GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 108-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


SLATTERY, William, Earth & Environmental Sciences and Teacher Education, Wright State Univ, Dayton, OH 45435, LUNSFORD, Suzanne K., Dept. of Chemistry, Wright State Univ, 250 Oelman Hall, Dayton, OH 45435-0001 and CHRIST, Lindsey, International Field Studies Inc., Columbus, OH 43220

Wright State University’s Department of Earth & Environmental Science is partnering with the non-profit, International Field Studies Inc., in order to deliver a graduate level one-week Climate Change summer course for K-12 teachers at their Forfar Field Station on Andros Island, Bahamas. The location is ideal for learning about global climate change in the past and present and by providing connections with local residents who are and will be impacted by global climate change now and in the near future. The geography of Andros provides extraordinary evidence of past climate changes that have impacted the island in the past and in recent time. For example, Andros has the largest concentration of freshwater blue holes in the world. These features are evidence of meteoric water dissolution of carbonate rock. However, blue holes are also present in the shallow water carbonate platform of the island. Since Andros is located on a tectonically stable platform, the presence of blue holes underwater indicates that sea level fall occurred during glacial advances in the Pleistocene. Eustatic sea level rises are also documented by the presence of invertebrate fossil localities approximately 10 meters above present day sea level. Dune deposits with dipping beds are common on land today but also outcrop above present day sea level on small cays offshore of the main island indicating falls in sea level and subsequent rise. Participants in the course will have the opportunity to snorkel oceanic blue holes, patch reefs, and to the barrier reef at the edge of the carbonate platform. They will also have the opportunity to collect water data from terrestrial blue holes using data probes to document the changes in water physical parameters with depth. They will meet and interact with the local population of Androsians to better understand the impact of present day sea level rise on their culture and livelihoods. Daily evening lectures will discuss the day’s activities, as well as, prepare participants for the following day’s field trips. Laboratory sessions will be held to interpret the data collected during course activities. Summative field reports will be part of course evaluations. Participants in the course will also have the opportunity to continue their professional development in Earth System science by taking an online graduate level course from Wright State University in the Fall semester.