2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


KIRK, Karin B.1, MANDUCA, Cathryn A.2, MYERS, James D.3, LOXSOM, Fred4, MOGK, David W.5 and BRUCKNER, Monica Z.2, (1)Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, (2)Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057, (3)Geology & Geophysics, Univeristy of Wyoming, Department 3006, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071, (4)Environmental Earth Science Department, Eastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham Street, Willimantic, CT 06226, (5)Dept. of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, kkirk@carleton.edu

Although energy has always been an important topic in geoscience education, recently it has gained renewed importance and has expanded to include a broad range of topics. Students need to know about issues as diverse as carbon sequestration, biofuels, peak oil theory, and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Faculty need to keep pace with this rapidly changing field and guide students through the complexities of the field. To address these needs a web-based collection of teaching materials was developed in conjunction with an On the Cutting Edge workshop “Teaching about Energy in Geoscience Courses: Current Research and Pedagogy.” The website is designed to provide faculty with examples, references and ideas for either incorporating energy topics into existing geoscience courses or for designing or refining a course about energy. The website contains a collection of over 30 classroom and lab activities contributed by faculty, including topics such as renewable energy, energy policy and energy conservation. Course descriptions and syllabi for energy courses address audiences ranging from introductory courses to advanced seminars. The On the Cutting Edge website includes web pages created by workshop participants with ideas for novel approaches or new topics for teaching about energy in geoscience.

In addition to teaching materials, the website houses collections of visuals and references to enhance teaching. Presentations and related references from the teaching energy workshop provide access to recent research, emerging topics, perspectives on energy policy and examples of effective pedagogy for teaching about energy. The energy visualization collection contains video clips, diagrams and animations relating to fossil fuels, nuclear power and alternative energy sources. A directory of recommended books spans both traditional and renewable energy forms, while a page of recommended resources points the way to web resources such as government reports, data sets and online activities for students.

All of these materials can be found at http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/energy. Faculty are encouraged to submit their own teaching materials to the web collections via on-line forms for submitting information and uploading files.