WHAT CAN BE DONE AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL TO ENCOURAGE FUTURE GEOLOGY MAJORS
As it now stands, even in a state with an earth science graduation requirement, most of our college-bound students enter the introductory geology course with limited background. This is a result of both the lack of teacher training and the AP Environmental curriculum. The state Earth/Environmental Science Curriculum, due to go into effect in 2012, minimizes geology even further with increased focus on the environment.
The need for geology majors in the future will increase with our growing need for energy and enviromental stewardship in an era of global climate change. We have surveyed and interviewed students from North Carolina Universities and former students of ours who have pursued Earth Science degrees in order to determine what factors from their high school experience may have had a role in their choosing geoscience education and future careers. If we can understand what encourages students in high school to become future geology majors, then perhaps we can duplicate these factors and improve the future of earth science education.