Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education
1 / 22

Sponsored by Jackson School of Geosciences University of Texas at Austin January 10-12, 2014 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education Dr. Sharon Mosher Dean, Jackson School of Geosciences. Sponsored by Jackson School of Geosciences University of Texas at Austin January 10-12, 2014. Summit.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Sponsored by Jackson School of Geosciences University of Texas at Austin January 10-12, 2014' - charo

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience EducationDr. Sharon MosherDean, Jackson School of Geosciences

Sponsored by

Jackson School of Geosciences

University of Texas at Austin

January 10-12, 2014


  • Brought together ~200 educators representing broad spectrum of undergraduate geoscience education community

    • R1 research universities with undergraduate programs, 4-year and 2-year colleges

    • Faculty, heads & chairs, education researchers

    • Industry & professional society representatives

  • Collectively discussed issues facing geosciences

    • 2 Keynotes, 3 panel discussions, small working group sessions; working group presentations

    • All but individual working group sessions recorded & available online (link found at:

  • 1st step in development a high-level community vision for the geosciences

    • ongoing community process

  • Motivations geoscience research today in the future
    Motivations: Geoscience Research today & in the future…

    • Interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary

    • Complex interactions between different parts of the Earth system

      • Earth’s interior and surface, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere

      • Coupling of chemical, physical, biological and geological processes

      • Deep time, present day processes, future impacts

    • Important in addressing societally important issues

      • ethics, economics, policy and communication

        As research changes – education must change

    Motivation transformation in undergraduate education
    Motivation: Transformation in Undergraduate Education

    • New ways of enhancing student learning

    • New pedagogies for STEM education; discipline-based education research (DBER)

    • Flipped classrooms, blended learning, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC’s), crowd-sourcing of open education resources

    • Virtual experiences, visualization and geospatial tools

    • Opportunities for shared resources and courses with local customization

    • Computational modeling and simulation of processes and global-scale events

    • Massive amounts of quantitative information – BIG DATA

      As technology & data change – how and what we teach must change

    Motivations diverse informed future workforce
    Motivations: Diverse & Informed Future Workforce

    • Broadening Participation and Retention of Underrepresented Groups

      • Geosciences: <10% low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minorities

      • 12% of geoscientists retire in 10 years

      • 35% increase in geoscience jobs in 10 years

    • Preparing K-12 teachers

      • ~10-15% take geosciences in middle or high school

      • Educate informed citizens

      • Instill interest in geoscience careers

      • Next Generation Science Standards

      • Geoscience Literacy documents

    External motivations
    External Motivations

    For increasing student learning to prepare students for future (not present) workforce

    • Pressure nationally from above


    • Pressure locally from above

      • Legislatures, coordinating and/or governing boards/regents, presidents/provosts

    • Other external pressures

      • Public, alumni, parents, students

    • Personal pressure

      • Joy, satisfaction, obligation

        Why does this matter?

      • Funding, Influence, Survival

    Summit outcomes summary
    Summit Outcomes Summary

    • Focus on skills, competencies, concepts, learning outcomes, not disciplinary content or curriculum

      • Universally accepted for scientists

        • Critical thinking/problem solving

        • Communicate effectively to scientists & non-scientists

        • Understand and use scientific research methods

        • Have strong quantitative skills and ability to apply

        • Work in interdisciplinary teams and across cultures

        • Ability to access and integrate information from different sources and to continue to learn

    Skills for geoscientists
    Skills for Geoscientists

    • Work with uncertainty, non-uniqueness, incompleteness, ambiguity and indirect observations

    • Readily solve problems, especially those requiring spatial and temporal (i.e. 3D and 4D) interpretations

    • Make inferences about Earth system from observations of natural world combined with experimentation and modeling

    • Have strong computational skills and the ability to manage and analyze large datasets

    • Integrate data from different disciplines and apply systems thinking

    • Have strong field skills and a working knowledge of GIS

    • Be technologically versatile (i.e. Google Earth, tablets, smartphones, apps)

    Geoscience concepts
    Geoscience Concepts

    • Earth as a complex dynamic system

      • linkages between the different systems (e.g., lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere etc.).

      • coupling between chemical, physical, biological and geological processes

    • Deep time, including the origin and evolution of life and Earth; present day processes & future impacts

    • How Earth works, including surficial and tectonic processes; natural resources (including water and energy), natural hazards, climate change

    • Understand societal relevance of geoscience topics and ethical dimensions

    Pedagogy use of technology
    Pedagogy & Use of Technology

    • Use proven active learning methods and pedagogy

      • Disseminate, encourage use & increase current knowledge base; illustrate benefits

      • Incorporate collaborative, integrative, interdisciplinary teamwork

      • Integrate research projects & experiences, problem solving projects, field experiences into curriculum

    • Integrate technology, visualization, simulation, modeling, and big data as appropriate

      • Sophisticated systems can strongly facilitate student exploration and classroom interactivity

      • Make better use of social networking, educational games and crowdsourcing

    Barriers solutions
    Barriers & Solutions

    • Resources – financial and space needs

      • Time and support to develop and pilot new instructional approaches

      • Space redesigned from lecture-based to interactive classes

      • Technology infrastructure

      • Performance-based incentives to change

      • Investment in professional development activities

    • Annual performance evaluations and tenure and promotion do not reward efforts to improve teaching

