Last summer, Summer ’13 Geoenvironmental Challenges alumnus (and current IslandWood educator and University of Washington grad student) Joe Camacho worked with the National Park Service to develop a Junior Cave Scientist Activity Booklet. He was part of the Geological Society of America GeoCorps/Geoscientists-in-the-Parks program.
The booklet is a great aid in outreach to students Age 5 and up. I encourage you to check it out! http://nature.nps.gov/geology/caves/jrcavesci.cfm
Looking for faults in the craton (the old part of the North American continent) can be, well, challenging what with all of the dirt and vegetation covering up so much of the rock. One reason to find these elusive faults is to avoid pumping large volumes of waste water into them and thereby increasing the potential for earthquakes. Here are some links to news reports about recent studies suggesting that faults and huge volumes of waste water don’t mix.
Undergraduate pre-service teacher-researchers involved in Geoenvironmental Challenges are discovering new ways to use old geologic maps and new field observations to find hard-to-find faults.
Faculty mentor Dr. Mark Abolins recently led a fault-finding field trip in connection with the 2015 Geological Society of America Southeastern Section Meeting in Chattanooga, TN.
Abolins, M., Young, S., Camacho, J., Trexler, M., Ward, A., Cooley, M., and Ogden, A., 2015, A road guide to the Harpeth River and Stones River fault zones on the northwest flank of the Nashville dome, central Tennessee, in Holmes, A.E., ed., Diverse Excursions in the Southeast: Paleozoic to Present: Geological Society of America Field Guide 39, p. 1–20, doi:10.1130/2015.0039(01).
From GSA Today . . . full article at http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/25/2/article/i1052-5173-25-2-28.htm
Next Generation Science Standards: A call to action for the geoscience community
1 Dept. of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA
2 Evergreen High School, Evergreen, Colorado 80439, USA
How do we ensure the health of our geology departments with a steady stream of majors and build an informed public prepared to make important decisions on geoscience issues? The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a critical step, and they require the support of geoscientists nationwide.
The NGSS demonstrate an expanded emphasis on earth-science topics (such as natural resource distribution, human impacts on climate, and geologic history) compared to previous standards (NGSS, 2012; National Research Council, 1996). The NGSS present a rare opportunity to significantly improve K–12 earth-science education nationally because they (1) include up-to-date, timely topics important for public decision making; and (2) increase the rigor and prominence of earth-science content in K–12 classrooms. However, adoption of the NGSS requires state-level legislative action. Without support from geoscientists at the state level, the implementation of NGSS nationwide is threatened.
What can you do to ensure quality K–12 earth-science education?
- Promote the adoption of the NGSS in your state to local lawmakers and popular media. Check here to learn about NGSS in your state: http://ngss.nsta.org/latest-news/. Major legislative battles are taking place in many states due to push-back on controversial earth-science–relevant topics. Write letters to your lawmakers urging them to support the statewide adoption of NGSS. Write articles for local popular press, or hold a local science café through your institution’s STEM outreach office. Stress the importance of the NGSS for preparing an informed public to make decisions about natural resource use, climate change impacts, and natural hazards.
- Urge your state commissioners of education to provide adequate resources for teacher training to meet the Earth and Space Science Performance Expectations in the NGSS. Many local and regional school districts are struggling to adapt to curricular changes as a result of statewide adoption. The resources they need include earth-science content training, curriculum development training, classroom materials, computers, and strategic planning for implementing earth science either as a stand-alone course or infused into their physics, chemistry, and biology courses. The needs and resources of each district vary substantially; however, all schools need teacher training to understand the earth and space science standards and how to best meet the standards within the context of their school districts’ curriculum.
- Utilize broader impacts of funded projects to provide content knowledge training to regional teachers. Teachers in your area need a boost in their earth-science knowledge to meet the expectations of the NGSS. Specific challenges relate to understanding how the process of science can be different in the earth sciences as compared to other sciences and how to present politically charged issues, such as climate change, earth history and evolution, and natural resource use (such as fracking). Resources to facilitate your efforts are available through the following organizations and curricular repositories: National Association of Earth Science Teachers, Museum of the Earth, SERC, On the Cutting Edge, and the Geological Society of America, to name a few. Likewise, you can partner with colleagues in a college of education or STEM outreach office to help use the content you provide and to develop appropriate lessons for K–12 classrooms.
Geoenvironmental Challenges Summer ’13 alumnus Joe Camacho is a student and educator at IslandWood. Maybe you will be one day too . . .
The IslandWood EEC Program, created in partnership with the University of Washington, is based on the principle that a more sustainable future demands knowledgeable, committed and reflective educators. Each year our graduate students live, learn and teach in a spectacular natural setting located on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Hands-on teaching experiences with culturally diverse populations help our students to explore the meaning of education, environment and community, and most of our students go on to complete their Masters Degree at the University of Washington’s College of Education.
Please pass along our information to individuals who are passionate about inspiring community and environmental stewardship. We are still accepting applications for 2015-2016 (applications received by March 13, 2015 receive a $100 tuition discount!) and those interested are invited to contact me at 206-855-4369 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We greatly appreciate your help and thank you for being part of our vision for a sustainable future.
Theresa Song, IW ’11, M.Ed. ‘12
Coordinator of Graduate Program in Education for Environment and Community
IslandWood | 4450 Blakely Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
The mission of IslandWood is to provide exceptional learning experiences and to inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship.
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