2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
Paper No. 29-19
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

TEACHING ABOUT THE PALEOCENE-EOCENE THERMAL MAXIMUM (PETM): AN INQUIRY-BASED, DATA-RICH CASE STUDY IN ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE FOR A VARIETY OF UNDERGRADUATE SETTINGS

JONES, Megan H., Geology, North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave. No, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445, megan.jones@nhcc.edu, LECKIE, R. Mark, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, 611 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003, ST. JOHN, Kristen, Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, POUND, Kate S., Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, St. Cloud State University, 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301, and KRISSEK, Lawrence, School of Earth Sciences and Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

Adapted as part of an NSF CCLI Phase 1 grant (# 0737335) on “Building Core Knowledge and Reconstructing Earth History”, this guided inquiry-based module provides students an opportunity to grapple with a variety of authentic paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic proxies just as scientists do. It is designed to: (a) enable students to construct their own knowledge about a significant past climate change event, (b) provide rigorous practice in making observations, interpretations, and forming hypotheses using foundational Earth science concepts, (c) create opportunities for student pre-/mis-conceptions to be revealed and resolved and (d) encourage students to make connections between past climate change events and what we know about present and potential future climate change today.

This three-part module is based on sediment archive records from nine IODP/ODP ocean drilling sites in four regions: Walvis Ridge (SE Atlantic), Shatsky Rise (NW Pacific), Maud Rise (Southern Ocean) and the Equatorial Atlantic. In Part 1, students, individually or as a small group, observe and interpret site specific biostratigraphic, magnetic susceptibility, color reflectance, % CaCO3, and oxygen and carbon isotope data. For Part 2, students reflect on and discuss their site–specific findings with students assigned a different site from the same geographic region. Part 3 consists of a brief student presentation of regional findings to the full class, which then serves as a framework for an instructor-facilitated class synthesis on the variation and uncertainty of, assumptions behind, and implications of their results on the PETM records from a global perspective.

Student worksheets provide a framework for students to concisely record observations, interpretations, hypotheses posed and reflections on what they have done. The site to region approach allows them to scaffold their understanding before attempting to consider it in a global perspective. Along with detailed answer keys, the instructor guide includes alternative strategies and timeframes for implementing all or parts of the module, allowing instructors greater flexibility in considering how best to use this exercise in their course. This exercise, piloted in a 2008 focus group, is currently being tested at several undergraduate institutions in a variety of formats.

2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 29--Booth# 79
Geoscience Education (Posters)
Oregon Convention Center: Hall A
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Sunday, 18 October 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 93

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