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

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM


STOKES, Philip J.1, BAKER, Gregory S.2, BIRDD, Don3, DORSEY, Dara3, SPLETT, John4 and STALEY, John5, (1)Geology, University at Buffalo, 867 Natural Sciences Complex, Buffalo, NY 14260, (2)Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, (3)Earth Sciences and Science Education, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222, (4)Physics, Erie County Community College - City Campus, 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, (5)Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Univ at Buffalo (SUNY), 548 Capan Hall, Buffalo, NY 14068-3050, pjstokes@geology.buffalo.edu

Entering into its fourth full year, the Buffalo Geosciences Program (BGP) has achieved both its short and long term goals with incontrovertible results. Numerous partnerships have been forged between the BGP consortium (University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Erie Community College) and local community education organizations (Buffalo Museum of Science, Erie County Public Libraries, Penn Dixie Outdoor Education Center, Buffalo Public Schools). In the process, students that joined the program at the high school and community college levels have progressed to become geoscience majors (and minors) at the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College.

Operating in western New York State, the BGP targets students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences in the greater Buffalo area. Program participants include African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans (American Indians and Alaskan Natives), Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesian or Micronesian) and students with both physical and learning disabilities. Upon admittance into the program, students have the opportunity to choose from many geologic field research or earth science education activities. Throughout the program, student development is encouraged to facilitate a wide base of geoscience knowledge and field experiences, public speaking skills, understanding research methods, greater independence, and improved self confidence. Fundamentally, the success of the BGP is gauged by the personal and academic growth of its individual students.

Ongoing recruitment efforts have been based largely on public presentations given by current interns in the program. Student interns have the opportunity to research geoscience topics of their choice and present the results during BGP GOLD (Geoscience Opportunities for Learning and Discovery), our community education and outreach forums. BGP GOLD presentations include lectures, demonstrations, and hands on activities designed to stimulate the audience into thinking more about how geoscience affects their everyday lives.