GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 274-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


REANO, Darryl, Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907 and HARBOR, Jon, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Transformative, place-based, and culturally relevant educational practices are impacting local communities across the United States. GeoConnections is a research project designed to enhance the cultural relevance of introductory geoscience activities at the undergraduate level in an effort to increase positive student connections to geoscience concepts and careers. GeoConnections builds on previous research to develop new geoscience education modules (GEMs) using an Indigenous research framework combined with a socioTransformative constructivist approach to highlight geologic concepts displayed across the Pacific Northwest United States (PNW), while privileging the cultural relevancy for the many Indigenous people who live there. Three GEMs were developed with different emphases: carbon sequestration in basalts, river systems, and science communication/policy. The GEMs have been implemented at two host institutions, one is a Hispanic-serving institution and the other location is a predominantly White institution. We used a mixed methods approach to quantitatively analyze participants’ “sense of place” and “place meaning”. Subsequently we qualitatively analyzed written content assigned during the introductory environmental science course in addition to semi-structured interviews conducted throughout the semester. Preliminary quantitative results indicate no statistical significance for changes to participants’ sense of place. Preliminary qualitative results highlight critical incidents that have directly impacted participants’ conceptions of geology as well as specific, reflexive understandings of how the geoscience GEMs can benefit human systems in the PNW, both socially and environmentally. GeoConnections is one example for creating new education resources that are culturally relevant but still respectful and accountable to the communities in which we live and work.