2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM

Earth System Science Informal Educator Professional Development

BUCKLER, Carlyn and ROSS, Robert M., Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, csb36@cornell.edu

In an effort to address the need for quality Earth system science professional development for the thousands of informal educators across the U.S., we have developed, and piloted a 9 week, one credit, graduate level course for museum and science center educators. This course, “Global Climate Change and Informal Earth System Science”, was designed to augment the already successful suite of professional development courses for formal (K-12) educators offered by the NSF/NASA funded Earth System Science Education Alliance. The course includes two modules; “Global Climate Change” which introduces the topic and reviews current research, and a new module developed by Buckler, et al., entitled “Earth System Science in Your Backyard”. This new module provides the tools for creating in-house, inquiry-based Earth science education products for informal venues focusing on the participants' local geology and existing collections, exhibits, and /or programming. A website and blog were developed by Buckler specifically for the course. The course is taught online and is asynchronous. Advertised on two listserves, we received over 100 requests for registration during the two months prior to the course. State University of New York, Oneonta has administered the course credit, and there is no charge for the course. Participants representing venues from Alaska to Maryland, New York to North Carolina, as well as Modena, Italy, were accepted into, and successfully completed, the pilot for the course. This course will be offered again in Fall 2008, information at www.informalearthscience.org.