challenges, lessons learned, learning outcomes, and transferable knowledge from both designed and impromptu online courses are welcomed.

SY017 - Geoheritage: Sites for Geoscience Research, Education and Geotourism for Future Generations

David W. Mogk, Montana State University, Ester Sztein, National Academy of Sciences, Marjorie A Chan, University of Utah, Thomas Casadevall, US Geological Survey

Geoheritage encompasses the legacy of landscapes, landforms, and singular features with significant scientific, educational, cultural, and/or aesthetic values that embody the connection between people, the land, and the processes that have formed, and continue to shape, our planet.  The value of geoheritage sites can be found in enhanced research opportunities at iconic geologic sites, the promotion of geoscience education and outreach for learners at all levels, and increased public awareness of the relevance and importance of the geosciences to topics of societal importance. This session explores the history, current status, and future of the geoheritage movement; spotlights new geoconservation concepts; showcases strategies, methods, and best practices in identifying, preserving, and developing geoheritage sites; explores the potential of geoheritage sites as local economic drivers; and demonstrates ways to engage the public by increasing access to geoheritage sites. This session invites contributions that demonstrate local, regional, national, and international geoheritage initiatives.

SY025 - Museums as Communication Hubs for Earth and Environmental Sciences

Simon Shneider, University of Potsdam, Gilla Simon, Twin Falls School District, Ulrike Kastrup, ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Today, we live in a communication society. While there are unprecedented possibilities to gather information, finding relevant data and information seams to become more and more complex. Amongst the multitude of modern communication channels, museums and other public institutions stand out. Not only by their physical appearance, but by their extraordinary quality of communication. Here, genuine dialogue and participation is still lived.
Within this session, we invite presentations about new concepts for meaningful and moving science communication at museums, universities, science centers and festivals, visitor centers or outdoor exhibitions. We will discuss innovative ways to engage all audiences to actively take part in the discourse about the grand challenges of today's and tomorrow's society.

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