NAGT UPDATE: "Reflection and Action" 2015-16 Accomplishments Have Laid the Foundation ...

By Randy Richardson, NAGT president 2015-16

Serving as president of NAGT in 2015-16 was truly an honor. Few roles allow one to see how so many parts of an organization come together in service to its members. 2016 was a great year for us. We identified an outstanding set of awardees this year, from excellent journal authors and reviewers to student scholarship awards for field study to K-12 Earth science teacher awards to several named awards, including Bud Wobus as the Neil Miner Award winner. NAGT depends upon its members, sections, and divisions to identify a strong slate of candidates for its awards, and I strongly encourage each member to consider nominating individuals for awards (

NAGT does so many things well for its members. Its two publications, the peer-reviewed Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE) and In the Trenches (ITT), had excellent years. Both are in transition. We are thrilled to welcome the incoming ITT editor, Margaret Crowder of Western Kentucky University. She takes over from Cindy Shellito of the University of Northern Colorado, who has done a great job. 2016 also saw the launch of the search for a successor to JGE editor Kristen St John, who has been providing outstanding leadership for the past five years.

2016 was also a great year for programming, including the expansion of our advocacy program in support of geoscience education (, a fantastic second Earth Educators' Rendezvous (EER) in Madison (plan to attend the third EER in Albuquerque, July 17-21; see the back cover for details), great professional development opportunities (, incredible web resources ( and more! 2016 saw an increase in NAGT membership, and a five-year review of its executive director, Cathy Manduca, which highlighted her visionary leadership.

I look forward to 2017 under the able leadership to Anne Egger, to whom it was my pleasure to hand over the gavel at the GSA meeting in Denver!

... for the Important Work We're Going to Do This Year

By Anne Egger, NAGT president 2016-17

As 2017 begins, there is a lot of uncertainty and concern in our community about what the next few years will hold. But NAGT and its members are a source of hope and optimism. Over the past several years, our organization has grown and diversified and supports our membership in many ways. As individuals and as a community, we make differences every day in our students' lives, in our organizations, and in our broader communities.

Times of change provide an opportunity for both reflection and action. The Executive Committee began this year by reflecting on the mission of NAGT. Our working draft is as follows:

The mission of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers is to sustain a diverse, thriving community of educators dedicated to improving all aspects of teaching and learning about the Earth.

Our actions work to support that mission, and we are very active! Over the coming year, we will focus on:

  • Leading professional development efforts for faculty and future faculty through our traveling workshops program, Early Career Workshop, special offerings for graduate students and post-docs at the Earth Educators' Rendezvous, and our webinar series;
  • Collaborating with our colleagues in the American Geophysical Union, the American Geosciences Institute, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, and the National Earth Sciences Teachers Association to collectively strengthen all of our efforts;
  • Reaching outside the geosciences to work with other disciplines in support of sustainability education, teacher preparation, broadening access, geoscience education research, and Earth across the curriculum;
  • Supporting and facilitating the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, which place Earth science in context with humans and human activity;
  • Strengthening our advocacy efforts at both the national and regional levels;
  • Supporting the geoscience education research community and growing our research publication, the Journal of Geoscience Education;
  • Developing new programming that responds to the needs of our community and the political and scientific environment;
  • And more still, which you can hear about in the newsletter and in In the Trenches.

We always welcome your input. Please feel free to send comments about our mission or programs to me or to the Executive Office. And if you are ready to put more of your energy into NAGT's efforts, get in touch.