GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 30-12
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


FOSTER, Ashley Nicole1, GIBSON, Sahra2, JIRON, Stephanie3, MOROZ, Gabriela2 and RODRIGUEZ PADILLA, Alba M.4, (1)University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, (2)College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME 04649, (3)Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA 91001, (4)College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME 04649; Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616

ESTEM (environmental science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is an NSF-GEOPATHS professional development program for undergraduates. The field methods component of ESTEM was an environmental science summer course in the Sierra Nevadas, CA, offered in 2017 and 2018, to engage students in classic and advanced field-based techniques to practice skills that are required for environmental career paths. The courses included students (20 in 2017 and 19 in 2018) and faculty from College of the Atlantic, University of San Francisco, and Mt. San Antonio College with the following objectives: (1) increase students' awareness of and access to a broad group of local professionals working in the environmental sector; (2) provide opportunities for students to read and discuss scientific/technical literature and reports; (3) facilitate student understanding of potential pathways to future careers. Program elements to fulfill these objectives included a variety of field projects in geology, geomorphology, hydrology, and botany, and through engaging with local stakeholders working in environmental careers. Students were responsible for collecting and interpreting environmental field data, delivering a presentation on a local environmental topic, and documenting their interaction with environmental professionals during the course. ESTEM provided students with a unique opportunity to practice environmental field methods in various subdisciplines, and improvements in skill set breadth and depth were noted by the majority of students through initial and final assessment surveys.