    • Resources – community

      • Availability of web-based resources, such as repositories of data and curricula, examples of effective implementation

      • Build faculty awareness of the availability of resources

    • Different incoming student backgrounds & quantitative preparation

    Preparation of future k 12 teachers
    Preparation of Future K-12 Teachers

    • Integrate Next Generation Science Standards into undergraduate curricula

      • Prepare future teachers to do the same

    • Integrate math & basic sciences into course content

      • Provide geologic examples that can be used in teaching those subjects

    • Encourage collaborations with K-12 in-service teachers and improvements in pre-service programs

      • Can use to address “Broader Impacts” research grant objectives

    • Be aware of state teacher education & licensure requirements, local K-12 instruction requirements & content assessment

    • Build collaborations between Y4C & Y2C faculty

    Broadening participation of under represented groups
    Broadening Participation of Under-represented Groups

    • Emulate & develop successful recruiting programs

      • Providefinancial support

      • Reach out to students in their communities

      • Involve members of the community (families, high school teachers, guidance counselors)

      • Incorporate role models

      • Include mentoring

    • Collaboration among Y4C, 2YC, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HIS), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) faculty

      • Provides pathways for successfully transfer to Y4C

      • REUs to recruit and provide opportunities for 2YC, HBCU and HIS students

    • Develop or collaborate with STEM programs for minority students at pre-high school and high school levels

    • Address geosciences image

      • Emphasize societal relevance & career prospects

      • Earth is Calling video, posters/brochures

    What is the future roadmap for sustained change
    What is the Future Roadmap for sustained change?

    History repeating itself?

    • Some have done this before

    • Many were not involved 18 years ago

    • Geoscience research has changed

    • Technology & data has changed

    • Culture, motivations changing

      How do we learn from past?

    • Have recommendations broadly embraced and implemented

    • Requires combined efforts of all of us

    • Heads & Chairs, Professional societies & industry roles

    Next steps towards completing implementing community vision
    Next steps towards completing & implementing community vision

    • Disseminate results of Summit

      • Webinars, town meetings, articles, talks, reports, surveys

    • Increase awareness and use of already developed community resources & effective pedagogy & techniques

    • Further refine vision, generate more detailed plans, provide examples, hold follow-on activities

    • Role of Heads & Chairs in stimulating change

      • Establish academic cultures that reward innovative teaching, including promotion & tenure

      • Improve instructional infrastructure

      • Allocate time and support for faculty developing and piloting new instructional approaches

      • Provide performance-based incentives to change

      • Invest in professional development activities for faculty

      • Make effective teaching an important hiring criterion

      • Make effective teaching part of graduate student professional training

    • Roles of professional societies

      • Disseminate results of Summit

      • Spearhead follow-on activities

      • Advocate for a community vision for geoscience undergraduate education

      • Organize professional development efforts for young faculty & experienced faculty

    • Roles of employers

      • Provide input on community vision

      • Articulate future workforce needs – skills, competencies, critical concepts

      • Work with department faculty on providing practical applications, projects, research & experiences for undergraduates

    • Sustained change in geoscience undergraduate education

      • Combined, coordinated efforts of departments and programs

      • Administrators, individual faculty innovators

      • Geoscience professional societies & future workforce employers

    • Affect culture change - administration down to student level

      • Overcome roadblocks to implementation

    • View Outcomes:

      • Links to reports, archived webcasts of summit, community resources, background reading, future activities, etc.


    Organizing committee

    Tim Bralower, Pennsylvania State University

    Jacqueline Huntoon, Michigan Technological University

    Peter Lea, Bowdoin College

    David McConnell, North Carolina State University

    Kate Miller, Texas A&M University

    Sharon Mosher, University of Texas at Austin

    Jeff Ryan, University ofSouth Florida

    Lori Summa, ExxonMobil Upstream Research

    Joshua Villalobos, El Paso Community College

    Lisa White, University of California – Berkeley


    Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education

    Keynote speakers

    Robert Frodeman, University of North Texas

    James Collins, Arizona State University


    Anne Egger, Central Washington University

    Ashanti Johnson, Institute for Broadening Participation; University of Texas at Arlington

    Chris Keane, American Geoscience Institute

    Lyndsey LeMay, Thomas Nelson Community College

    Cathy Manduca, SERC

    Steve Marshak, University of Illinois at Urbana

    Stephen Mattox, Grand Valley State

    David McConnell, North Carolina State University

    Dave Mogk, Montana State University

    Steven Whitmeyer, James Madison University


    Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education

    Questions and discussion
    Questions and Discussion

    • If you would like to speak, press the “raise your hand” icon on the webinar control panel.

    • If you would rather type, you can use the chat/questions box.

    Heads & Chairs Webinar Series Schedule

    • Join us for the next webinar

    • When: Friday, April 18, from 1-2 pm EST

    • Topic: The Future of Field Camps

    • Register for this webinar and others at:

    Wrap up

    • Audiovisual recording of today’s webinar will be available in the coming weeks.

    • If you have additional questions or comments about the webinar series, or would like to join the AGU Heads and Chairs listserv, or participate in the workshop at the AGU Fall Meeting, please contact Pranoti Asher at [email protected]