Initial Publication Date: May 20, 2016

In the Trenches - April 2016

Volume 6, Number 2

In This Issue

Online Supplements

This site provides web links that supplement the print articles as well as news and web resources. Members can follow the "Read more" links below to access full versions of the articles online. To receive the full edition of In the Trenches, join NAGT

Diving Deep: Engaging Students with Authentic Ocean Data

Meghan E. Marrero, Mercy College, and Karen Woodruff, US Satellite Laboratory

Why do humpback whales migrate with the seasons? Are cooler or warmer waters more productive? How do the seafloors of the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins compare? Due to improved remote sensing and technological capabilities, there is a myriad of ocean data sets freely available online including sea surface temperature (SST), bathymetry, chlorophyll, pollution, sea ice, salinity, and tracks of animals. Students can access these data to answer their own scientific questions or those posed by their instructors. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (NGSS Lead States, 2013) for K-12 science in the United States represent a philosophical shift in the way that students learn science. Osborne (2014) argues that it is only when students actually engage in scientific practices that they will understand how science advances, that is, how scientists establish and support their findings. But how can we get students to use the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices appropriately, in ways similar to the ones scientists work? One approach is for teachers to use authentic earth data to support students' development in the NGSS science practices (Marrero, Gunning & Woodruff, 2015). Using authentic data gives students the opportunity to gain contextual understandings of the applications of science (Chin & Malhotra, 2002; Doering & Veletsianos, 2007; Krumhansl et al., 2013; Lee & Butler, 2003) and can make learning experiences more powerful for students (Ucar & Trundle, 2011; Adams, 2011). The diverse ocean data sets available to students and teachers represent an important and relevant opportunity. Read more...

A Tactile Lab: Contours, Ocean Bathymetry, and Scaling

Jessica Kleiss, Lewis & Clark College

Many oceanography laboratory manuals include activities to improve students' spatial abilities with contoured maps, ocean bathymetry, and coastal navigation (Chauffe and Jefferies 2012, Pipkin et al, 2000, Thurman & Savin 1995). Inspired by a lab developed by Dr. Sally Warner and Dr. Anitra Ingalls, I would like to share with you a lab that encourages students to work with contour maps and depth soundings in a kinesthetic, 3-dimensional setting. Read more...

Improving Student Ocean Science Literacy Through Collaboration with a Librarian

Laura A. Guertin and Nina Clements, Penn State Brandywine

Tapping into librarian expertise can enhance instruction toward ocean science literacy in that a librarian can bring ideas and resources to the oceanography classroom that a geoscience instructor might not consider. Consulting with a librarian can lead to the development of assignments that teach students skills that are independent of a discipline, and that they can utilize beyond any individual course. These collaborations promote development of information literacy as well as ocean science literacy among students. Read more...

More Resources for Teaching Ocean Science

An abundance of online resources mean that you no longer need to live in a seaside community to help your students get a feel for what it means to explore the ocean. Read full article.

The Algae-in-a-Bottle Experiment

W. Sean Chamberlin, Fullerton College

The Algae-in-a-Bottle Experiment represents an active learning, guided research strategy that provides opportunities for students to collaborate, problem-solve, and communicate about ocean science. The ABE helps students to know, understand, and apply a number of concepts related to the biology and ecology of phytoplankton in the oceanic environment. It is also relevant to methods being developed for the use of algae as biofuels. Read more...

Nominations Due for NAGT's Annual Awards to Outstanding Earth Science Teachers in Grades K-12

NAGT's annual Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) awards recognize "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth sciences at the pre-college level." Any K-12 educator who covers a significant amount of Earth science content with students is eligible. Ten finalists are selected, one from each section. Some sections also recognize state winners. Individuals may apply themselves or nominate a colleague for the award. Deadlines vary by section with some as late as mid-May.

The Coolest Mixing Process in the Ocean

Mirjam Sophia Glessmer, Center for Teaching and Learning, Hamburg University of Technology

When you think about "mixing" in the ocean, you probably think of mixing induced mechanically by crashing breakers, propellers of large ships or schools of fish. While that kind of mixing is happening a lot, especially near the surface of the ocean, there are other kinds of mixing that most people don't know about. Read more...

Earth Educators Rendezvous 2016, July 18-22, University of Wisconsin, Madison — Register Today!

The 2016 Earth Educators' Rendezvous' combination of workshops, posters, talks, panel discussions, and plenary presentations is designed to appeal to everyone from instructors attending their first Earth education-themed meeting to experienced STEM education researchers to administrators who want to better support students in their programs. Organized in two-, three-, and five-day blocks, it allows those interested in improving teaching about the earth to build a conference that meets their individual needs.

  • Morning workshops require registration and will be filled on a first come first served basis.
  • Participants can attend afternoon mini-workshops or panel discussions or choose between sessions featuring teaching demonstrations and/or contributed talks.
  • The contributed program offers the opportunity to present work and to see what is going on in the Earth science education community.
  • InTeGrate-sponsored Review Camp

For early bird registration advantages, sign up by May 2:

A Departmental Approach to Addressing the Problem of Sexual Harassment and Assault in Field Experiences

Walter A. Robinson, North Carolina State University

The Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University is an "all-sphere" geosciences department, with undergraduate majors and graduate programs in geology, marine sciences, and meteorology. We are proud of the field experiences we offer our students: local field trips embedded in courses, short field courses during campus holidays, and multi-week marine science and geology field courses. These are high-impact learning experiences, and I have been eager to create still more opportunities for students to get into the field earlier in their college careers, in order to increase student engagement with their courses and with the expectation that this will lead to improved persistence in our majors and enhanced student success. Read more...

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Web Features

NAGT, its members, and its sponsored projects have produced a number of resources related to the topics addressed in this issue.

On the Cutting Edge: Teaching Oceanography »

Oceans cover about 70% of the globe and have a major influence on all of Earth's systems. Oceanography offers a fascinating context to connect science with human dimensions through the study of current events and issues such as hazards, pollution, energy resources, and more. Dive into the resources available on Cutting Edge for exciting ways to incorporate oceanography and its multi-disciplinary facets into your classroom and laboratory.

SERC Site Guide: Oceanography »

Several resources about Oceanography are available from the SERC websites. This Stie Guide provides a list of project websites that provide visualizations, teaching activities, and tools that may be of use in the classroom or in lab.

Starting Point: Interactive Lecture Demonstrations »

Interactive Lecture Demonstrations engage students in activities that confront their prior understanding of a core concept. The activity can be a classroom experiment, a survey, a simulation or an analysis of secondary data.

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