GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 99-11
Presentation Time: 4:20 PM


MOGK, David, Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717

Geoheritage and geoscience education share common goals: providing the scientific basis for deeper understanding of Earth history and processes; promoting public awareness of society’s dependence on geoscience through our collective use of resources and exposure to geohazards that impact our economic security, public safety and health; and for the long-term health of the geoscience profession through recruitment of next generation geoscientists. Geoheritage sites have great value for geoscience education, as learning in the field has traditionally been central to geoscience education at all levels, field experiences can be effective mechanisms for recruitment and training of the next generation of geoscientists, and place-based learning is increasingly important to engage diverse populations. Geoheritage sites have been used in geoscience education: 1) at the K-12 level to address Next Generation Science Standards through field experiences for students that support inquiry- and discovery-based instruction, and for teacher preparation programs; 2) as destinations for undergraduate/graduate formal course field projects, for itinerant geoscience field camp programs, through service-learning projects, and as locales for student research projects; 3) in support of public outreach and continuing education programs for the general public and in support of citizen scientist programs; 4) through partnerships with museums, science centers, and federal, state and local parks; 5) through continuing professional development programs for geoscientists sponsored by professional society and corporate programs; and 6) through partnerships with private land managers who may not fully realize the intrinsic educational value of the geoheritage on the lands they manage. A national database is needed to systematically identify geoheritage sites in local settings that describe the scientific value, learning goals, evidence-based instructional practices and assessments, and scaffolded teaching activities. The geosciences are in danger of losing access to many of these special geoheritage sites, so we urge geoscientists in their professional and personal settings to become involved with identification and preservation of geoheritage sites for the enjoyment and education of future generations.