2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM


GRANSHAW, Frank D., Physical Science, Portland Community College, Portland, OR 97280-0990 and FOUNTAIN, Andrew G., Geology and Geography, Portland State University, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207, fgransha@pcc.edu

Glaciers are sensitive to variations in climate; consequently informing the general public about glaciological research is an important part of educating about climate change. To address this need, members of the glacier research team at Portland State University have created a collection of on-line educational materials aimed at introducing the general public to glaciers, glacier change, and the work of glacier-climate scientists. Some of these materials are part of an extensive website designed to provide glaciological information and data to the research community, as well as the general public. Others were designed as public information features for National Parks.

Though these materials have been designed for a high school and undergraduate audience, they are constructed as digital reference material rather than targeted curriculum. As such they include on-line articles providing basic information about glacier structure and dynamics, glaciers and climate change, and glaciological research. These materials also include interactive animations and simulations that engage users in simulated glaciological research, demonstrating how models are used in research. Other materials involve interactive maps and timelines that allow the user to explore the geography of glaciated areas, the extent of glacier change in those areas, and climatic factors shaping that change.

In this presentation, we will demonstrate some of these materials and discuss techniques for and issues involved in creating on-line educational materials that attempt to communicate how glacial research is conducted. We will also examine the need for, benefits, and challenges of creating a scientist - educator - public agency collaborative to disseminate research findings.