November 4, 2012 by Dr. G
The first full day of technical sessions at the 2012 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. I don’t think I could have had a busier morning, presenting and co-chairing a session! My colleague Dr. Tanya Furman (Penn State – University Park) and I co-chaired a session titled Teaching Controversy in the K-16 Earth Science Classroom. The session had 11 presentations ranging on topics from water in California to sea-level rise in North Carolina, to the Marcellus Shale to geologic time. I kicked off the session with a presentation on Introducing Students to the Controversies Surrounding the Ownership and Sale of Fossils (click to read the abstract). The entire session had quality speakers and a room packed with 100+ people (standing room only!) asking thoughtful questions about some of the struggles faculty and K-12 teachers face teaching about controversial subjects. If you check the tweets from @PAESTA and search for the hashtag #GEO2012, you will be able to see some tweets posted during the session (if you don’t understand the reference to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, check it out). I was extremely pleased with the success of the session, and it has me thinking how we as a community of geoscience educators can continue the conversation.
After grabbing some lunch, I did a quick swing through the exhibit hall before heading to the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Geoscience Division Business Meeting. This is where the elected councilors meet to discuss the programs/workshops that the division leads and technical sessions at GSA, section GSA, AAG, and AGU meetings. We also discussed our GeoCUR Mentor Award (being given out at lunch on Tuesday) and what technical session we may propose for next year’s GSA conference, the 125th anniversary of GSA.
The rest of the day was spent bouncing from reception to reception. I started at the NAGT Geoscience Education Research Interest Group. I think this will be an exciting development for NAGT, having a new division that focuses on bringing together faculty and creating a community of those engaged in educational research. I only spent a little bit of time at the 2YC meeting, before heading off to the Geoscience Educators Reception. It is almost overwhelming seeing so many familiar faces and reconnecting with colleagues from across the United States. There’s never enough time to catch up on classroom innovations, research developments, and just what is going on in life!
I spent the evening catching up on emails and planning out how to spend Monday at the conference – so many interesting sessions, not enough time to see it all!