GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 243-6
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM


ORMAND, Carol, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057, KRUSE, Sarah, Department of Geology, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, SCA 528, Tampa, FL 33620, PARSEKIAN, Andrew D., Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, SLATER, Lee, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, 101 Warren St, Smith 136, Newark, NJ 07102, SUMY, Danielle F., Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, Washington, DC 20005 and TABER, John, IRIS Consortium, 1200 New York Ave NW Ste 400, Washington, DC 20005-3929

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce begins with attracting a diverse student population into the geosciences. To achieve this, we need to transform our curricula, looking beyond traditional topics and approaches. To broaden representation of undergraduates in geophysics, IRIS Education and Public Outreach is working with geophysics faculty members and with the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) to develop curricular resources that blend active-learning pedagogies with geophysics content. The IGUaNA project, Introducing Geophysics for Urban and Near-surface Applications, has developed a set of curricular modules, using evidence-based pedagogies, that apply seismic, electrical resistivity, and ground penetrating radar techniques to societally-relevant, real-world problems. The modules develop students' quantitative and critical thinking skills by using authentic datasets to evaluate salt marsh pollution and restoration, locate and identify historical burial grounds and urban infrastructure, and inform an urban renewal planning process. Teaching materials are designed for introductory-level undergraduate courses such as earth science, environmental science, geology, geophysics, physics, engineering, geography, or chemistry. Optional parts of the modules also provide instruction in having the students collect their own data sets, and IRIS has some field equipment which can be borrowed to collect the data. These NSF-funded resources have been peer-reviewed and pilot tested in a variety of undergraduate classrooms, and we expect to publish them on the Science Education Resource Center website late in the fall of 2021, when the authors have finished revisions based on feedback from pilot testers. Data from pilot testing shows positive impacts on students’ confidence in solving geophysical problems as well as their interest in geophysics and related careers. Demonstrating the applicability of geophysics to questions of interest to students with a broad range of life experiences, and reaching those students early in their college careers, is an important first step toward attracting a diverse student population.