CA – 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, Monday

Leave a comment

December 10, 2013 by Dr. G

Today is the first official, full day of the AGU Fall Conference (even though events have been going on for the past couple of days).  I kicked off the meeting today by co-leading a workshop with an amazing group of fellow faculty that are Councilors with the Geoscience Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research.  The four-hour workshop, titled “Getting Started with Undergraduate Research,” featured 20 attendees (graduate students to new faculty) from the U.S. and other countries that were interested in hearing about how to work with undergraduate researchers, mentoring students at different stages of their undergraduate careers and on different types of projects.  My contribution was to present on models of undergraduate research with freshmen and sophomores.  Students in their first two years are certainly capable of engaging in research experiences, whether it be through course projects, community projects, or independent study projects.  As you can imagine, I presented several examples of projects completed by Penn State Brandywine students!  We also had some break-out discussions, and I had a great conversation with a faculty member from the University of Vienna in Austria as we compared the similarities to how students in both of our countries approach undergraduate research.

DSCN2906I’ll insert here a quick note to my students… unfortunately, I will not be sharing any photos from sessions – as you can see from the photo to the left, no audio, photos, or video are allowed at the conference.  But I’ll see what photos I can take to share as much as I can!

After lunch, I quickly went through the Poster Hall to check out the posters on “Improving Student Writing: Methods You Can Use in Science and Engineering Classrooms Posters.”  I learned about some very innovative models of designing writing courses and assignments in conjunction with campus writing centers and libraries.  I look forward to following up online to explore the University of Oklahoma’s Geowriting course.

Then, I “camped out” for the afternoon in back-to-back sessions on “Games, Interactive Simulations, and Virtual Labs for Science Teaching and Learning” (a listing of the talks can be found here).  I took several pages of notes in this session, and I was really struck by the take-home message from almost every presentation – games can be all science and no fun, or vice-versa.  Game designers need to get players excited to play the games, but not too excited so that learning does not take place – but not let players get too bored, either (yikes!).  Designers need to find that balance between education and entertainment, and it is not an easy balance to attain or maintain.  I need to go back and check out the games available from The PoLAR Hub (especially their EcoChains: the Arctic Crisis Card Game) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  I also enjoyed viewing the British 3D Type Fossil Database (and yes, we had 3D glasses in the audience to view the images – amazing!).  It is not very often (if ever) I hear virtual games mentioned at a scientific conference, such as Pong, Angry Birds, and Farmville – it provided an interesting context for why as scientists we should seriously consider tapping in to the gaming audience that already exists.

To end my Monday evening, I attended AGU’s film screening of the film documentary Thin Ice.  I saw the review on the RealClimate website, and then when I saw AGU’s tweet as a reminder, I made sure I headed back to Moscone South for the event.

Last year, AGU showed the documentary Chasing Ice, which I thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to the panel post-screening.  The Thin Ice film and discussion was incredibly engaging.  During the entire 73-minute film, you could have heard a pin drop in the room, with hundreds of scientists carefully listening to all that was being presented.  The preview of the film is below:

I thought this film did one of the best jobs of explaining climate science, something that I know I want to share with not only my students but with the middle school Earth Science teachers I work with back in Pennsylvania.  I also felt that the preview does not do the film justice – I was not “sold” on watching the film when I saw the preview a few months ago, but I’m so glad I attended this evening.  During the Q&A, I learned that the film took six years to make, and the 73-minute length means that the film will most likely not be televised (PBS, for example, wants 56 minute movies).  The audience had some questions if the title was appropriate (since “thin ice” specifically is not discussed in the film), but the group also applauded how the film does an excellent job capturing the process of doing climate research.

As I prepare to work hard and learn much at the NASA Social and AGU Bloggers Forum tomorrow, I’m reminded by tweets that my colleagues and students will be taking a day off!

I missed the first snowfall of the season the day I flew out to AGU, and now I’m missing the second storm!  That’s OK, there is plenty to focus on in San Francisco this week…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Follow me on Instagram

Wrapping up my @scienceathon week by wrapping up in my favorite blanket and drinking hot chocolate out of my favorite mug from @earthandstate. It's been a great week of communicating some of who I am, what I do, and the great community I am a part of. I hope I have been able to help others learn more about me - an #actuallivingscientist, a part of #womeninstem, always looking for ways to connect Earth science to the non-science community, whether it be through #sciart or #EarthScienceWeek or documentary screenings on campus like #thehumanelementmovie. ************************************ #dayofscience #weekofscience #earthsciencewomensnetwork #ESWN #octopus #hotchocolate ************************************** If you enjoyed following my week, please consider donating to my crowdrise page for the @scienceathon, where donations benefit the amazing organization ESWN (Earth Science Women's Network).
Yes, the @scienceathon is officially over - but I'm not finished yet! Today is a big day for me, as this is the second year the @psubrandywine Sustainovation Club (@sustainpsubw) students are leading an educational outreach activity at the @tylerarboretum Pumpkin Days Fall Festival. This year, the students decided to focus on teaching kids about conserving energy at home, showcase various renewable energy sources (such as wind power), emphasized the benefits of planting native plants and going outside, then helping kids create their own pinwheels. The last table at our station asked visitors to state how they will go home and make better efforts to conserve energy. This year's Sustainability Research Station was a great combination of education and hands-on fun! I'm so proud of the 19 students that came out today to make a difference in the community. #sustainovation #weare #wearepennstate #nittanylion #mascot #education #outreach #dayofscience #weekofscience #actuallivingscientist #womeninstem
Big event today! We unveiled winners of our 1st-ever @PSUBrandywine #EarthScienceWeek photo contest! See how the #EarthAsInspiration theme was used with @adobe products. Thanks Matt Bodek & @psulibs #VairoLibrary 4organizing w/me! @scienceathon #dayofscience #weekofscience @vairolibrarypsu #photocontest
Piling up the boxes and bins this morning outside of my office this morning for an early pick from the campus maintenance department. I'm so lucky to have such supportive services across the campus that come together as a team for our outreach events. Maintenance will be bring all of this stuff (minus the fire extinguisher!) and some folding tables over to one of our community partners, @tylerarboretum, so we can participate in their Pumpkin Days Fall Festival on Saturday! (and yes, I'm sporting last year's @scienceathon t-shirt!) #dayofscience #weekofscience #actuallivingscientist #womeninstem #logisticslogisticslogistics #whatfacultydo
Lunch at 3PM, because my marathon day of teaching/meetings doesn’t take a break during the @scienceathon! #dayofscience #weekofscience #whitepizza @pennstatebwcampusliving
%d bloggers like this: