In the Trenches - April 2020

Fostering Future Geoscientists & COVID-19 Updates

Volume 10, 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


Redina Finch new Editor-in-Chief, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL.

I hope you're all tolerating the coronavirus restrictions well. This is certainly not how I expected to spend my spring, but I'm making the best of it and even having some fun with my teaching. For a while now, I've wanted to learn the free OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) video production tools so I could make a couple of instructional videos for my classes. Now I've made LOTS of instructional videos and know OBS pretty darn well. If you're bored with standard teaching videos, you can even add special effects to your videos with Hit Film Express (also free.) Read more...

Integrating Research Experience into Introductory Geoscience Courses

Lauren Scott is a project manager at the Social & Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC), Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. Kusali Gamage and Leslie Davis are adjunct professors at Austin Community College, Austin, TX. Katerina Petronotis is an associate research scientist at International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Since 2016, 158 students from Austin Community College (ACC) have participated in a day-long field activity at the Gulf Coast Core Repository (GCR) of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) at Texas A&M University (TAMU). TAMU operates the research drillship JOIDES Resolution for IODP, and the GCR houses >60 miles of sediment and rock cores retrieved from beneath the seafloor. This field activity, funded by the National Science Foundation with an Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS) grant, provides both science and non-science majors, including underrepresented minorities, an undergraduate research experience in their first two years of college Read more...

Offering Career-Focused Courses to Increase Geoscience Participation: Lessons from Five Years of Experience

Patrick Shabram is a geography professor at Front Range Community College Larimer Campus, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Courses designed to introduce undergraduate students to careers within an area of study encourage interest in and preparation for these careers in the related fields (Pawloski and Shabram, 2019; Freeman, 2012). Such a course was created at Front Range Community College (FRCC) as one part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) GEOPAths grant to increase pathways for students into geoscience-related fields. GEO 210: Careers & Research in the Geosciences, offered in the spring semester, is currently in its fifth year at FRCC. A one-credit seminar course, the course focuses on internships, careers, research, and transfer opportunities in the geosciences. The course was created as part of the Geo-Launchpad project in collaboration with UNAVCO, the NSF Geodetic Facility to Advance Geosciences (GAGE facility). While the course has a successful impact on preparing students for transfer and eventual careers, the difficulties in creating and running such a course can be hard to anticipate. Following I describe some of the challenges and successes of the course. Read more...

How to Make a Rock Cycle Exhibit on Your Campus

Michael Patrick is a professor emeritus, natural sciences, at Santa Fe College, Gainesville, Florida.

IIIf you have taught a physical geology class, you probably have an appreciation for a fundamental concept called the "Rock Cycle." As most of you know, the "Rock Cycle" is a diagram which relates the three basic rock types, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic, and includes the cooling and solidification, weathering, transportation, and deposition processes, as well as the lithification and metamorphic processes. Read more...

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