Highlight: ESS Includes the Urban Environment
Many universities and students are located in urban areas. The application of ESS concepts to urban environments helps engage more students by connecting them with their immediate environments. The approach may especially benefit minority groups who are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Moreover, urbanization is a growing trend worldwide, and the impact of humans on the landscape is an important theme in ESS.
ESS is intimately connected with societal issues of pressures on natural resources and impacts of natural hazards. Although all of the ESS modules address human involvement in the landscape, the linkage between ESS and the urban environment of the university is particularly prominent in the modules from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Davies, C.P., 2006, Implementing Earth Systems Science Curriculum: Evaluating the Integration of Urban Environments for an Urban Audience, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 54, p. 364-373
Highlight: Training Teachers and Adapting Course Material for the K-12 Curriculum
ESS university faculty members are involved in K-12 school systems in many ways. Future teachers may take ESS courses to expand their scientific knowledge. Teachers already working in the classroom can attend courses that are offered in appropriate schedules.
Teachers in Washington, DC have used the ESS module at Howard University in evening courses. The ESS module from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks was adapted for a summer workshop for teachers who traveled to Fairbanks from distant locations in Alaska. Besides the scientific content, courses may help teachers learn how to teach the subject in the K-12 classroom, as demonstrated in a vignette about adapting the ESS module from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks for the K-12 curriculum.
Backdraft: How Undergraduate Courses Can Teach Teachers
Anupma Prakash, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK
Hands-on experience in collecting GPS data is a great way of catching the interest of teachers and students alike