Innovations in making EarthScope science and data accessible (Invited) Abstract


  • EarthScope is a highly complex technical and scientific endeavor. Making results from EarthScope accessible to the general public, educators, all levels of students, and even geoscience professionals from other disciplines is a very real challenge that must be overcome to realize EarthScope's intended broader impacts of contributing 'to the mitigation of risks from geological hazards … and the public's understanding of the dynamic Earth.' Here we provided several case examples of how EarthScope science can be effectively communicated and then scaled to reach different or larger audiences. One approach features providing professional development regarding EarthScope and geohazard science to non-university educators who then scale up the impact by communicating to hundreds or even thousands of students and general public members each. EarthScope-funded Teachers on the Leading Edge (TOTLE) ran workshops 2008-2010 for 120 Pacific Northwest teachers and community college educators who subsequently communicated EarthScope and geohazards science to >30,000 students and >1500 other adults. Simultaneously EarthScope's National Office at Oregon State University was running workshops for park interpreters who have since reached >>100,000 park visitors. These earlier projects have served as the foundation for the new Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program (CEETEP), which is currently running joint workshops for coastal Oregon and Washington teachers, interpreters, and emergency management educators. The other approach featured here is UNAVCO's scaled efforts to make Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) and other geodetic data more accessible to introductory and majors-level geoscience students and faculty. Initial projects included development of a Teaching Geodesy website on the Science Education Research Center (SERC) and development of teaching modules and activities that use PBO data. Infinitesimal strain analysis using GPS data is a 1-2 week module for majors-level structural geology or geophysics courses that is now published on SERC and UNAVCO websites. Simpler exercises using PBO data have been beta-tested for introductory courses as well. Now UNAVCO has received NSF-funding to develop four more modules (two each for introductory and majors-level) that will feature PBO and other geodetic data. The goal is for these four to serve as the foundation for an ultimate collection of >10 modules.


publication date

  • 2013

presented at event