Geoscience Education Research (GER) falls under the broad umbrella of Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER). With respect to DBER, the National Research Council (2012) states that the discipline 'Geoscience' includes Geology, Earth Science, Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Climate Science, Ocean Science, Marine Science, and Environmental Science.
GER involves the study of learning processes and teaching practices related to geoscience classrooms, laboratories, field experiences, and informal environments (e.g. museums). GER focuses on investigations dealing with the processes involved in both learning and teaching geoscience, which are connected to specific dimensions involved in student learning and include the cognitive domain, affective domain, and psychomotor domain. Dimensions of teaching include course design, pedagogy, and assessment.
Faculty and student interests in geoscience education research span a variety of formal and informal learning environments, primarily at the college level. We bring the same level of scientific rigor to our geoscience education research as we do to our more traditional areas of research in the Earth and atmospheric sciences. Three of our primary goals include:
- furthering our understanding of novice challenges to increasing expertise in the geosciences
- increasing our evidence base for what enhances student learning in the geosciences
- developing effective implementation strategies for applying evidence-based approaches to the learning and teaching of geosciences at the college level
The Geoscience Education Specialization
Master's degree. Prospective students interested in pursuing a Master's in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences with a Specialization in Geoscience Education Research must have completed a Bachelor's degree in Geology, Earth Science, Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Climate Science, Ocean Science, Marine Science, or Environmental Science.
Ph.D. degree. Prospective students interested in pursuing a PhD in Earth & Atmospherice Sciences with a Specialization in Geoscience Education Research must have completed either the above requirement and/or a Master's in Geoscience Education, Geology, Earth Science, Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Climate Science, Ocean Science, Marine Science, or Environmental Science.
Those pursuing a Specialization in Geoscience Education will develop expertise in a chosen field of geoscience and apply that knowledge to their geoscience education research. Geoscience Education Research cannot be successfully conducted without expertise of the geoscience discipline. To satisfy their research goals, students pursuing a Specialization in Geoscience Education Research will partner with faculty who have expertise in geoscience, education, learning science, psychology, cognitive science, and/or social science.
Structure-tectonics, Petroleum Geology, Remote Sensing; Geocognition (e.g., 3-D visualization and geospatial reasoning skills)
Micropaleontology, Stratigraphy, Paleoclimatology, Glacial Geology, Marine Geology; Earth Science Teacher Training and Education
Atmospheric Convection, Mesoscale Processes, Severe Weather, Instrumentation, Climate Diagnostics; Pedagogy (e.g., instructional technologies)
Matthew Van Den Broeke
Severe Weather, Radar Meteorology, Microphysics & Precipitation Processes, Mesoscale processes, Land-atmosphere Interactions; Geocognition (e.g., conceptions of atmospheric phenomena)
Aqueous Geochemistry, Aqueous and Sediment Biogeochemistry, Geomicrobiology; Large Science Course Design and Pedagogy