Initial Publication Date: April 14, 2011

In the Trenches - April 2011

Volume 1, Number 2

In This Issue

Online Supplements

This site provides web links that supplement the print articles as well as news and web resources. To receive the full edition of In the Trenches join NAGT

Rock-Solid Schooling: Teaching Teachers in the Field

Teachers investigate the origin of Double O arch in Arches National Park. Details

Jackie Huntoon and Chris Wojick of Michigan Tech describe their institution's two-week field camp experience for in-service Earth science teachers which began in 1999. The course focuses on helping the teachers focus on the process of doing science and building knowledge and skills sequentially.

TECHNOLOGY TALKS: Podcasts Amplify Learning in the Field

The use of podcasts to deliver lectures both prior to and during field experiences has been a positive experience for author Lawrence Rudd of Nevada State College in Henderson, Nevada.

  • Toroweap Overlook podcasts
  • Audacity, a free digital audio editing and recording software

TWO-YEAR COLLEGES INSIGHTS: On the Road to Expanded Horizons

Students who participate in Berquist and Bentley's two-week field course through the geology of Montana produce a web-based final report based on their research beforehand and the detailed field notes they take during the experience. These reports are meant to demonstrate how the students have developed in terms of critical thinking skills, their ability to work in groups, and solve problems. Examples include:

G-Camp Offers Big Ideas, Hands-On Lessons to Teachers, Grades 4-12

Determining flow in the San Miguel River Details

The authors describe how a focus on "big ideas" can help develop the skills of Earth science teachers and begin to address a critical shortage of geoscientists in the workforce.

BOOK REVIEW: Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology by David B. Williams

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Web Features

NAGT, its members, and its sponsored projects have been engaged in other activities to help improve teaching in the field in geoscience classes.

Teach the Earth SiteGuide: Teaching in the Field
Teach the Earth is the portal to a large collection of teaching activities and pedagogical materials related to geoscience that have been developed by several dozen projects. SiteGuides are a way of seeing materials on a particular topic regardless of which project developed them. Each Site Guide tackles a particular topic of interest to educators and highlights relevant resources. The Teaching in the Field SiteGuide provides links to field guides and activities, as well as resources and information for teaching effectively in the field.

Field Activities
This link provides access to a growing collection of almost 500 teaching activities for field settings submitted by educators from around the country teaching at many levels. You can share activities that you use in class via a form on the NAGT website. Some of the available activities include:

NAGT Teaching in the Field
This part of the NAGT website aims to promote models for effective educational field trips to geoscientists 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.

Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database
The Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database is a pilot project for making the field guide literature more accessible and useful to geoscience educators, students, and researchers. Despite the importance of published field guides and road logs, most of the publications of this type are part of a "gray literature" that is not widely distributed or even still available. Faculty can use the searchable database to discover field guides, road logs, and research results for areas around Montana and Yellowstone National Park as well as teaching activities linked to particular field areas.

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Professional Development


  • Southwest Section Meeting and Field Trip: Durango Colorado, May 20-22
  • North Central Section Meeting and Field Trip: Sinks Canyon Area, Lander, Wyoming, July 20-22
    Share curriculum ideas with other geoscience educators in the peaceful setting of Sinks Canyon. Followed by an optional, two-day field trip. Contact Suki Smaglik ( for details and watch the North Central Section Website for more details as they become available.

Grant Opportunities

Other News

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