2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 34-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


ST. JOHN, Kristen1, COLLINS, Jennifer2, BREY, James A.3, HAMS, Jacquelyn4, KRISSEK, Lawrence5, HOVAN, Steven A.6, JONES, Megan7, GILL, Thomas E.8 and MILLS, Elizabeth W.3, (1)Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, (2)Consortium for Ocean Leadership, 1201 New York Avenue NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20005, (3)Education Program, American Meteorological Society, 1200 New York Ave NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005, (4)Earth Science, Los Angeles Valley College, 5800 Fulton Avenue, Valley Glen, CA 91401, (5)School of Earth Sciences and Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (6)Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 115 Walsh Hall, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA 15705, (7)Geology Department, North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave. No, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445, (8)Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W University Avenue, El Paso, TX 79968, stjohnke@jmu.edu

Climate change is a global challenge that crosses cultural boundaries. Geologic perspectives on climate change provide students with critical context for evaluating causes, rates, and consequences of modern and future global warming. Interest in adding paleoclimate content in introductory to majors’ geoscience courses is growing, but needs to be met with training opportunities for instructors whose background is outside of paleoclimatology. The MSI-REaCH (Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History) program was developed to help meet this need for instructors at minority-serving institutions. Via collaboration of undergraduate curriculum developers, professional development specialists, and paleoclimate scientists, MSI-REaCH provides MSI faculty with scientific training, mentoring, and collaboration opportunities. Central to the scientific training is an advanced professional development workshop at the IODP Gulf Coast Repository, comprising 50 hrs of immersive training for 16 MSI faculty over 5 days. During this time participants use sediment cores and their data and inquiry-learning focusing on understanding marine sediment paleoclimate archives and climate change through time. Evaluation data collected by WestEd show that teaching via guided inquiry, using real samples, and accessible datasets provided participants with a valuable model to follow for future use.

The workshop includes structured reflection time to develop formal action plans. These focus on integrating workshop paleoclimate curriculum into new or existing geoscience courses and/or beginning or expanding research opportunities for their students. Evaluation data suggests that mentoring support will be essential to successful action plan implementation to stay focused, get advice, and keep the scale and scope manageable. For cohort 1 (2015), mentoring started during the workshop and continues for 2 years. Action plan evaluation and initial mentoring suggest strong potential for collaborations among participants and program instructors. This suggests that MSI-REaCH is community building; strengthening the connections among faculty at 2-year, 4-year, and research colleges and universities. Applications for the 2016 MSI-REaCH program will be available at GSA.