Nine sections of the Design Guide
The Design Guide is organized around nine thematic sections, authored by members of the Earth system science education community, addressing topics of relevance to faculty seeking to develop Earth system science courses or programs. Key points for each section can be accessed from within sections and from the main navigation bar. Each section answers "Why is this important?" and "What is in this section?" as well as questions frequently asked about the section topics. Sections also make apparent the linkages with the five cross-cutting themes and provide short vignettes about faculty and student experiences in teaching and learning Earth system science.
Scientific Framework of Earth System Science
Earth system science charts the interactions among air, water, land and life that describe the state and dynamic processes of our planet, leading to deeper understanding of how societies interact with the Earth system.
Teaching, Learning and Evaluation
Earth system science courses draw faculty from a wide range of disciplines. Through a variety of student-centered approaches, such courses foster science literacy and appreciation of science as well as promote technical skills and Earth science career development.
Effecting Internal Institutional Change
Earth system science education crosses traditional departmental divides to integrate physical, biological, social and engineering components, and can present special challenges to interdisciplinary leadership. For success, strong administrative support, partnerships within the institution, and appropriate academic reward systems are essential elements.
Partnerships and Community Building
Productive external partnerships and community frameworks that extend the benefits of Earth system science beyond the classroom and laboratory into the local, regional, and global spheres require Earth system science educators to forge links, exchange ideas and develop mutual trust with those in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors.
Earth System Science as a Pathway to STEM Education
Earth system science education provides unique, interdisciplinary learning experiences that inspire student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Earth system science broadens the pathway to STEM literacy with content and career opportunities that are accessible, relevant and compelling.
Diversity in The Workforce
The Earth system science community is working to better understand and implement approaches for improving the recruitment of underrepresented minorities. The ESSE 21 program has supported minority serving institutions in developing Earth system science courses and programs.
Exemplary Earth System Science Learning Modules
Exemplary learning modules in Earth system science demonstrate the value of courses that include new perspectives and new audiences underrepresented in the sciences. Earth system science education in urban settings is highlighted, as are experiences in working with K-12 teachers and schools.
Data, Tools and Models
Technologies for studying Earth system science provide amazing images, visualizations, and analysis tools that deepen our understanding, and provide information for responsible stewardship of the planet. A wealth of data, tools, and models is available to the Earth system science research and education community.
Future Directions and Challenges
The Earth system science education community continues to develop courses and learning materials that contribute to the broader understanding of humanity’s relationship to our planet. The future includes opportunities for international collaboration, an emphasis on the application of Earth system science to sustainability issues, and extended career and professional development.