GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 46-6
Presentation Time: 3:05 PM


BRAVO, Tammy K., IRIS, Washington, DC 20005, GARDINE, Lea, Geophysical Institute - University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, TABER, John, IRIS, 1200 New York Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005 and WEST, Michael E., Alaska Earthquake Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775,

The EarthScope Transportable Array (TA) is a dense network of seismic stations that migrated across the contiguous 48 states from 2004-2015. The TA then began to move north to Alaska and western Canada and will operate through 2019. Professional development related to plate tectonics, earthquakes, and seismology for middle and high school teachers was paired with the TA’s migration across the contiguous US. When the TA moved to Alaska, the Alaska Earthquake Center together with IRIS Education and Public Outreach looked for a way to offer professional development for teachers across the state and support them to bring real-time earthquake data into their classrooms.

We developed a new online course for Alaskan teachers due to the expanse and remoteness of Alaskan communities. In this unique setting, moving professional development online allowed teachers to work with other teachers, at their own pace, from their own communities. Through weekly discussion forums teachers discuss lessons, implementation, regional hazards, and community preparedness. Teachers are guided through loading, monitoring, and analyzing real-time seismic data from Alaska seismic stations.

Alaska is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, and with the wide distribution of teachers throughout the state, it is an ideal spot to explore the potential of an online course to enhance earth science education. The course has been a cost-effective way to reach distributed teachers and provide high-quality earthquake lessons designed specifically for the regional geologic setting.