2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 97-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


JONES, Megan H., Geology, North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave. No, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445, megan.jones@nhcc.edu, 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, KRISSEK, Lawrence, School of Earth Sciences and Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, and LECKIE, R. Mark, Department of Geosciences, Univ of Massachusetts, 611 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003

There has never been a more critical time for students to understand how the Earth works. Teaching not only what we know, but how we know it, conveys the essential nature of science. To that end, our initial objective in Teaching Anchor Concepts of Climate Change (NSF #0737335) was to put authentic data and published case studies at students’ fingertips in a series of 7 linked, yet independent, inquiry-based exercise modules. However, we accomplished much more than we set out to do - we essentially developed an entire undergraduate course curriculum for paleoclimatology. The purpose of this presentation is to share the process by which we developed the curriculum, which reflects many of the same successful strategies used in scientific research. The process was collaborative, iterative, at times directive, but also distributive, drawing on the knowledge and skills of the team. We evaluated published data from scientific reports and peer-reviewed journal articles, and used these as the foundation for student guided-inquiry of observation, inference, and hypothesis formation. Through our response to the NSF-mandate for dissemination, product and project evaluation, and by considering broader impact at each stage of curriculum development, our end result is a published and commercialized manual on basic Earth science principles and climate change case studies, the first of its kind.

Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History, a manual for the lab and classroom, is the culmination of a process which we feel can be very useful to others. Over the past 4 years, through our process of data gathering and assessment, curriculum development, formative evaluation and dissemination, we produced a total of 14 multipart exercise modules that can be can used in their entirety, or mixed and matched to the instructor’s course emphasis. The feedback gleaned from early and frequent dissemination, from formative evaluation by students in courses and by faculty in workshops, and from peer-review by paleoclimate scientists and undergraduate educators, helped us fine-tune the materials to the needs of the education and paleoclimate science communities. In achieving our goal of making science accessible, we believe we followed a process that can be used by others to meet science education needs with products that are both timely and user-friendly.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 97--Booth# 55
Geoscience Education (Posters) II
Minneapolis Convention Center: Hall C
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 253

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