INTEGRATING INFORMED DECISION-MAKING, A FOCUS ON CASCADIA, AND A SEMINAR ON ETHICS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, POWER AND GENDER, AND PROMOTING ACCESS TO THE GEOSCIENCES TO BETTER PREPARE GEOSCIENCE STUDENTS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY WORK FORCE (Invited Presentation)
Informed decision-making (IDM). We have developed a standard workflow for informed decision-making that encompasses the broad process of scientific decision-making. Students gain repeated practice using this workflow in a variety of courses and contexts, from geologic map analysis to assessing geologic hazards/risks to conducting independent research. This workflow provides a consistent framework for framing questions, acquiring reliable data, carrying out appropriate analyses, making evidence-based interpretations, and communicating decisions articulately. Our aim is to give students repeated practice over many courses so that they internalize the process and continue to apply it to make informed decisions in the future.
Focus on Cascadia. Each of our courses for majors incorporates aspects of geologic processes in Cascadia, and students use what they have learned to build their understanding of Cascadia over multiple courses. Approaches range from incorporating specific modules to teaching fundamental principles throughout a course using Cascadia examples. We chose Cascadia because geologic processes and societal issues are particularly strongly linked, the questions and approaches span the fields of the geosciences, and we can provide students with first hand experience in the need for collaboration across disciplines to address complex geological problems of societal significance.
Senior seminar. We want our geoscience majors to graduate with an ability to navigate a diverse world confidently and ethically, to make and communicate informed decisions, and to contribute to making geoscience a more diverse profession. The seminar addresses four broad topics: professional ethics, social justice, power and gender in the workplace, and creating inclusive professional communities. We devote two seminars to each topic, with the first seminar focused on what the issues are and the second session on what students can do to address the issues effectively and ethically when faced with them in the future. The final seminar focuses on applying the IDM workflow to a future geoscience-related issue with societal relevance.